A couple of years ago, Jessica Powell was working full time as a surgical tech when she started having syncope episodes. These syncope episodes would include severe adrenaline rushes and heart palpitations triggered by routine tasks or simply standing up. Jessica had to leave her job when her symptoms and hard-to-diagnose condition persisted along with health problems resulting from an old spinal injury.
After losing her employer-sponsored health coverage and being recently divorced, Jessica worried about how she was going to pay for health insurance and medications on her declining savings. Last year, during open enrollment, Jessica asked CareNet for assistance with finding affordable health coverage. Since she had no income, Jessica’s community health worker, Glori Puskarich, helped her get Medicaid and food stamps through the Lucas County Department of Job & Family Services. After Jessica received her healthcare benefits, they worked together to navigate the complicated healthcare system.
With Glori’s help, Jessica set up an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic with a neurologist who accepted her Medicaid managed care plan. After extensive testing, she was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, a condition of the nervous system that affects blood flow to the brain. Glori helped Jessica set up counseling sessions to help her cope mentally with her condition. They also worked out a financial plan to sustain Jessica’s apartment and utility costs, so she could focus on her health. Jessica now understands her illness and how to manage it.
CareNet has four community health workers who connect Lucas County residents like Jessica to needed medical and social services. Jessica is now back on her feet and feels she is in a much better place than before she discovered CareNet.
“Nobody understood what it was like for me to lose my health and my insurance coverage,” Jessica says. “I was happy I found CareNet because I had peace of mind that I was going to be OK. I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to get food or medicine. My basic needs were taken care of.”
Your #GivingTuesdayNWO donation will help Glori and her fellow CareNet community health workers provide support and basic necessities to low-income Lucas County clients and their families. People are empowered to take charge of their finances and lives when they are healthier and can meet their basic needs. Please make a donation to help meet CareNet’s annual goal to raise $60,000 from individuals and businesses.