Monday, March 19, 2012

OCHS Holds Fundraiser in Wellfleet

Wellfleet cocktail parties have a reputation for being awesome and the party yesterday at Gracie Smith’s beautiful home was no exception. It was exciting to hob-nob with guests, many of whom read this blog and told me so ... Fun!

The occasion was a fundraiser for Outer Cape Health, our community health care center. Medical staff members and doctors attended, as did several artists and playwrights, two former and one present Selectmen, shopkeepers, innkeepers, gallery owners, Senator Dan Wolf’s assistant Seth Rolbein, and a contingent from the Preservation Hall Board. The food was excellent and plentiful; the company, stimulating. I had heard about Gracie’s parties and must concur that she’s one amazing hostess. Gracie circulated, making sure everyone had a good time. Bruce Bierhans, President of the OCHS Board of Directors, worked the crowd in much the same way, as did CEO Sally Deane. The upbeat mood and congenial atmosphere made for a most enjoyable evening.

During the short “speeches” interlude, Sally Deane emphasized that OCHS, “makes it safe and possible to live here.” She mentioned the recent pharmacy creation and the OCHS Web site that features new video endorsement from Marge Piercy. Sally explained there’s a constant need for money not only to fund renovation projects, but because our community medical center helps 6000 people per year get on health insurance and serves their needs in the interim. No one in need is turned away. She then introduced Dr. Barbara Prazak, who has been “holding the fort of high-quality health care for 23 years.”

Our medical director said, “I’m proud to be working at OCHS with people I trust. We make every effort to take care of every patient.” Dr. Prazak mentioned the introduction of prenatal services, in partnership with Cape Cod Hospital, and of new specialty care with a cardiologist. She compared the 1961 Wellfleet building on Route 6 to a homemade apple pie, crumbling on the outside but oh so worthwhile inside. The crumbling will end thanks to a renovation project that will soon go before the Conservation Commission. Dr. Prazak also mentioned a new narcotic abuse recovery program and improvement of mental health services. She emphasized that most of the medical staff, herself included, are residents of the Outer Cape. “I live here, too. These are my neighbors. These are my friends,” she concluded to a round of applause.

What she was describing sounds ideal for our small town: community-oriented health care. Wellfleet is fortunate to have OCHS. Here is the crumbling "apple pie," with its nine examination rooms in one very small building. Summer visitors and tourists can also avail themselves of the excellent doctors and nurses who work here. Please remember to support Outer Cape Health Services as your circumstances allow ...