Tom Walczak, RN, Senior Clinical Nurse with the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics, was among the honorees at the Palm Healthcare Foundation’s “Heart of Gold Nursing Reception” at the Kravis Center Cohen Pavilion on Thursday, May 12th. More than 200 guests attended the third annual event which honored the extraordinary work of local nurses and recognized the county’s “Nurses of the Year.”
Tom was recognized for his compassionate care of homeless patients at the Brumback Clinic site at the Senator Philip D. Lewis Center where he also serves as a member of the county’s Homeless Outreach Team.
His care consists of treating patients in the clinic and in the field, insuring patients receive needed medication and that they comply with their treatment in a grueling living environment. In one many examples, his passion has helped treat a homeless man diagnosed with advanced cancer who was able to receive state-of-the-art surgery and ultimately, housing.
From left: Rick Roche, Health Care District VP & Chief Administrative Officer, Belma Andric, MD, MPH, FQHC Medical Director, Tom Walczak, RN, Senior Clinical Nurse, C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics, Lisa Hogans, RN, Clinical Quality Coordinator, Marisol Miranda, Practice Manager, Senator Philip D. Lewis Center
Tom keeps in touch with his patients long after they are stable with their medical conditions. He can be seen driving his motorcycle to Belle Glade on his personal time to check on them. In his 11 years working in community health centers, he’s known for “Tom’s Box” where he stores extra clothes, shoes and canned food for homeless patients. Many of Tom’s heroic acts are discovered through his patients grateful testimonies. In Tom’s words, “Service is my reward.”
Tom, who speaks Spanish and French, has a unique approach in treating this vulnerable population who often suffer from complex health conditions in addition to chronic homelessness. His passion and medical knowledge help build patient trust and often result not only in good health outcomes but also resolving their homeless situations.
An example of this is one of Tom’s patients whom he identified living in a park who needed medical attention but had trust issues. Tom was able to convince him to start visiting the clinic for medical needs and at the same time built a level of trust that enabled the patient to receive permanent housing. After 15 years of homelessness, this patient has had a stable roof over his head for the last six months.
This recent advertorial recognizing Tom Walczak ran in The Palm Beach Post during National Nurses Week.
The C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics in Belle Glade, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Lantana and West Palm Beach provide medical and dental care for adults and children with or without insurance. The network of eight Federally Qualified Health Centers are operated by the Health Care District of Palm Beach County and include a primary care clinic at the Jerome Golden Center for Behavioral Health, one at the Senator Philip D. Lewis Center, the county’s homeless resource center in West Palm Beach, and a clinic for students at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School.
Patients can make the Brumback Clinics their primary health care provider and receive services that include: yearly physicals; medical evaluations; laboratory services; diabetes and hypertension screenings; general and preventive dentistry; mammogram and specialty care referrals; mental health counseling; immunizations; employment, school, sports and Department of Transportation physicals; pharmacy services; and hearing and vision testing.
While walk-ins are welcome, the Clinics recommend that patients make an appointment by calling 561-642-1000 or visiting www.brumbackclinics.org.