Oregon’s oldest rural health clinic perseveres two years after devastating Holiday Farm Fire

Two yrs ago, the Holiday getaway Farm Fireplace ruined the town of Blue River. These days, the land — and people today — are still in a state of recovery. On the working day of the 2nd anniversary of the devastating fireplace, KLCC revisits the McKenzie River Valley’s only health-related clinic, which has continued to care for traumatized residents.

Just moving into the doorways of this rural clinic, Local community Health and fitness Employee Daisy Cruz is on the mobile phone with a affected individual — “Can I support you with any other prescriptions?”

Shawn DuFault is Clinical Assistant at Orchid Health McKenzie River Clinic and a volunteer hearth fighter and very first responder.

Tiffany Eckert/KLCC

Then I meet up with Shawn DuFault — she’s the health-related assistant here at Orchid Wellness McKenzie River Clinic.

“And I’m also a area volunteer firefighter and initially responder,” she added. To which I requested, “So, you are prepared to go, boots on the ground if you are required?”

“Oh indeed. We fought a wildfire in my neighborhood a few months ago and defended two homes properly. So, it’s an day to day issue upriver. To just be there for your neighborhood and know that we are wanted — and the local community supports us far too,” she said.

Two several years have passed considering the fact that the Vacation Farm fireplace obliterated Blue River. In just one evening, all the spots that make a town were gone: the library, the firehouse and the only health clinic for fifty miles.

DuFault remembers how clinic team rallied.

Orchid Heath McKenzie River Clinic's Medical Assistant Shawn DuFault (left) and Community Health Worker, Daisy Cruz, hold down the health care fort. They say they love their patients.

Orchid Heath McKenzie River Clinic’s Professional medical Assistant Shawn DuFault (left) and Neighborhood Health and fitness Employee, Daisy Cruz, maintain down the health treatment fort. They say they adore their individuals.

Tiffany Eckert/KLCC

“The day soon after the fire, it was just all ashes and rubble and the local community pulled collectively and we threw up a tent out in the lawn outside of the aged Rustic Skillet or the Quilt Store and a pair days later on the proprietor gave us the keys and we just turned the Quilt Store into a clinic,” DuFault reported. “And it has operated as these types of ever because. Each and every working day just finding superior and superior.”

The new location is about 6 miles from Blue River in Rainbow. The clinic has expanded expert services, with pediatrics and urgent care. DuFault says they are including behavioral wellbeing and a neighborhood wellbeing worker to offer outreach in the course of the ongoing fire recovery.

“Because it’s not actually about yesterday,” DuFault reported. “It’s far more about tomorrow.”

“We are survivors of the fire. We misplaced our residence in it.”

Cheryl and James Shirley moved to the McKenzie Valley 5 several years ago.

Aftermath: The burnt-out site of the former McKenzie River Clinic in Blue River. Design plans are underway to rebuild the clinic on the same site. Meantime, the clinic still operates out of the renovated Quilt Shop in Rainbow.

Aftermath: The burnt-out website of the former McKenzie River Clinic in Blue River. Style and design plans are underway to rebuild the clinic on the identical site. Meantime, the clinic even now operates out of the renovated Quilt Shop in Rainbow.

Tiffany Eckert/KLCC

“Have you started rebuilding?” I requested.

Reticently Cheryl answered, “Oh, that’s discouraging. There’s a bunch of purple tape and obtaining financing has been tremendous hard. So, um we’re hunting at different avenues on what we will need to do due to the fact our kids are drained of remaining on major of every single other. We’re in RV trailers on our home.”

On this two-12 months anniversary of the fireplace, the couple truly would like to speak about this rural health clinic and what it is meant to them right after so considerably loss and trauma.

“All of the staff here have been tremendous phenomenal,” Shirley mentioned. “They’ve began programs like um — me and my spouse are diabetics — about educating more. And how to assistance us and find out extra about how our body operates with the disability.” Cheryl points to a smiling youthful female keeping a chart. “She advocates for what is ideal.”

