Central City Concern (CCC) is relocating its Recuperative Care Program (RCP) to the former Comfort Inn at 8225 NE Wasco Street. From this new location, staff will provide ongoing medical and housing support for people recently discharged from the hospital but needing continued recovery assistance. Participants are referred directly from local hospitals, health plans, and outpatient providers, staying on the property for an average of four to six weeks.
CCC is purchasing the 66-unit former hotel to host the RCP program currently housed within the Blackburn Center at 122nd Avenue and E Burnside Street. That location often runs at its capacity of 51 participants. The program’s relocation to the NE 82nd Avenue building will allow it to expand to address the 25 to 35 patient referral waitlist. Beyond the added space, the new facility offers centrally located access to transportation through the adjacent Max station and the 72 Bus line. According to Jordan Wilhelms, director of CCC’s RCP program, many of their clients face mobility issues and need easy access to TriMet. “Having access to public transportation is critical to their recovery,” wrote Wilhelms in an email interview.
The RCP provides a critical service to recovering people who do not have access to post-treatment support. Medical respite care prevents recently discharged patients from relapsing and needing to be readmitted. Inadequate post-hospitalization care is a particular concern for unhoused individuals who do not have access to primary care or specialty outpatient care. CCC will provide on-site primary care and pharmacy support for RCP participants in the new building, so people staying on the property can have immediate access to those services. The health care and pharmacy services currently offered at Blackburn Center will remain at the E Burnside Street facility, while the soon-to-be vacated RCP space could help expand the supportive housing program offered in that building.
Since 2005, CCC has grown the RCP and often stands as an example to other communities facing similar issues. “We were early adopters of the medical respite care service and are routinely visited by governmental and organizational representatives from cities all over the country looking to replicate the model. Our service is built around connecting participants with appropriate health care, helping stabilize health conditions, and accessing much-needed housing support,” explained Wilhelms. They provide around-the-clock support for clients and a place for medical providers to refer patients experiencing homelessness and needing additional care to recover from an acute or chronic condition.
Sheltered people often accomplish post-hospital care at home with the assistance of their personal support network, but that option is not available to everyone. RCP partners OHSU, Providence, and Health Share rely on this program to discharge at-risk patients to a safe and supportive environment where they can receive continued care. Programs like RCP can save money and keep hospital beds open. With the RCP option, people do not need to extend their hospital stay solely because they have no medically sound place to go when released. The CCC is engaging neighborhood and business associations in conversations regarding this site, and people can direct questions to the senior director of public affairs with the CCC, Juliana Lukasik, at email@example.com.
Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the boards of the 82nd Avenue Business Association and Montavilla Neighborhood Association.
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