Monday, April 16, 2012

A thought for today....

Hello all,

As I write this, I can hear the pounding and thumping sounds of workers in the Fourth Bay (the un-renovated section of the building). They are tearing out old cabinets, taking down some walls, and basically gutting the entire area.

We are so excited to begin the program that goes in this room: the Healthy Living Program. I've blogged about this before, but in short it's a program that focuses on classes and education in an effort to encourage our patients to live healthier lives.

Honestly, sometimes I feel a little hypocritical when I promote this. Why should I encourage patients to make healthier choices when I know, for a fact, that my family doesn't? I have the same excuse that everyone have: life is so busy - who has time to exercise or eat healthier? It is very hard to make changes that focus on personal health - especially when you already have ingrained, unhealthy habits.

But here's the difference: when an insured person eats poorly and their health suffers (high blood pressure, acid reflux, weight issues, diabetes, etc.), they go to the doctor and are sternly told they need to change their habits, but in the end they receive what they need to manage those conditions: pills, insulin, etc. They can afford to be unhealthy, because their insurance will cover the gap.

For our patients, the uninsured,  the stakes are much higher. Bad habits lead to the chronic health conditions mentioned above; treatment for those conditions have costs that people without insurance simply cannot afford to pay while still meeting their other obligations (rent, utilities, food for the family, etc.). The clinic can fill the gap, to a point, but can't help in every case with every cost. But if the patient doesn't get the necessary treatment, the results can be very serious, even deadly.

We already know that changing one's lifestyle to be healthier isn't always fun, and it is never easy, but it is crucial in order to have a life that is less reliant on expensive maintenance medications. And that is why we are promoting this program.

Who knows? Maybe as a result, my family will begin to make healthier choices, too. Wouldn't that be a win-win??!

Prayer Requests for the Healthy Living Program:

  • that the renovations will go smoothly (and inexpensively!)
  • that patients will be eager to enroll
  • that we can find partners to teach classes/underwrite class incentives
  • that God will use the program to change lives