What began as a temporary first aid tent along the Occupy Eugene movement in October 2011, morphed into the Occupy Medical clinic in February 2012. It's there that every Sunday from noon to 4p.m., volunteers gather at their mobile clinic to make a difference by offering free healthcare in downtown Eugene, Oregon.
Sue Sieralupe, a certified herbalist, was one of the founders of Occupy Medical. She has been the clinic manager since it started.
“What we are trying to do is show Oregonians what it looks like to have single-payer,” she says, a system in which the government pays for all health care costs. “It doesn't matter how much money you have, how much insurance you have, what your background is, if you need help - you get help. That's it .”
With around 30 volunteers, including ten nurses, three doctors, three people on the herbal supplement team, four people in the mental health committee and two people on the pharmacy team, Occupy Medical provides 100 percent free treatment. If the volunteers can't offer the service needed, they also go “behind the scenes” in other organizations to help people through it.
As the clinic manager, Sieralupe solicits funds, donations and supplies. She looks at the volunteers’ background to put them in the right job. She is also the spokesperson for Occupy Medical. She attends panels with other healthcare advocates, and gives classes at OSU on how to open your own clinic.