Meet Tina Bailey – Resourceful Survivor
Tina Bailey has always been resilient. At 61, she’s the mother of three children and grandmother to 11 grandchildren. She’s held a variety of jobs to provide for her family, including working for non-profit organizations and as a professional seamstress on large-scale projects.
When Tina lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic, she felt lost. But, ever resourceful, she turned a small boat into a makeshift home because she had nowhere else to go and didn’t want to burden her children. It wasn’t easy, as the boat lacked electricity and water had to be hauled in.
Tina made the situation work — until she couldn’t. She fell ill and required surgery to remove her spleen. Having dealt with a number of serious medical issues in the past, she was distrustful of the healthcare system. As she explained, “By that point, I had put up a wall.”
Marin Community Clinics Team Rebuilds Trust
Through a collaboration between Marin Community Clinics and MarinHealth, Tina was referred to Esme Cullen, MD, MPH,
Associate Site Medical Director. Although Dr. Cullen’s responsibility was simply to clear Tina for surgery, she did more than that, always checking in with Tina after their appointments. She also saw the life challenges Tina was facing and referred her to a Complex Care Case Manager, Jodie Campbell, MSW. Our Complex Care Case Managers work with patients who have multiple issues such as inadequate housing, abuse, lack of family support, and limited income. As Campbell explains, “We do a lot of advocating from a lot of different angles.”
“Once that trust was built at Marin Community Clinics, I completely changed my mind,” reports Tina. “Jodie and Dr. Cullen held me accountable and set goals for me.” In addition to earning Tina’s respect, they also determined she was eligible for life-changing Medi-Cal insurance and connected her with the Clinics’ Enrollment Services team.
New Direction, New Beginnings
After surgery, Tina was more vulnerable than ever. Struggling with balance issues, she was at high risk for falls, so returning to her boat was not an option. Campbell stepped in, helping Tina set some immediate goals, including referring her to New Beginnings Center – an 80-bed shelter in Novato operated by Homeward Bound of Marin. Today, Tina is living at New Beginnings while awaiting an apartment through the Marin Housing Authority. Her progress, according to Campbell, has been amazing. She still comes to the Clinics to see Dr. Cullen and will remain with Campbell until she has all the tools necessary to independently achieve her goals. “When patients are ready to ‘graduate’ from Complex Care, they’re listening, learning, and following through with the care plan we create for them,” said Campbell. “Tina is well on her way.” Recently, Tina graduated from Homeward Bounds’ Fresh Starts Culinary Academy and is excited about finding work putting her culinary skills to use. “If it wasn’t for Marin Community Clinics, I don’t think I’d be mentally capable of going this far,” she says. “Between Jodie and Dr. Cullen, they gave me direction.”