Posted by Sue Gochis on Jan 16, 2019
 Staying true to the Rotary mission of "enhancing the quality of life and human dignity," the RotaCare program continues to serve the Santa Cruz community.  RotaCare is a Rotary supported, volunteer alliance of medical professionals, organizations, and community members that offers free medical care to a population among  approximately 54,000 uninsured and underinsured residents of Santa Cruz County.
Every Tuesday, the Live Oak Senior Center at 1777 Capitola Road, is transformed into a fully operational medical clinic, complete with a waiting room, intake areas, and three exam rooms.  Operational hours run from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm.  The doors open at 5 pm and operate on a first come-first served model. Ron Sekkel, the Clinic Operations Manager, accentuated the philosophy of the program stating that "patients who need to see a doctor will see a doctor -- no patient is turned away!"  It is this type of commitment and passion that makes the clinic so special.   
The Santa Cruz RotaCare Free Medical Clinic was originally started by Area 7 Rotary Clubs, led by the original founder, John Fisher.  John's leadership was instrumental in shaping the clinic into the incredible service it has become.  Over twenty volunteers show up each Tuesday to support the program and approximately 15-30 patients are seen each week.  
As a Sunrise Rotarian, you might be wondering what YOU can do to support RotaCare?
#1.   The Sunrise Club supports RotaCare financially each year. Despite the fact that our Santa Cruz clinic has no personnel costs associated with the program since all individuals volunteer their time, there is still a financial need for the facility rental, insurance, and the purchase of medical supplies. Our Sunrise donations to RotaCare assist with those costs.  Be sure to give when the call is made!
#2.  You can contact Ron Sekkel at to volunteer to serve on Tuesdays.  Whether you are a medical professional or not, there is a role to play in the clinic.  The clinic needs individuals to set up and tear down the clinic each Tuesday, greet prospective patients, complete data entry on the computer, and medical professionals to assess and treat patients.  You don't have to commit to every Tuesday either.  
#3.   You can spread the word about the clinic.  Promote the program to any other service groups you might be a part of or post a flyer in your workplace.  Santa Cruz has a need and it's important to get the word out to our community about this opportunity.
#4.   You can thank those who serve at the clinic.   Individuals such as John Fisher, Ron Sekkel, Sister Michaella, Doug Deaver, Laura Grinder, Dr. Satish Chandra, Dr. Art Dover, Dr. Jay Johnson, Dr. Jack Watson, Dr. Greg Whitley, Nancy Elliot - PA, Kathryn Grifo - NP, Kristina Rohrkemper - PA, Sharon Smeddon - RN, Vicki Voll - RN, James Cranston - EMT, Jamie Bishop, Millie Brewster, Lynette Cleland, Larry Fogelquist, Paul Mangasarian, Leah Kahn, Cindy Sekkel, Brenda Mee, Susie Leuck, Win Fernald, Diana Etwaru, Eileen Nguyen, Brian Sangalang, Lindsay Parker, Jean Paul Orogo, Kay Sato, and organizations such as The Dignity Health Community Foundation, Dignity Hospital, The Rotary Clubs of San Lorenzo Valley, Santa Cruz Sunrise, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Capitola/Aptos, and Freedom.  
Let's be sure to do our part to continue to support our local RotaCare.