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When Homer came to MultiCare, he was sleeping in his van

Posted on Jul. 16, 2019 ( comments)
Homer Wells with his personal health partner, Anna Hobson.

It used to seem that hospitals only took care of you when you walked through the doors and stayed within the walls. Today, health care practitioners are more likely to wonder what caused you to come to the hospital in the first place and if there might be a root problem that needs solving.

To help some of the sickest patients, MultiCare created the role of “personal health partner.” A personal health partner works with a patient and often their family members to identify the root cause of what’s bringing the person to the hospital or making a condition worse.

One person who came to a MultiCare hospital was Homer Wells, a man who had driven from Georgia to Washington to get a new start in life. Wells brought his van, which is equipped with carpet cleaning equipment. Wells found it slow going in Washington for an independent operator who was trying to convince people to clean their carpets during the Pacific Northwest winter.

Wells found himself sleeping in his van — not in the back where all his equipment is bolted down, but in the only space available, across the front seats. He often slept in a parking lot along South 72nd Street that is constantly awash with noise from I-5. Wells liked that this parking lot had security cameras and was obviously in a rather public location.

So how did a MultiCare personal health partner help this homeless man? Wells very kindly agreed to let us share this story through video.

Wells is an example of the kind of patients the personal health partners get to know, says Zach Goodling, director of care continuum for MultiCare.

“Our goal is to take a holistic approach and develop holistic resources around these patients,” Goodling says.

About The Author

Walter Neary Walter Neary
Walter Neary is our content manager for internal communications. Before MultiCare, he was a newspaper reporter and editor, as well as a science writer and PR manager for Comcast, the University of Washington Health Sciences Center and UW Medicine in Seattle. More stories by this author
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