By: Natalia Zreliak, Digital Editor
Yesterday, Opus prize nominee, Dr. Jason Reinking visited Regis students to talk about his work at the Roots Community Health Center. Dr. Dennis Steele moderated the event that was also open to the public.
Reinking is a physician that works on the Street Outreach Medical Program, STOMP, which is a branch of the Roots Community Health Clinic which seeks to bring healthcare to those forced to live on the streets of Oakland. Roots’ mission is to eradicate the health disparities and improve health outcomes for uninsured and low-income residents of East Oakland while also remaining community conscious. Founded in 2008, the non-profit organization has been a source of quality healthcare, conducted community-based participatory research, and also offered rehabilitation, education, and employment to members of the community which it serves.
“We bring medicine to people, which has never been our traditional American model,” Reinking said in an interview with the East Bay Times.
STOMP was launched in August of 2015 as a way of reaching the homeless in the community who could not or would not visit their clinic, reasons ranging from a lack of transportation or mistrust of hospitals. During his work with STOMP Reinking has encountered all kinds of patients from small injuries to untreated illnesses as severe as cancer. The “mobile medical team” is out in the community not only to help those in need but to also help rebuild a sense of trust between those neglected by the healthcare system and hopefully motivate them to visit a real clinic.