wrttten by Moniece Brossette, Community Health Worker (CHW) program employee
In August, we received a request from a Director of Volunteers at a museum in Little Rock. She stated that she and her husband have a good friend here in Shreveport that needed some support with managing his care. She chose Volunteers of America North Louisiana to assist knowing the importance of what Volunteers of America does for the community.
Quentin, 65 year old male, loves reading and talking with family and friends. Unfortunately, his love ones live out-of-state. He has few, if any, dependable friends. The last 4 to 5 years his health has diminished greatly. He is recovering from a skin graft to the scalp as a result of skin cancer. He has cirrhosis of the liver, and he chose to not keep his appointments for medical care. He does not own a car and he cannot drive. Transportation with a rideshare company was too expensive, so he accumulated a number of no shows for appointments.
Additionally, he had little to no understanding of his medical insurance plan and no documentation of insurance plan to give the healthcare provider or pharmacy. As a result, his medications were costly and he could not purchase them with a limited income.
Quentin has a phone, but no internet to assist with getting in touch with his healthcare insurance providers and online applications. Safety at his home was a concerned due to clutter, dim lighting, and lack of regular ambulation. We were determined to help resolve his needs and build a rapport with him despite all odds.
Community Health Workers, also known as CHW, were able to contact his family and explain some of his needs. His family contacted him weekly for updates on his care. We also assisted him with transportation to appointments until he was approved with Sportran Lift Line and also helped him with an application for Boost mobile for free internet services. Quentin has attended all appointment to date.
CHW also called GI Department, Neurology Department, previous Pain management doctor and rescheduled all appointments to be seen. Quentin has attended them all! CHW advocated on his behalf during doctor’s appointments. Today, he has home health, physical therapy, wound care, compliance with medication has proper documentation of health insurance and understanding of his coverage. His depression is managed with medication. He has had one Emergency Room visit that was due to an injury to the scalp skin graft after clinic hours.
Quentin has taken responsibility of his health care with assistance from his daughter, and most importantly, he is confident in himself. He is why we do what we do.