CAHOOTS Receives 2018 Excellence in Public Health Award

On April 10th, CAHOOTS was selected by the Lane County Board of Commissioners as a recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Public Health Award. The award was presented during the Commissioners’ meeting to recognize the CAHOOTS team’s work in the field as behavioral health first responders, as well as their efforts in outreach, training, education, and support for individuals and groups throughout the area.

White Bird Opioid Treatment Program

White Bird Clinic has recently started a medication assisted treatment program for opioid abuse and dependence and now have a suboxone prescriber. The White Bird Opioid Treatment Program is designed to support individuals who are breaking the chain of opiate use. The program connects clients with a suboxone prescriber and supportive services with our behavioral and mental health counseling services.

Once admitted into Chrysalis Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic, a client will be connected with a counselor for weekly counseling sessions to support the client’s individual goals. The client will also have access to group counseling and other support services such as; an Acupuncture Clinic, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Peer Support. Chrysalis also has a specialized opiate group “The Ethos Group.” Where individuals can find a supportive environment with others who are also breaking the chain of opiate use and discuss specific issues related to opiate use. Once a client has been assessed for medication assisted treatment appointments with our medical provider will be arranged for suboxone services. Weekly counseling sessions along with weekly medical appointments will be required for suboxone maintenance.

To enroll in the White Bird Suboxone Program, call 541-683-1641 or come by our office at 350 East 11th Avenue Eugene, Or. and ask for our data packet. Once the new client data packet is completed an intake can be scheduled. There will also be a mandatory TB test required for scheduling an intake and that can be performed at our White Bird Medical Clinic or at an individual’s primary care doctor’s office if they currently have a primary care doctor.

White Bird Suboxone Program has reserved slots for homeless individuals to ensure services are provided to those who need it most. There are also a select number of slots for individuals who are not experiencing homelessness. We accept OHP and have funding for scholarships for individuals who do not have insurance. If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 541-683-1641 or come by our office.

White Bird to provide free, walk in counseling at the Downtown Eugene Public Library

Starting March 5, White Bird will offer free, confidential walk-in counseling and referral for individuals at the Downtown Eugene Public Library.

In brief sessions, professional staff will provide a listening ear, emotional support, information about local resources, and practical problem-solving assistance.

This service will be available Mondays through Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and on Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The new walk-in service at the Downtown Library is supported by a one-year grant from Lane County. The aim is to increase community access to White Bird’s services by providing a convenient schedule at a centrally-located site.

For more information about this service, or to reach White Bird’s 24/7 hotline, call 541-687-4000.

Remembering Dr Contreras

Our dentist, Dr Sixto Contreras died on October 11.

Dr. Contreras graduated from OHSU in 1994. He opened a private dental practice in Coos Bay Oregon. He was a native Spanish speaker who believed in supporting public health.

At one time in the clinic history we were struggling to hire a dentist. Dr. Contreras arranged his schedule so that he could work several days in a row at White Bird every other week. This allowed us to keep our grants and provide excellent care for patients.

Since 2012, Dr. Contreras made the drive from Coos Bay on Fridays for our 7 a.m. walk- in clinic.

He never missed a day, including the morning an accident disabled his car. He called a tow truck and made it to the office in time to see the first patient.

On Saturdays he worked at Lane Community College’s Clock Tower Clinic. Spanish speaking patients at both clinics were relieved to have a native speaker.

Dr Contreras was an energetic man who enjoyed motorcycles, kayaking and cooking. He taught Cuban cooking classes at Fifth Street Public Market.

He was a foodie who often brought Cuban beans to share and enjoyed taking staff out for Indian food lunches.

Many, many Lane County residents have been relieved from dental pain by treatment provided by Dr. Contreras.

He leaves a big hole in public dentistry and in our hearts. We hope he rests in peace.

Remembering Bob Dritz, A White Bird Clinic Original

  JAN 27, 2017
http://klcc.org/post/remembering-bob-dritz-white-bird-clinic-original

Friends, family and countless members of Eugene’s homeless community have lost a tireless advocate. Robert “Bob” Dritz, one of the earliest administrators of White Bird Clinic, died peacefully in hospice on January 15th. For this tribute, KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert sat down with two of his colleagues at White Bird to talk about the man and his legacy.

Bob Dritz was born in Bronxville, New York in 1946, the big brother of three sisters. He suffered from asthma as a child, a condition that often kept him inside. Friends say this is what developed his lifelong love of books.

Dritz went to college and taught English for a time. In the late ’70s, he eschewed work in California finance and lit out to find his real purpose. Dritz found it here, at Eugene’s White Bird Clinic, a fledgling non-profit agency dedicated to helping the poor, sick and disenfranchised.

Cori Taggart first met Bob Dritz while on a tour for new White Bird volunteers in 1979. The future crisis counselor remembers what she saw:

Wry smile: “These round glasses and a twinkle in his eye and this wry smile–he kinda gave us a wave as we walked through and I said to myself, ‘That is a very interesting looking man.”

The two later became intimate partners and then after that, they remained close.

Taggart: “He really respected women for their intelligence, their independence. He would never make cracks about a woman’s body or anything like that. That was just not him. When really smart women said something, he didn’t need to outdo them.”

At White Bird, Dritz quickly went from bookkeeper to program coordinator. Taggart recalls how he once handled a threat to cut crisis funding.

Taggart: “He showed up at that meeting with a phone book. When it was his turn to speak, he said ‘I want to speak to the importance of this crisis line to our community.’ He opened the phone book and on the front page with all the other emergency numbers was White Bird Crisis. The funding was restored.”

Not interested in the trappings of leadership, Dritz developed an equitable pay structure at White Bird that kept administration square in the middle. For more than a decade, Dee Hall worked with him.

Hall says Dritz was always humble, in attitude and dress. He usually wore jeans and a tee shirt to work.

Hall: “But his concession to being the public spokesman for White Bird was to take the cinnamon colored leather jacket off the back of the admin door.”

And then there was his memorable head of black hair, often tucked under a straw hat.

Hall: “For those of you who knew Bobby, it was amazing. Before he went out to a meeting, he grabbed the hairbrush out of his desk and he would brush his hair very carefully. And then he would put his hand over it and mix it like an egg beater. He reveled in the tussled look.”

Taggart: “Walking into a meeting of county commissioners or important people of some sort…you know he might have a simple little bag while other people would have these beautiful leather briefcases, sharp suits and great ties and everything. But when Bob opened his mouth, they started to listen.”

Friends and colleagues will miss Bob Dritz’s wry sense of humor. After creating White Bird’s mobile crisis unit, Hall says he decided on the acronym CAHOOTS.

Hall: “Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Street, the joke behind that one is that as an old hippie agency, suddenly we were in cahoots with the police. It was a surprise to all of us.”

In 2007, after 25 years of service, Bob Dritz retired from the clinic he helped build. Hall says, Dritz was deeply committed to the collective nature of White Bird.

Hall:”So we would often talk about how can we remain a collective and do the work that’s needed in the community. That structure continues and even with the new generation of White Birders, be believed we’d be able to keep the magic going into the next generation.”

The agency is now synonymous with crisis counseling, medical, dental, and drug and alcohol treatment for people living in poverty or on the streets.

In early January, Bob Dritz developed a blood infection. Codi Taggart was with him when he decided to stop treatment. She sat at his bedside and thanked him for everything.

Taggart: “He looked at me and he nodded and he said, ‘I gave it my all.’ And he did.”

Bob Dritz would have turned 71 on February 5th, 2017. A lover of the arts, poetry and a fan of Bob Dylan if ever there was one.