Care in Reach

cartographersstorylogo-tinyCartographer’s Story #8, submitted by an anonymous cartographer

I found out I was going to be a father in 3 months. This was 6 months after the non-profit I worked for ran out of funding for my position during the financial meltdown.

We were blessed with a healthy son. I fit right in with the group of graying bears watching their kids at the playground, except they were watching their grandkids.

About a year into being a stay at home dad, I found part time work. I was lucky — we had managed through a combination of good planning and dumb luck not to have lost our house to the bank. It was just in time.

To make ends meet, I complemented the 20 hours of salary with contracts; I was a stakeholder in the GIS gig economy.

Besides the stress and uncertainty at the time, it was a wonderful time to be a dad, and I was grateful that my wife’s job persisted. To make ends meet, I complemented the 20 hours of salary with contracts; I was a stakeholder in the GIS gig economy.

When I was at home, I had a strict regimen of shepherding analysis during the baby’s many naps during the day, and wrapping up for two hours after the 11 PM bottle feeding I gave the boy that allowed my wife much-needed sleep.

Through contacts at my part-time job I was asked if I could help with a site analysis: the task was to look at the addresses of all their patients over the past five years and compare them to the location of three parcels. They needed to move and expand their clinic. Instead of saying, “we just can’t take any more patients,” or “let’s find the place best for us,” they said “let’s find the place best for them.”

Patterns emerged, insight was gained, and the board of directors moved swiftly to secure a new site while the cost of real estate zoned for these services was at a record low. I was moved by their foresight, as well as how their hindsight and good planning combined with some well-timed analysis to make an efficient and effective decision.

Succinctly, that was wisdom; rare to see. It was lemons into lemonade and an honor to witness.

The people who go to this clinic now will continue to do so. The well-timed action put the clinic into a good place five years later, resilient to the wrecking ball being aimed directly at the poor and elderly by the officials who are supposed to serve and represent their communities. I hope those patients find good health instead, but until then, they have some help and a place to go for it.