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From homeless to hopeful

Eugene | Springfield | November 1, 2017
ShelterCare and PeaceHealth come together to support a community’s homeless population

When a doctor delivers a cancer diagnosis to a patient, it’s a crushing blow.

And when the patient is homeless, with no family or friends to lean on for support, the uncertainty of what may lie ahead for them can make it even more devastating.

Rubee, 54, had only been in Eugene, Oregon for a short time and had lived at a homeless shelter for just a week when she was admitted to the hospital for shortness of breath and weakness.

A diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer followed, and Rubee needed life-saving chemotherapy treatments. But a homeless shelter is no place for a person facing a serious health crisis.

In stepped the Care Management team at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in nearby Springfield. They approached Rubee about entering the Medical Recuperation Program.

It was just what she needed. Through a partnership with ShelterCare, a private, non-profit human services agency, Rubee was given a safe place to live and reliable transportation to and from appointments. She also received help finding a primary care physician who coordinated her treatments and secured medical coverage.

Rubee was offered an extension in the program, which gave her the time she needed to progress with her care and find a safe, permanent place to live. Ultimately, her condition stabilized and she found that security in an adult care home where she will receive long-term care.

Rubee’s health has improved and she has hope for the future.

“I love my new home,” she said. “I’m so grateful.”

PeaceHealth joined Kaiser Permanente in December 2017 to collaborate with ShelterCare in addressing homelessness in Lane County. Read the full news release.
Read coverage in the Register-Guard.

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