Windy City

OMG – the wind woke me up last night and then it felt like it took hours to get back to sleep, as I’d listen to it roaring over the hill and past the house, seemingly trying to rip the roof off.  (Being on the 3rd floor, and under a roof window is a scary feeling on nights like that!)  We’ve been on the generator since @ 1 AM I’d say … thankful for that!

I wonder what the woods look like … and spent some significant time worrying about how it is in Upstate NY (including at the lake) where it looks like they had snow, rather than the rain we got.  Hope they didn’t get the wind … that would wreak havoc coupled with wet snow!

Noodling around the net (and trying to avoid news of the infuriating, ongoing healthcare stalemate) I came upon a new (to me) and interesting-looking women’s hoops blog called Swish Appeal … and Pat Griffin’s excellent LGBT Sports Blog (which has been focusing on Focus on the Family and the NCAA of late).

I am loving that Claire Danes is back front and center. After seeing “Me and Orson Welles” last week, I’m looking forward to catching Temple Grandin!

This is more random than usual, eh?  I’ve got an article about unsung heroines, for Black History Month, that Beeg sent me.  Her particular focus?  The nurse practitioner who does house calls, of course!  Scharmaine Lawson-Baker sounds like an extraordinary woman … as do the rest.  Thanks be to Beeg!

If it weren’t for Scharmaine Lawson-Baker, some of the elderly, poor and disabled in New Orleans would receive any medical care. She’s willing to make house calls, whether it is to a FEMA trailer, the projects, group homes or assisted living facilities.

Lawson-Baker, DNP, FNP-BC, a nurse practitioner, initiated Advanced Clinical Consultants in 2005 with a mission to provide a house call to every senior or disabled person in New Orleans who is unable to visit their regular primary care physician. In addition, she runs a non-profit clinic two days a week.

Lawson-Baker also created a non-profit, Geriatric Initiatives, that is staffed with volunteers to assist patients/clients with obtaining resources to maintain their housing/residence, address their mental and behavioral health concerns, purchase medications, obtain medical equipment, transit services, scheduling of medical appointments, obtaining food stamps, among other services. Her philosophy is that no one, especially and 85-year-old woman surviving off of $300 per month in Social Security Income should have to decide whether to purchase sanitary needs or buy medication.

Several months after she opened her business, Hurricane Katrina hit, making her services more vital than ever. She visited crumbling houses on abandoned, debris-strewn streets.

“I love everything I do. I enjoy meeting a need. A lot of my patients are in the 9th Ward and lack heath care. Where care is available, there is a long waiting list to see a health care provider. If I didn’t see them, they otherwise probably wouldn’t get care. This is my passion,” says Lawson-Baker.

Today she remains the lone nurse practitioner making house calls, but she one day hopes to be able to add someone part-time assistance. Growing her business is a challenge as her primary source of income comes from Medicaid and Medicare. But, Lawson-Baker, 42, doesn’t do what she does because she’s motivated by money. “I like making a difference.”

As I write, and glance out the wondow, I see the clouds (maybe) breaking up on the eastern horizon.  A hopeful sign, even if only temporary.

In sporting tournament news … RPE has got to be happy, as the Bates College men’s and women’s basketball teams are both involved in tournament play this Saturday … as are the Belmont High School Boys.  The BHS girls play Fall Mountain today.

And I’m off … with time to spare.  Phew!

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