Stories of Impact: Kathy's
There is a myth that free and charitable clinics deliver substandard care. Nothing could be further from the truth. Clinics take great pride in delivering the highest quality care to patients in need. In fact, they believe in taking a holistic approach and in treating the whole person, including their medical, social, and wellness needs. Many of our free and charitable clinic members in Virginia are designated Patient Centered Medical Homes, a distinction that is only given to practices that offer the highest quality patient care. Indeed, qualified, licensed healthcare providers strive to deliver the best care possible to those in need, taking the time to really listen to a patient's story and medical history and then offer treatment solutions that go beyond the body.
Kathy is a 58-year-old married mother who moved to Virginia's middle peninsula region from Massachusetts. She was employed as a truck driver, and lost her job due to undiagnosed health issues. After a trip to Tappahannock Emergency Room due to a visual disturbance, she was diagnosed with uncontrolled diabetes and referred to the Ledwith-Lewis Free Clinic by the attending physician. She was quickly screened and qualified as a patient. Upon her first visit she presented with symptoms of chronic back pain and kidney disease and admitted that she had not had a primary care provider in years due to a lack of funds to purchase insurance and not qualifying for Medicaid.
The staff at the free clinic welcomed Kathy and were able to provide her with the quality care and wrap around services she needed to not only manage her chronic condition through in house primary care at the clinic but also provide referrals for specialty endocrinology visits. Kathy's five monthly medications required to manage her chronic condition totaled $1530, more than half of her monthly household income. Because of her participation in the free clinic's medication assistance programs, the Kathy was able to access her monthly medications in addition to primary care and specialty care visits providing the wrap-around care she needed.