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Why me? What difference could I possibly make?

August 27, 2012  |  By Jerry Forman, Esq., Member, Duffy Health Center Board of Directors

When Elyse DeGroot, Duffy’s Director of Community Relations and Marketing, asked for board members to help with the Clinic’s blog calendar, I wondered what I would have to say that anyone would want to read. Then I thought a little more and remembered why I had joined the board in the first place and it all boiled down to wanting to make a difference.

I often think about what life must have been like for Anne Frank, the little Jewish girl who was a fatal victim of tyranny and hatred many years ago, and am reminded of her remarkable unrelenting optimism when she observed how lucky we are not to have to wait even one moment before beginning to improve the world. I believe in her hopefulness and the vital importance of assisting my neighbor. Duffy Health Center’s mission to prevent and reduce homelessness through community teamwork and by providing medical, behavioral health and housing services to our neighbors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, is a critical component in improving the world. Duffy’s mission is well crafted and implemented by a creative and dedicated hard working staff. It is my privilege to serve on the Board of Directors and play a small part in Duffy’s task. Unfortunately, experience tells that there will always be homeless neighbors who may be in need of help, but fittingly there is Duffy Health Center doing its best to meet their needs.

My board experience has taught me about “Best Practices” and “Motivational Interviewing” and “Harm Reduction,” but again, what I really think it boils down to is the relationship between the medical provider and their patient. The Case Manager and that client who needs one more chance. And the Behavioral Health clinician running the early recovery groups, knowing that if she reaches just one person it could change his or her world.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

For more information about the best practices that Duffy uses in the work they do please visit: