“ ... The free clinic is the brainchild of the dean of the WSU veterinary school, Bryan K. Slinker [DVM, PhD], and *Peter Rabinowitz [MD, MPH], who is a physician and a professor at the University of Washington.
“A lot of times people come and they say, ‘I need care for my animal because I know my animal needs care.’ And they may not emphasize right at the beginning that they actually could use some health care themselves,” Rabinowitz says.
He explains many people with housing issues avoid customary clinics, especially members of the transgender community who feel misunderstood medically.
Clients at the clinic come for their pets’ problems – and they just might share those problems too. For example, a dog might have a rash from sleeping in a wet tent.
“And by finding the problem in the animal, you can then suspect that maybe the person has the same problem, and you can provide sort of joint treatment, and ideally pick up that there’s an environmental problem that needs to be dealt with as well,” Rabinowitz says.
At the clinic, patients – pets and their people – are greeted by a volunteer, usually a medical student who gets a little bit of the pet’s history – and may ask if people would like some medical care as long as they’re there already.
Then it’s on to the veterinarian. ...”
*Note: Dr. Rabinowitz is a member of the One Health Initiative Advisory Board (Hon.)