WAKING UP IN AMERICA by Jr. Greer

WAKING UP IN AMERICA

How One Doctor Brings Hope to Those Who Need It Most

KIRKUS REVIEW

Inspiring memoirs of a remarkable physician whose dedication to helping the homeless has changed the face of health care in Miami. Winner of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, Greer, aided here by a Pulitzer-winning journalist at the Miami Herald, tells of his pledge, made on the sudden death of his young sister, never to let any one die or suffer alone. A Cuban who was born in the US by chance, he seems to moves easily between the worlds of Anglo and Spanish, rich and poor, powerful and helpless. In 1984, the lonely death of a local homeless man sent Greer, then an intern at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, looking for the man’s family. The search led him to Camillus House, a shelter for the homeless, where he soon set up a tiny free walk-in clinic. At risk to his own safety, Greer scoured the mudflats under the bridges and highways to tell alcoholics, drug addicts, and other down-and-outers living there in crates and boxes about his free clinic and persuade them to come in for treatment. With furnishings and supplies and medicines scavenged by the resourceful Greer and care provided by fellow volunteers, the Camillus House clinic thrived and eventually grew to a multistory center named after Greer’s dead sister. Greer acquired an education in raising funds and applying for grants, and he soon opened other clinics in Little Havana and in South Dade migrant labor camps. By 1991, the intrepid Greer had become the first assistant dean of homeless education at the University of Miami School of Medicine, with rotations of medical students staffing the clinics. Sharp in its indictment of profit-hungry HMOs that sign up homeless patients for their Medicaid-paid fees but don—t serve them, hospital administrators who refuse admission to the under- or uninsured, and out-of-touch Washington policymakers, Greer’s text offers spirited testimony to the difference one committed individual can make

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-684-83547-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1999




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