Category: Story of the Month

September Story of the Month

Helping Systems Work Better

 Six-year-old Sam failed his hearing test at school. The school nurse quickly referred Sam to Young & Healthy. One of our wonderful ENT (Ears, Nose & Throat) volunteer physicians, Dr. Williams, recommended that Sam have his tonsils and adenoids removed and “tubes” inserted in both ears to promote fluid drainage.

Because the child had an urgent health issue, our Family Advocate was able to have his Medi-Cal application expedited. Voila! The child now has full scope Medi-Cal and his surgery has been completed. We all have our fingers crossed that the surgery will restore his hearing. We have heard how it “takes a village” to raise a child–well sometimes it “takes a village” to make a healthcare system work too!

July Story of the Month

A Simple Mishap

One’s pinky finger REALLY is not supposed to stick out at a right angle!  It would make anybody cringe to even think about how much pain 14 year-old Julian was in when his pinky finger was injured and sticking out.  That pain was multiplied for his family, living under the constant threat of poverty. Already on the edge of survival, a simple basketball mishap spelled disaster for Julian’s family.

Luckily, Julian’s school knew about Young & Healthy.  A no-cost trip to the emergency room and the follow-up with a hand specialist saved the day.  Julian’s hand is now healing and his parents are no longer in a panic.

During our work with Julian and his family, it was discovered that they qualify for insurance.  Our Young & Healthy team has helped the family to obtain insurance coverage.  Perhaps that broken finger was actually a lucky break.

June Story of the Month

Good Humans at Work

Cassandra has had a very rough year.  Sadly, her mom recently passed away.  As a result, Cassandra is a little bit lost in her daily communications with her dad.  In addition, somehow in the mix of grief and family reorganization, Cassandra’s Medi-Cal coverage has lapsed.  The timing of the lapse of medical coverage could not be worse.  Fifteen year-old Cassandra took an elbow to the mouth while playing soccer and broke a tooth in half.  Two guardian angels, in the form of Young & Healthy volunteer dentists, came to her rescue.  Dr. Shinto initially stabilized her tooth with a “tooth split” and then Dr. McAndrews surgically removed the tooth.  Understanding the plight of this young lady, Dr. Shinto continues to care for Cassandra, providing a partial denture in order to hide the missing tooth.  Young & Healthy is blessed to have such good humans among us.

May Story of the Month

When a pay raise can hurt you

Most of us welcome a pay raise!  Unfortunately for Tasha, the slight increase in her family income disqualified them from receiving Medi-Cal. The timing could not have been worse. Tasha was seven days away from a surgery for uterine cancer.

Luckily, she came to Young & Healthy, where Sam investigated her options. With much diligence, Sam enrolled her in a new Covered California plan that allowed her to keep her original doctor and hospital. In just under a month she was reinsured and had her surgery.

We wish Tasha the best in her cancer treatment and are happy we could help her worry about one less thing.


April Story of the Month


Lance headed to the emergency room when his jaw was broken.  Luckily he was able to obtain emergency Medi-Cal, which allowed him to have emergency surgery to have his jaw realigned and wired shut for healing.

With time, healing began and soon it was time to have the wiring removed.  However, there was a  problem  in that the second surgery was not necessarily considered an “emergency” and it was unlikely that his emergency Medi-Cal would cover the cost.  Even if Medi-Cal  were convinced, it would be nearly impossible to find a plastic surgeon willing to accept that form of insurance.

Imagine being a senior in high school, a time when most kids prefer to be invisible, and you are trapped–literally!

Young & Healthy never fears a challenge, the referral team reached out to the original on-call doctor in the emergency room, who is not one of our regular volunteers, and simply asked him to do just that–VOLUNTEER!  He agreed and the hospital donated the surgical suite, anesthesia and recovery.

Sometimes “just asking” is the most powerful tool we have. We are grateful to the big hearts who said yes to jump-starting Lance’s chance for recovery!