Simple is Good
Just before the pandemic shutdown, eleven-year-old sisters Amber and Zelphanie participated in our annual Mobile Dental Clinic. During the course of the clinic, we discovered that both girls could really use eye exams, as well.
Then, the shutdown happened and all non-essential health services came to a grinding halt and the twins had to wait.
In June, when the world began to open up a bit, we were able to schedule eye exams for both girls. As it turns out, only Amber needed glasses and she was excited to pick them out. She was even more excited to begin wearing them. In fact, she never takes them off!
Her mom called to say how grateful she is “for this priceless gift”.
Sometimes, we don’t have to move mountains to lift burdens. Sometimes we underestimate the power of something as simple as a new pair of glasses. Simple is good.
When Worrying Works
Most health professionals will tell you that worrying is a waste of time and bad for our health, which is true most of the time.
During this time of high stress, related to the pandemic, one of our case managers got an emotional and tearful call from a long-time Young & Healthy client. It seems that she and her family are moving to Colorado and she said, “Dile a la güerita tambien, que muchas gracias por su suporte todos estos años. Sin ustedes no sé qué hubiéramos hecho mi familia y yo. Muchas gracias por siempre preocuparse por nosotros.”
Translation: “Tell Whitney too, thank you very much for your support all these years. Without you I don’t know what my family and I would have done. Thank you very much for always worrying about us.”
The staff at Young & Healthy are especially good worriers. Sometimes, some solid “worrying” can make all the difference.
Young & Healthy…Able and Willing
A case manager from the Children’s Law Center of California contacted Young & Healthy for assistance with a client who was a foster care child that had “aged-out” of healthcare coverage and needed to have her braces removed. Gladys’ healthcare was covered by the state at the time that her braces were put on, but she turned 18 before the braces were ready to come off. The dentist who put her braces on was in Riverside and even though Gladys’ case manager and case worker were willing to drive her to Riverside for treatment, the dentist would not be paid to remove the braces and there was no other funding source to pay for the service. Gladys’ case manager stated that Young & Healthy was the ONLY organization they could find that was able and willing to help.
Though this outreach for help came from beyond our typical service area, Young & Healthy stepped up, amidst the COVID crisis, to provide an appointment for Gladys to see one of our volunteer dentists for the removal of her braces. Unfortunately, the appointment had to be cancelled when all dentists were forced to close their offices due to COVID-19, which put the removal of the braces on hold. Luckily, when dentists were able to reopen their offices, the Riverside dentist agreed to remove Gladys’ braces at no cost.
Thankfully, Gladys was able to obtain the care she needed. The Riverside dentist had a big heart and generously agreed to remove the braces for free. Though one of our providers did not end up seeing this patient, Young & Healthy was the ONLY organization willing to help Gladys…ready to listen and willing to serve! Young & Healthy strives to work with community partners to provide needy children access to quality healthcare, one child at a time.
Caring with Grace
Young & Healthy was recently contacted by Mona, who needed assistance with changing her son’s primary care physician (PCP). Ronnie, who turned 18 in October, needed to see his PCP as soon as possible for a reoccurring boil above his tail bone that had burst. Though Ronnie’s situation was urgent, he was unable to see his previously designated PCP because the doctor was a pediatrician and pediatricians do not see patients 18 and older. Besides there being a lag time to change a PCP, Mona felt uncomfortable being forced to randomly choose a PCP under pressure, but clearly, her son needed medical attention as soon as possible.
Our case manager promptly secured an appointment for Ronnie with one of our volunteer healthcare professionals so that the nasty boil could be cared for by a physician immediately. The doctor provided antibiotics and recommended surgery. In the meantime, Mona was able to carefully select a PCP of her choice for her son. Once the PCP was changed, Ronnie visited his new PCP and received a referral to a surgeon under his insurance. Young & Healthy has since checked-in with the family. Ronnie is doing much better and Mona is extremely grateful and relieved that Young & Healthy was able to allow her the “grace period” to be able to choose a PCP for Ronnie’s care, by taking care of his urgent need and helping her to make the PCP change.
A Little Compassion Goes a Long Way
Lydia is a returning Young & Healthy client. We assisted her some time ago with obtaining health insurance for herself and her kids through Covered CA. More recently, however, Lydia’s income decreased, which made her eligible for Medi-Cal coverage. In working with Lydia to make the switch to Medi-Cal, we got to the point where it was going to be necessary to call the county to evaluate her case. Our case manager offered to make the call with Lydia, but she said her schedule was too unpredictable, so she would try to call on her own. She was given instructions on how to call and what to say, but when our case manager recently wrote to her to check-in and follow-up, Lydia said,
“I’m sorry. It’s been at the top of my list since we last talked about it but I just haven’t been able to make myself do it. I get so frustrated and feel so helpless and belittled by the social services system that I’m avoiding the task. I know I am being cowardly, but I think maybe we should call together. That would help me.”
Our case manager responded to Lydia saying that she should absolutely not feel bad and that THIS is why Young & Healthy is here! This Young & Healthy service was more than just a call to the county to get insurance coverage straightened out. It resulted in helping someone feel like they have a team behind them. The Young & Healthy team works hard to assist clients with access to healthcare, while also offering patience, compassion and a sense of dignity.