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#HofArcDreamers: HepCarestream

01 Mar #HofArcDreamers: HepCarestream

Reach Out

To me, the benefit of doing this is giving back at a grassroots level.”

Jennifer Slepin is a Registered Nurse, Hepatitis C Clinical Nurse Educator, adventurer, artist, and “consumer of life.” In June of 2016, she embarked on a solo cross-country road trip to raise awareness about HCV. Since then, Jennifer has committed herself to the mission of providing education, testing, and care to medically underserved areas around the United States.

Her vision is to build a fleet of nurse-staffed mobile Airstream clinics that will travel the country and transform the healthcare landscapes of the communities that they reach. Like any great mobile dream, Jennifer’s starts with Hofmann Architecture.

We were so excited by her story of community outreach and social activism, we wanted to share it with our community of #HofArcDreamers.


HofArc: What inspired you to become a nurse?

Jennifer:
The truth is that when I had my son 36 years ago, I was completely intrigued by the combination of care and intellect exhibited by the nurses who helped me. Their ability to respond to my needs as a patient coupled with their depth of scientific knowledge was fascinating. I knew that I wanted to do that when I grew up, so I went to nursing school and the rest was history.

HofArc: What drew you to focusing your efforts on treating Hepatitis C?

J: Well, I actually had Hepatitis C for many years and up until three years ago, there was no cure for the disease. The danger of having Hepatitis C for a long time is that prolonged inflammation of the liver can cause cirrhosis and in some cases cancer. Since the emergence of curative treatments, I was treated three times and the fourth time was a charm. Having been a nurse for thirty something years and having been given the gift of being cured, I couldn’t imagine not devoting my life to this cause. My brother died from Hepatitis C, but others do not have to.

HofArc:  We read about your solo cross-country road trip on your blog post, “The Land of Enchantment.” How did this trip influence your mission of community health outreach?

J: Once I was finally cured of the disease, I asked myself “who will I be without Hep C?” The purpose of my road trip was to figure that question out. While I was on the road, I was meeting and talking to people around the country with HCV and the idea of a mobile Hep C clinic began to emerge. It was right around this time that one of my mentors invited me to in Albuquerque, New Mexico to meet Dr. Nora Terrault (the head of hepatology at UCSF) and Dr. Sanjeev Arora. This is when I got involved with the amazing Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) and things really started to gel.

HofArc: Why did you decide to make your mobile platform an Airstream

J: Oh because they are just as cool as can be! [Laughs]. During my treatment, I found that the only way to keep myself centered psychologically was by sewing or drawing. For some reason, I kept coming back to the image of an astronaut who had been cut off from his ship and was just floating in space with the caption “Untethered.”

I imagined who I would be once I was untethered from my disease and the idea of an Airstream came to me as an epiphany. Then I came up with the name, “HepCarestream,” and I was determined. I knew that Hofmann Architecture had the knowledge, ability, and style to help me design a vessel that would draw positive attention from people.

HofArc: What do you think are some of the personal benefits of doing community outreach?

J: 
Well, it’s not so much how it benefits me because I’m a nurse, it’s more that I have a particular personality. I know that I can be of the utmost service to the people I take care of and I know what it’s like to suffer from a disease. To me, the benefit of doing this is giving back at a grassroots level.

Oftentimes, people in rural communities do not want to acknowledge the virus, don’t want to visit their local doctor or just don’t have the resources to travel to a major medical center. I want to provide them with the infrastructure to access care without having to go outside of their comfort zone. I thrive off of being absolutely in service to those in need.


Jennifer is currently working with the HofArc design team and is well on her way to creating the vessel of her dreams. She has a GoFundMe campaign on her website, www.HepCarestream.org and we sincerely encourage anyone who is inspired by her story to reach out and support her amazing work.

Also stay tuned for future #HofArcDreamers blog posts and more updates about Jennifer on the road in her fully renovated HofArc HepCarestream!

 

4 Comments
  • laura schepps
    Posted at 13:43h, 14 March Reply

    absolutely and totally inspiring!

    • Profile photo of Hofarc Info
      Hofarc Info
      Posted at 09:07h, 15 March Reply

      Hi Laura,

      Thank you for your kind words! We love featuring some of our most inspiring work and clients. The choices we make everyday have an impact on the future of this company. Our integrity, desire to improve the future of our society, and strong sense of brand identity is what is going to help us change the RV industry and hopefully the world!

      -HofArc

  • Andrea Moore
    Posted at 14:09h, 14 March Reply

    What a great story ,fabulous innovative woman ! Thank you HofArc dreamers .

    • Profile photo of Hofarc Info
      Hofarc Info
      Posted at 09:11h, 15 March Reply

      Hi Andrea!

      We were so excited to share this feature! At HofArc we believe that our impact on society should be much larger than simply creating a product on the market. We appreciate your support, and cant express our gratitude for joining us on our journey!

      -HofArc

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