Updated: Jul 26
For more than a year the Ithaca Free Clinic has been operating without someone in the position of Chronic Care Program (CCP) Manager. Our Clinic Manager, Luz Rivera, has kindly stepped in to fill this role as best he can. Thankfully, Luz no longer has to shoulder this additional responsibility, as we are thrilled to announce that Robbie (he/him) has joined our staff team as CCP Manager.
Robbie is excited to join the Ithaca community and build meaningful connections with individuals and organizations. He's proud to advocate for the communities he’s part of, including LGBTQ+ community, Latine folks, people with mental health challenges, and those who live at the intersection of these identities. Prior to his recent move to Ithaca, Robbie worked in the Oakland, CA area in various capacities for both public and private agencies. His passion and dedication to these previous roles stood out to us at the Free Clinic. Most notably, Robbie has provided mental health services to Latine families and caregivers, guided human services professionals through cultural competency trainings, and cared for foster youth, all while respecting the needs and voice of the patient and their loved ones.
Robbie's non-judgmental, compassionate care style is exactly what we want for our Chronic Care Program and its patients. The program began out of a demonstrated need by our patients who were struggling to manage their long-term conditions. With a focus on integrative care, a program was born where providers of allopathic, osteopathic, and holistic healing modalities could collaborate to coordinate the care of patients with chronic illnesses. By focusing on case management, patient autonomy, and combined modern/integrative healing methods, the CCP forms a balanced and "doable" model for all participants.
Services are regularly changing based on volunteer availability, but historically the Chronic Care Program has offered healing methods like chiropractic medicine, acupuncture, nutritional counseling from licensed dieticians and nutritionists, occupational therapy, and herbalism.
Robbie aims to stabilize the program, beginning with the assurance that each person actively enrolled in the CCP will have full access to the breadth of integrative and medical services we offer. The importance of patient autonomy is still key to the program. Whole-person health care and person-centric visits are cornerstones of the program that Robbie hopes to continue and expand.
Expansion of services is one of the most crucial elements of Robbie's plan to revitalize the program. This includes bringing back previously offered services (e.g. Mental health care, massage therapy, reiki), adding new services (e.g. audiology, pain management, endocrinology, etc.), and supplement existing services with more volunteer providers.
Finally, Robbie highlights the need for the Free Clinic to collaborate with other health and human services agencies in the Ithaca area. By joining forces with agencies that have missions congruent to our own, we can help fellow organizations, reach more vulnerable community members, and assist in covering one another's service gaps. The relationships that Robbie and the rest of the clinic build with the community are one of the best tools we have to address health inequity and injustice in our community.
If you wish to contact Robbie about the Chronic Care Program or his professional interests, he can be reached at email@example.com. Those wishing to offer their expertise as a clinical volunteer can contact Su (Volunteer & Outreach Manager) at firstname.lastname@example.org.