The Cleveland Chicken team, a 49 year old WBC fundraiser, will be BBQing chicken, as well as offering, chicken sausages, corn on the cob, lemonade and watermelon all three days of the County Fair, right outside W C Fields stage, do come.
White Bird’s RockMed operates two first aid stations, one near Main Stage (Big Bird) and one in Xavanadu (Little Wing). White Bird is staffed 24 hours a day until Monday at 3pm, including several doctors around the clock, and nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and teams roving throughout the site that can be dispatched to incidents by radio. White Bird has been on site at the Oregon Country Fair for 50 years.
In an emergency go to the nearest Information Booth. If you cannot find one, ask at the nearest craft or food booth for directions. Each Information Booth can quickly contact emergency services.
PHOTO Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
A Talk With Wren Arrington On White Bird Clinic’s OCF Services
By BRIAN BULL • JUL 12, 2018
White Bird Clinic And Oregon Country Fair Nearing Half-Century Mark
By BRIAN BULL • JUL 12, 2018
Help us open a new medical walk-in clinic!
To celebrate our fiftieth, we’re growing our programs, demonstrating our commitment to serving low income, under-resourced community members. In response to burgeoning community need, White Bird is opening a new medical walk-in 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.
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.
Several 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.
My 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.
Living on the streets is even harder without a sleeping bag. Thanks to a generous donation from the Jill Heiman Vision Fund, White Bird Clinic greatly increased our supply of cold weather gear during the coldest months of 2017-2018. When the weather turns to rain and sleet, unhoused residents of Lane County come to our clinic seeking warm clothing and bedding. We used funds to bulk order some of our most requested items.
Tarps, sleeping bags, socks, gloves, and hats are vital for people living outdoors in cold weather. White Bird collects donated items every year from community partners and supporters, but these unfortunately are never quite enough to meet community need. The Jill Heiman funds enabled us to buy items efficiently, in large quantities. We purchased 480 tarps, 320 sleeping bags, 2,550 pairs of socks, 240 pairs of gloves, and 240 knit winter hats. Most of these items have already been dispersed to folks in need, and the remaining stock will be depleted well before the cold weather ends.
Three of our departments distributed the grant funded purchases. Front Rooms, a respite and light day use resource in Eugene, distributed most of the items. Case managers from the Homeless department accessed gear for their clients. Some supplies, particularly sleeping bags, were distributed by CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets), White Bird’s mobile crisis service. The people who received gear were mostly unhoused residents in neighborhoods on the east side of Eugene, though some reached people in the greater Eugene/Springfield metro area.
White Bird is a collective environment organized to enable people to gain control of their social, emotional and physical well-being through direct service, education and community. We greatly appreciate the kind and expedient support we’ve received from the Jill Heiman Fund both for this project, and in the past. You helped us provide critically needed winter wear for Lane County’s unhoused and underserved community members.
Many thanks to the Jill Heiman Fund Committee and our beloved Fair Family!