Sketches from Outside the Margins: Stories from the Seattle/King County Clinic

Maggie by David Lasky
Maggie by David Lasky. Public Health – Seattle & King County is one of over 100 organizations that helps put the Clinic on, held at Seattle Center’s KeyArena. This year’s Clinic served more than 4,300 patients in just four days.

This past October, I was part of a team of cartoonists who joined the volunteer force at the 2017 Seattle/King County Clinic to share the stories of the patients who seek the free medical, dental, and vision care at this giant pop-up clinic. We talked to patients as they waited–endlessly waited–for care to learn what drives them to the Clinic and what challenges they face in accessing healthcare every day. This was the first Seattle/King County Clinic held since the momentous 2016 election, so we also wanted to know how these patients feel about the future of healthcare in the current political environment. The comics also highlighted the efforts of the thousands of volunteers who make the Clinic possible.

You can find out more about how the role of this Clinic by reading Eroyn Franklin’s comic strip for the national comics publication The Nib. And this month, the National Library of Medicine includes the comic book and original artwork from our first volume of stories from the Seattle/King County Clinic in a new exhibition, “Graphic Medicine: Ill-conceived and well drawn!” curated by Seattle cartoonist Ellen Forney. Look for a travel version of the this exhibit to come to Seattle later this year!

And now for the comics:

Healthcare in America 2017 by ET Russian

Emiko_Color by Tatiana Gill

Michael by Amy Camber
by Amy Camber

Line Buddies color by Meredith Li-Vollmer
by Meredith Li-Vollmer

Waiting Color by Meredith Li-Vollmer
by Meredith Li-Vollmer

Stereotypes by Kelly Froh

David Lasky Rick

Cybil&Ann by Megan Kelso
by Megan Kelso

Ali by Roberta Gregory
Ali by Roberta Gregory

Deisy and siblings_Jordan_17dec
Deisy and Siblings by Robyn Jordan

John_Color by Tatiana Gill

by Amy Camber

The Unseen by Jose Alaniz
The Unseen by Jose Alaniz

Gabriel_Color by Tatiana Gill

ROSA by Amy Camber
by Amy Camber

Karl color - Meredith Li-Vollmer
by Meredith Li-Vollmer

Sharnell_Color by Tatiana Gill

David Lasky Ashley

Arlene by Roberta Gregory

Nathan_Color by Tatiana Gill

Mixed blessing color by Meredith Li-Vollmer
by Meredith Li-Vollmer

Imagine by Kelly Froh.jpg

Ready for my closeup color - M Li-Vollmer
by Meredith Li-Vollmer

FATMA & FAMILY by Amy Camber
by Amy Camber

Margie_Color by Tatiana Gill

Thank you to Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Center, and the Seattle Center Foundation for supporting this comics journalism project. And thank you to all the people who shared their stories and the amazing artists who volunteered their talent and many hours!

Originally posted on January 18, 2018.

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I am a risk communications specialist at Public Health - Seattle & King County.

10 thoughts on “Sketches from Outside the Margins: Stories from the Seattle/King County Clinic

  1. Great work. It would be interesting to do a similar project with a syringe exchange program. You might consider releasing the comics a few at a time.

    1. Thanks, Chris! Comics journalism on needle exchange would be amazing. If you are interested in seeing the individual comics released one at a time, check out @comics4healthcoverage on Facebook.

  2. Meredith,

    Wow! I am really impressed by the work of this talented team of cartoonists. The illustrations are an excellent educational tool about the services that were provided and the clientele that were served. I had no idea that we have so many gifted, creative artists in our midst. Thank you for sharing your observations in such an innovative fashion.

    Paul Kunkel, RN, MN
    Public Health Nurse / Enfermero de Salud Pública
    Columbia City Center for Health
    4400 37th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

    Public Health – Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Washington

    NOTICE OF PUBLIC DISCLOSURE: This email account is public domain. Any correspondence from or to this e-mail account may be a public record. Accordingly, this e-mail, in whole or in part, may be subject to disclosure pursuant to RCW 42.56, regardless of any claim of confidentiality or privilege asserted by an external party. If you receive this email by mistake, please delete it. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Paul! I’m the only one who works for Public Health, but Seattle is incredibly rich in talented, independent comics artists. Several on this team are award-winning graphic novelists and cartoonists. This issue resonated deeply with this group as artists often have difficulty getting affordable health insurance and healthcare.

  3. Hi Meredith!

    I have volunteered at the free clinic for the past three years. These graphic stories capture such a deep slice of the humanity on full display at the clinic. I, too, have wished that our elected representatives who want to gut the ACA could experience spending the day with people who are bearing the brunt of their indifference. Thank you for this wonderful compilation!

    1. Thanks, Roxi! We are especially eager to find ways to get these comics in front of decision makers. And thanks for volunteering each year!

  4. This idea is brilliant as are the cartoons! You may have recruited another volunteer for next year!

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