June | 2019 | White Bird Clinic

Garth Brooks Rock Medicine Fundraiser

White Bird Clinic’s event medicine program will provide medical and crisis intervention services for the Garth Brooks concert at Autzen

StadiumWhite Bird Clinic’s Event Medicine Program, Rock Medicine, will be providing Medical and Crisis Intervention services for the Garth Brooks Stadium Tour when he performs at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Saturday, June 29th. We will bring 60 professional volunteers providing our unique model of Compassionate Care to a record-breaking sold-out crowd of 64,000 happy patrons.

Rock Medicine is a fundraising effort for White Bird Clinic so the services we provide at the event are provided by contract with the promoter and the funds we earn help support the amazing services White Bird provides all year long in Eugene & Springfield.

It’s a true labor of love and the work provides a great spirit of camaraderie among our volunteers!

If you have a background in Mental Health, Social Service, or Medical field and think you might like to volunteer with Rock Medicine at our next event, write to rockmed@whitebirdclinic.org for more information.

Support Us

This summer, Rock Medicine is launching a campaign to raise money for White Bird to open a new walk-in medical clinic for individuals who are low-income and/or homeless and uninsured. The clinic, below the existing primary care clinic, will provide an alternative for patients experiencing an acute issue who lack health insurance, diverting a great number of emergency room visits. Help us by making a donation or joining our fundraising team – click the image below for details!


tim in california

Mental Health First Responders Visit Oakland

White Bird Clinic’s CAHOOTS program is meeting with stakeholders to share an innovative model for mobile crisis intervention that would otherwise be handled by public safety or emergency medical response.

OAKLAND, CA – White Bird Clinic of Eugene, OR has developed an innovative public/private partnership delivering crisis and community health first response effectively and at significant cost savings. For thirty years, CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) has been providing mobile crisis intervention 24/7, dispatched through the EMS non-emergency system. This week, members of CAHOOTS are in Oakland to meet with the Mayor, the Coalition for Police Accountability, and other community stakeholders to discuss implementing the innovative model locally.

Each CAHOOTS team consists of a medic (a nurse or an EMT) with a crisis worker who has substantial training and experience in the mental health field. The team provides behavioral health first response/responders, immediate stabilization in case of urgent medical need or psychological crisis, assessment, information, referral, advocacy and, when warranted, transportation to the next step in treatment.

White Bird Clinic started CAHOOTS in 1989 in partnership with the Eugene Police Department as a community policing initiative. CAHOOTS offers compassionate, effective, timely care while diverting a considerable portion of the public safety workload, freeing the police and fire departments to respond to the highest priority calls. CAHOOTS handles 17% of the Eugene Police Department’s non-emergency calls. In 2017, police officers nationally spent 21% of their time responding to or transporting people with mental illness.

CAHOOTS focuses exclusively on meeting the medical and mental health needs of the community, making it both more economical and more effective than traditional models involving agencies with a larger scope of responsibility. Police officers and firefighters receive comprehensive training in a broad set of skills, making their deployment to non-emergent situations unnecessarily costly. The CAHOOTS model also ensures that health and behavior health care are integrated from the onset of intervention and treatment, adding to the efficacy and economy of the model.

White Bird’s CAHOOTS program has attracted notice, from national news media as well as from communities across the country. The Wall Street Journal’s November 24th article When Mental- Health Experts, Not Police, Are the First Responders showcased CAHOOTS as an innovative model for reducing the risk of violent civilian/police encounters. Communities from California to New York have asked for strategic guidance and training so they can replicate CAHOOTS’ success.

Currently, CAHOOTS is working with the following communities:

  • Olympia, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Denver, CO
  • New York, NY
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Roseburg, OR

In 1969, a group of student activists and concerned practitioners came together to provide crisis services and free medical care for counter-culture youth in Eugene, OR. Having grown continuously since then, today White Bird Clinic has 10 programs, 220 staff members, and more than 400 volunteers each year. White Bird Clinic is a collective environment organized to empower people to gain control of their social, emotional, and physical well-being through direct service, education, and community.

The mission of the Coalition for Police Accountability is to advocate for accountability of the Oakland Police Department to the community so that the Oakland Police Department operates with equitable, just, constitutional, transparent policies and practices that reflect the values and engender the trust of the community.

Doc Ann’s Essay: White Bird at Fair 🍑

by Rock Medicine’s Medical Director, Dr Ann Cooley

“Can I give you a hug?”  This makes me pause for a moment.  You see I’m not really used to this kind of response from my patients.  As a full-time Emergency Medicine Physician, most of my patients are usually pretty scared and upset from waiting by the time they meet me, and understandably they don’t really feel like hugging.  But that’s not the case here in this dirt-floored clinic in the middle of the Oregon Country Fair.  Here I just put my medical skills to the test removing a large splinter from the hand of a young woman wearing a unicorn leotard, rainbow tutu, lime green fishnets, and glitter.  She pays me with a hug and a thank you, and it feels just as good as actually saving a life.

Rock Medicine at OCFSeveral years ago, I took over as the Medical Director for White Bird’s Rock Medicine program.  We are a fundraising arm for the clinic, and the work we do helps support many of the amazing programs White Bird provides in Eugene and Springfield.  We are a small army of volunteers who attend concerts and festivals throughout the year to help people have a safer party.  Unlike most event medicine programs, we are more than a couple of medics waiting at the back of the crowd.  We are a veritable army of crisis and medical professionals who volunteer our time to care for folks who sustain everything from minor bumps and bruises to dehydration to severe trauma.

