Story posted August 12, 2010
Brunswick's Oasis Healthcare Center, founded by Dr. Peter McGuire '62, is among a handful of free medical clinics in Maine offering healthcare services at no charge to an estimated 12,000 low-income patients.
McGuire and two students working at Oasis over the summer — Shanthi Purushotham '12, a Preston Public Interest Career Fund Fellow through the Career Planning Center, and Rachel Turkel '11, a Community Matters in Maine Community Action Fellow through the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good — are included in a segment that aired on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN).
An excerpt from the transcript of the segment:
Another problem faced by many Oasis clients is that they don't understand what the doctor or nurse is telling them, says McGuire.
This so-called communications gap is an area the center is trying to address.
"They don't understand what hypertension is, or hyperlipidemia, or even terms like high blood pressure or diabetes is.
They know they have diabetes, but they don't know what diabetes is," said Shanti Purushotham.
"She is heading into her junior year at nearby Bowdoin college.
She's volunteering at Oasis as part of a summer fellowship program.
Her role involves tackling this problem of 'medical literacy' by developing a training program for medical providers, to help them better communicate with their patients and make sure they take the drugs that are prescribed to them.