A view of the former site of the McKenzie River Clinic, two years to the day after it burned to the ground during the Holiday Farm Fire. (September 7, 2020-September 7, 2022)

A view of the previous web page of the McKenzie River Clinic, two many years to the working day just after it burned to the ground throughout the Holiday Farm Hearth. (September 7, 2020-September 7, 2022)

Tiffany Eckert/KLCC

“Hi, I’m Lizzy Cramer, Nurse Practitioner. I choose treatment of all ages. I manage main treatment. I choose treatment of a ton of the aged in our community and I actually love and focus in persistent suffering administration,” she claimed. “I attempt to provide a compassionate tactic that is judgment no cost.”

Cramer moved to the McKenzie Valley from Kansas. She lives off Highway 126 in Nimrod and says it’s weird to have a new residence in a melt away scar. But searching previous the destruction, Cramer finds solace in nature’s resiliency.

“I signify I even tell my patients if they’re feeling kinda unfortunate or depressed, I’ll tell them to get a look,” she explained. “Take a appear at their region and see what has burned and see what they can discover that is gorgeous in it. And clients have occur back again with all types of seriously great experiences about things.”

Following 19 years marriage, the Shirleys "adore" living in the upper McKenzie Valley with their three kids. Even though they lost their home to the HFF and continue to work on whole family health challenges, they credit this health clinic with their success.

Adhering to 19 yrs marriage, the Shirleys “adore” residing in the upper McKenzie Valley with their 3 young children. Even nevertheless they lost their dwelling to the HFF and continue to operate on entire family members overall health challenges, they credit history this health and fitness clinic with their accomplishment.

Tiffany Eckert/KLCC

James Shirley fidgeted with his mask when I request if he understood that the McKenzie River Clinic is the oldest rural health clinic in all of Oregon.

“Actually — I did not,” he replied. “All I know is I appreciate coming right here. I am a veteran and I’m working with Veteran’s Choice to truly occur up here in its place of likely down to Eugene for my care. I’m effectively-addressed and I like coming in this article.”

Licensed Nurse Practitioner Elizabeth Cramer is newly transplanted from Kansas to Nimrod, Ore. She specializes in chronic pain management with an approach that is "compassionate and judgement free."

Licensed Nurse Practitioner Elizabeth Cramer is freshly transplanted from Kansas to Nimrod, Ore. She specializes in long-term suffering administration with an method that is “compassionate and judgement no cost.”

Tiffany Eckert/KLCC

The Shirleys have 3 sons who also get their health care below.

“The oldest and the youngest are on the autism spectrum. And so, finding them to open up and turn out to be snug with people today in the initial location, is pretty complicated,” he reported. “The actuality that when they arrive right here, it’s really open, they like going to the individuals in this article, so they belief them. It is really excellent for us. Due to the fact they are receiving the treatment that they have to have and we’re receiving the aid we need.”

Nineteen years of marriage and three sons keep Cheryl and James Shirley interested in their health and grateful to the McKenzie River Clinic staff.

Nineteen yrs of relationship and a few sons preserve Cheryl and James Shirley intrigued in their well being and grateful to the McKenzie River Clinic staff members.

Tiffany Eckert/KLCC

The transformation from quilt store to completely performing, interim professional medical clinic has been remarkable. Even now, DuFault has robust opinions about rebuilding the clinic on the web-site where by it was destroyed two several years back.

“I feel it is vital. We have to have to, as a neighborhood, appear collectively and present that we’re even now below. And that we’re vivid and that we’re prepared to experience the potential alongside one another. And I believe the rebuilding of not only the clinic, but the fireplace office and the library will truly reestablish the downtown Blue River region as the put to be.”

"So, it’s an everyday thing upriver. To just be there for your community and know that we are needed- and the community supports us too,” says the medical assistant at Orchid Health McKenzie River Clinic. This event over the weekend is one such example.

“So, it’s an day-to-day matter upriver. To just be there for your neighborhood and know that we are required- and the group supports us way too,” states the health-related assistant at Orchid Health McKenzie River Clinic. This occasion in excess of the weekend is a person these kinds of case in point.

Courtesy of McKenzie River Clinic