He has fond memories of growing up in Utica, going to a high school with just 345 students, and loving sports. Always a “people person,” he enjoyed helping others. He dreamed of going to Ohio Statein Columbus after high school, but it wasn’t til later that it he discovered the love of medicine that would shape his career path.
Since retirement from his anesthesiology practice,Dr. Beebe has volunteered at the Venice Friendship Centers both as the medical director and as a physician caring for patients. He is on the Board of Governors of the Freindship Centers, and immediate past chair of the board.
“Every day in our clinic, we see common dilemmas: people in their 50s and 60s are still reeling with the loss of jobs with few, if any, new opportunities in sight. Struggling financially, homes in foreclosure, they are one step away from losing everything. Despite having worked all of their lives the downturn in our economy leaves them living at near or below poverty level.
People over the age of 65 struggle to live on Social Security, unable to afford Medicare Supplemental Insurance to cover lab costs and medical services. In almost all cases, dental care has fallen to the bottom of their priority lists. Some have gone without care for years, or even decades. Having missing front teeth makes it even more difficult to find a job, decay and infection puts patients at risk for cardiovascular problems.
Fortunately, there is a place they can turn for medical and dental care in our community: Senior Friendship Centers Health Clinic. We have a wonderful group of volunteer physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, dental aides, hygienists and other professionals, but we don’t currently have enough volunteers to meet the numbers of people who are waiting for care. Without our services, including chronic disease management and preventive care, many will, unfortunately, end up in hospital emergency rooms, at an enormous cost to our community.
For me, the best part of volunteering at the Clinic is being able to continue doing what I love – practicing medicine. It’s very satisfying to see how we change lives. We see our patients getting better. We see the relief on their faces when they find care without adding undue stress to their financial burdens, because our medical fees are on a sliding scale based on ability to pay and our dental fees are modest, helping to cover lab and materials costs only.”
Last year in Sarasota County, the Friendship Centers Center for Healthy Aging Medical and Dental Services provided more than 12,807 patient visits for older adults in need. You can help make sure this vital service continues. Donate to the Friendship Centers in the Giving Partner Challenge between noon, May 6 and noon May 7.