We are thrilled to announce this year’s Champion and recipient of the Silver Chalice Award, Dr. Robert J. Stein, KM. Dr. Stein is a founding organizer of the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California and long-time member of the Clinic Board’s medical committee.
About Dr. Stein KM, MD
What do Louis L’Amour, Peggy Lee and Robert James Stein have in common? That’s a question that can be answered only by a few. However, the gregarious, accomplished and magnanimous Bob Stein is, and has been, the answer to many a quest and quandary of the Order of Malta Western Association.
A Conversation with Dr. Vona Lorenzana, Interim Medical Director of the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California
Since opening in 2008, the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California, located in Oakland, has provided over 22,000 free medical appointments.
“This is a remarkable place and I’m honored to be a part of it,” said Dr. Vona Lorenzana, interim medical director, who joined the clinic in January 2015. “There is a tremendous need to provide quality healthcare in this country, especially for those who don’t have the luxury of affording it. We try to provide free medical help to patients by scheduled appointments and to make sure they’re treated with respect. We have been told this is a distinguishing characteristic from other free medical clinics in the Bay area.”
This is illustrated by the experience of a patient recently seen. The woman had been
Volunteering The Order of Malta Clinic one of Californi
“We have an incredible staff, as well as many wonderful doctors and nurses who volunteer their time – it’s a great example of teamwork. Nothing would be accomplished or be effective here without their generosity and their commitment to helping those who need it most.”
Like many of her colleagues, Dr. Lorenzana feels she gets more from her experience working at the clinic than she gives. And a big part of her motivation to help people here comes in part from scripture:
Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick.”
Matthew 25:36 “I was sick and you looked after me.”
Luke 9:2 “We’re asked to heal the sick.”
Luke 10:9 “The call is to heal the sick.”
The mission of the clinic is to provide free medical care to the uninsured, without regard to race, creed, or religion. Most patients appreciate the care delivered.
“We also have to look at the issue from a public health viewpoint. Often, patients are in the U.S. visiting from another country. One patient recently had a question of active pulmonary tuberculosis. She may not have sought medical care if she had to pay $300 a visit. But if we can diagnose such a problem and treat that person, then we’ve saving a lot of people from acquiring such a serious disease.”
It is also important for people to know the clinic offers much more than primary care. Specialists in the fields of Cardiology, Dermatology, ENT (Ear/nose/and throat), Gastroenterology, Gynecology, Hematology Oncology and Rheumatology are here regularly. These specialist are often under-utilized because patients don’t realize they are available. One of the current goals is to organize an eye care team with a doctor spending at least four hours a month at the clinic providing diabetic eye exams.
It is important to understand this is a team effort. None of the specialists available would be able to work effectively without many volunteers including a
It is especially important for donors and potential donors to know how important they are. They are the foundation for this endeavor.
“Without thegenerous support of our donors. This endeavor could not exist without them. It’s a joint effort.”
Longtime Knights and Dames will remember Richard “Dick” Madden’s dedication to the Order of Malta, our former Western Association president and co-founder of Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California, who died on June 25th at the age of 87 surrounded by Joan, his wife of 58 years, and the rest of his large and loving family.
Dick was interested in so many things. He was an alumnus of Princeton University, the University of Michigan Law School and New York University, building his expertise in both business and law. He also served in the U.S. Navy, proving he was as tough as he was smart. His long career, took him through the ranks of Mobil, teaching at NYU, and ultimately to the Potlach Corporation where he was the chairman and CEO for 23 years. He shared his expertise by serving on many Boards, leaving his mark on each one.
Dick was a Knight of Malta and, following his retirement from Potlatch in 1994, he became active in the Order of Malta which has as its’ purpose serving the sick and the poor. He served as President of the Western Association for six years, among other work with the Order. It was under his leadership of the Order of Malta that decided the clinic’s placement, as he was the one who adamantly insisted on the placement of the clinic at its current location at the Cathedral complex in Oakland.
To know him was to see what a life spend dedicated to helping others really meant. For 14 years, he and Joan traveled to Lourdes in France with sick people and other Order of Malta members on the Order’s annual pilgrimage. Dick served as Hospitaller for 6 years, founded the Parish Nurse Program and the Good Samaritan Program, as well as co-founded the Northern California Clinic.
In addition to his role as president, Dick became Vice-Regent of the Order’s Sub-Priory of Our Lady of Philermo and was awarded the Grand Cross in Obedience and the Grand Cross of Merit. He also met with and groomed various Knights from Northern California who would eventually be the founders and officers of the Cathedral Clinic Corporation.
He was a man who believed in service and giving back—and he certainly did that with the Order of Malta. He often said that the most rewarding aspect of membership in the Order of Malta was helping others in need.
With all of this Dick also found time to live an active life, full of travel, sports, and as a father and loving husband. We all hold his friendship and guidance to the Order of Malta in high regard. He is sorely missed.
Donations in Dick’s memory can be made to: Order of Malta – Western Association, USA, 465 California St., Suite 818 San Francisco, CA 94104-1820
Welcome to the inaugural newsletter for our beloved clinic. Through this newsletter we hope to inform friends and supporters of the clinic of the latest developments at “the miracle on 21st Street.”
It’s my pleasure and privilege to serve as President of the Board of the Order of Malta Clinic for Northern California. The Clinic serves a vital role in maintaining the physical health of the uninsured and marginalized in our Bay Area community. What began as a dream 10 years ago with then-Bishop Allen Vigneron, has come into existence due to the vision of exceptional, dedicated leaders within the Order, including, most notably, the indefatigable efforts of the late Richard Madden, GCM and Bill McInerney, KM. Today it is a thriving clinic that has certainly beat the odds, as clinics of its kind usually only last two years compared to our 10.
Today, the clinic operates three and one-half days per week. We sponsor a podiatry clinic at the St. Vincent de Paul Society once a month. Twenty-three volunteer physicians, interns, nurses and nurse practitioners, representing over a dozen medical specialties, make up our staff. Members of the Order volunteer in many capacities—physicians, nurses, administrative support, board oversight, and some just lending a sympathetic ear to our patients in the waiting area.
Truly, the clinic is the signature program in the Western Association. This isn’t boastful —it’s a fact of which we can all be justly proud. As we grow in hours and breadth of services, we have come to realize that the need for a well-staffed, well-equipped clinic is greater than ever. Since opening our doors, we have had nearly 23,000 patient visits.
None of this would be possible without the support of the many friends of the clinic, who share our passion for serving the sick and the poor among us. I hope you enjoy this newsletter and find it informative. If you’d like to learn more about the clinic—just ask! All of the volunteers at the Clinic love to share its history. Our grateful patients make it all worth the effort.
I also hope that that you will be able to join us on October 11th at the Silver Chalice Dinner as we honor one of our founders, Robert Stein, M.D., KM. Sara Cumbelich and her hard-working committee promise a magical evening at the St. Francis Yacht Club – you won’t want to miss it! Details on the event can be found at http://orderofmaltaclinic.com/fundraising-dinner/.
On behalf of our lords, the poor and the sick, thank you for your support.
John P. Christian, KM