The multi-talented Bob Reilly has assisted with driving for Patrons for Peace Project for many years and this is no easy task. He is called upon frequently for emergencies to transport clients to many destinations. Some of these destinations are out of state. Situations that arise often need immediate attention or an opportunity to help someone may be lost. One homeless man decided in January that he finally wanted to detox from alcohol. The problem was that no treatment center in the State of Maryland would accept his Medicare. A treatment center in Ohio took his insurance, so Bob drove him there. He ended up driving through snow on a mountain to reach the destination. Another time Bob picked up a woman and her therapy dog in the middle of the night (His wife came with him on this trip) to get her on a Greyhound bus away from her abusive boyfriend. She had been beaten and was fleeing to a relative’s house in another state.
Bob’s personality is such that he is very in tune with a person’s mood, anxiety, and fear. He has an innate ability to instantly connect with the client he is transporting and has been known to stop on the way (If necessary) for fast food or a soft drink to help soothe the client. He has taken people to the hospital, to court, picked them up from jail, moved them from unsafe living situations, transported them to medical appointments and the list goes on. A disabled man who Patrons for Peace Project helped for a few years came clean about his past. He admitted that he had a warrant in South Carolina, and he had fled the area and came to Maryland. We took him to the police (at his request) so he could turn himself in, but his crime was not extraditable. Bob was called and drove him to South Carolina so he could turn himself in there to face his crime. He also helped to find his family and there was a sweet reunion. (The client’s family thought he was deceased.) Bob recently was called to help with a dangerous and volatile situation where police back-up was needed. Diving right in, he quickly helped to move the client and his belongings to safety.
There are many things that Bob does for Patrons for Peace that confidentiality rules prevent us from telling you about. But we can tell you that Bob is worldly, enthusiastic, upbeat and can talk with the clients on an array of topics during the transport. Some of the clients find out he is a talented musician and music becomes the topic. Other clients report they have been grateful that he has prayed with them as they face a difficult situation. Bob is an outstanding client advocate on so many levels. Bob you are so appreciated, and we could not engage in the kind of work we do without you.
This July, Patrons for Peace Project features Kathy Barron, a psychiatric nurse who has worked for QCI Behavioral Health in Upper Marlboro for the past 15 years. Kathy has helped our organization with clients we are trying to stabilize once we refer them to QCI. She works tirelessly as part of a psychiatric mobile behavioral team helping to manage her client’s needs by coming to them. One of the many geographical areas she covers is Laurel.
Kathy’s communication skills are excellent, and she is empathetic – understanding the daily struggles that consumers of mental health mobile team services endure. Kathy’s clients are extremely fortunate because she displays a warm, energetic, non-judgmental, and engaging personality. The care she gives to her clients is tailored to each person’s need, not a one size fits all approach.
She meets her clients where they are most comfortable, and the locations are as diverse as she is flexible. These include but are not limited to outdoor benches, fast-food restaurants, apartments, houses, libraries, outside her car, at a worksite when a client is on lunch break and the list goes on. When she meets them usually once or twice a month, she uses her skills at assessing how they are doing and checking medication concerns and compliance. Her duties are many and often may include health education, medication education, giving injections, and taking vital signs. Although she is the nurse, she is often the person who has to coordinate care with the entire team including the psychiatrist, Nurse Practitioner, therapist, case manager, mobile outreach transportation team, the scheduling department, pharmacies, primary care physicians, and local hospitals when clients decompensate.
Kathy uses her critical thinking skills daily and is quick on her feet thinking ahead often helping to prevent a client from being hospitalized. She displays incredible stamina and resilience in her position as a nurse. I once referred to Kathy as the glue of the QCI Behavioral Health organization. I honestly do not think anyone knows all that she does in a job that enables her to care for a population of people that are often overlooked, ignored, and frankly mistreated. Not only does she care for them, she genuinely cares about them and continues to up-lift them day after day.
We are grateful for Kathy’s efforts and thank her so much for all that she does to help Patrons for Peace Project! We could not do our work without her. She is a big part of our success.