My second patient of the day is having shortness of breath.  His long grey hair and beard are equal length, and he’s wearing an OCF staff shirt from when I was in high school.  I give him a breathing treatment, and we laugh about the fact that he does this every year even though he knows the dust will be terrible.  “Some old dogs have no interest in new tricks,” he tells me.  I encourage him to come back at any time.  The day progresses like this with a constant stream of bumps, bruises, and reminders to all who walk by to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen.  The usual reply to this is, “We love you White Bird!” and while I’m hot and tired my heart is full.

Rock Medicine Booth at OCFMy final patient of the night is a young man.  I don’t know his name because every time we ask, he begins to laugh hysterically and then scream.  It appears he took his party a little too far tonight, and now comes the long journey back down to earth.  In my normal job, I wouldn’t have much choice but to give him medications to calm him down, and I have that option here too, but here at Oregon Country Fair on either side of him sits a crisis worker.  They have just started to sing to him, and they are reassuring him that he’s safe.  He smiles, lays down, and begins a long conversation about interdimensional time travel, and I know he’s going to be just fine.

As we approach the 50th year of the Oregon Country Fair, I am once again preparing to move my medical practice out of the state-of-the-art hospital and into a makeshift exam room.  I’ll be surrounded by hundreds of volunteers who set aside their July weekend every year to come take care of everyone who walks in.  All of our hard work will help raise money to help White Bird continue its amazing programs throughout the rest of the year, and while I love the ability to help with that, mostly I’m looking forward to getting paid in hugs.

Related Story

RockMed All Night Long

White Bird Building New Dental Clinic

Rendering courtesy of GMA Architects, an architecture and design firm in Eugene, Oregon

Download Press Release (PDF)

The new clinic will increase the dental program’s capacity by seventy-five percent.

EUGENE, OREGON – White Bird is constructing an expanded dental clinic at 1415 Pearl St. that will offer urgent and preventative oral health care. The clinic is expected to open in October.

Too many unhoused and low-income community members need dental care that they cannot access. In response, White Bird has purchased the building at 1415 Pearl St. and is developing a dental clinic that increases capacity by 50 patients a week. The new facility will also allow White Bird to serve more elderly patients, children, and families.

Poor oral health presents significant challenges for many unhoused community members. According to Trillium Community Health Plan, many of their patients don’t ever see a dentist. The last two Lane County Community Health Improvement Plans identified access to affordable dental care as a major priority.

The dental clinic was founded in 1995 and has grown continuously since then. The twenty three year old facility is the limiting factor in White Bird’s ability to meet the increased community need for oral health care.

White Bird Clinic has a history of identifying, assessing, and responding to community need by leveraging existing resources. The dental expansion project is a central component of White Bird’s mission of service to low income, under-served community members. Once the new dental clinic is completed, the current clinic facility will be renovated to add a walk-in clinic to White Bird Medical. The new service will provide an alternative to hospital emergency room visits for low-income patients suffering an acute issue, offering compassionate and expert care and substantial cost savings for the community.

In addition to the dental clinic and walk-in medical clinic, White Bird is developing a new crisis center adjacent to the Whiteaker neighborhood as well as expanding CAHOOTS hours and geographic coverage. This is the first time in White Bird’s fifty year history that it has conducted two construction projects and multiple program expansions simultaneously, an indicator of the volume of unmet community need that the agency addresses.

In order to care for our most vulnerable community members, White Bird is taking a risk by growing many different programs at once, and we’re turning to the community for support and partnership. Please call 541.342.8255 or click here to donate to the project of your choice.

In 1969, a group of student activists and concerned practitioners came together to provide crisis services and free medical care for counter-culture youth in Eugene. Having grown continuously since then, today White Bird Clinic has 200 staff members and more than 400 volunteers each year.

White Bird Breaks Ground on New Crisis Center

White Bird is developing an expanded Crisis facility adjacent to Eugene’s Whiteaker Neighborhood

Download Press Release (PDF)

EUGENE, OREGON – White Bird Clinic’s Crisis program will offer expanded walk-in services as well as a telephone crisis line from a renovated facility at 990 W 7th Ave. Construction started April 29th and is expected to be completed in early July. The new location improves access to White Bird services for community members in the Whiteaker and West Eugene.

The new crisis center will house the crisis line phone service, which White Bird has operated 24/7/365 for 50 years, as well as walk-in services in a trauma-informed space. The choice of location is intended to expand White Bird’s presence in the Whiteaker neighborhood as well as its reach into west Eugene and western Lane County.

This safe space is intended to minimize environmental triggers that could be re-traumatizing. In 2018, the crisis team had 13,387 client encounters, 2,743 of them walk-in and 10,644 through the telephone crisis line. There were 4,237 contacts with clients in crisis and 2,976 contacts with clients seeking mental health information and referral. We served 2,006 unhoused clients and diverted 636 emergency room visits.

The crisis center construction is the first of many projects that will increase White Bird’s ability to care for Eugene’s most vulnerable community members. The agency has purchased two new buildings, is developing new dental and medical clinics, and is expanding CAHOOTS coverage and hours.

White Bird is taking a risk and growing to better serve, and is turning to the community for help with the financial resources needed to care for our most vulnerable community members. Contributions support White Bird’s mission and services for those in need. All donations are tax deductible.

In the Media