The Office of Innovation Commercialization

“I can’t go to the doctor, I can’t afford it.”

A Choice No One Should Have to Make

Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 by Lizzie Sarah Biddle. Tags: , , ,

Tila was in rough shape. She had recently lost her job at a Wilkes County poultry plant. Finances and concerns about how to best raise their four children in a new country added more stress to her marriage. Then she got sick…. really sick.

To make things worse, losing her job meant she was without health insurance and didn’t know how she could pay for a doctor’s visit.

Tila was faced with a difficult choice – one that no one should be forced to make: keeping a roof over her family and food in their bellies or going to the doctor.

With no other options, she finally went to the emergency room and got the help she needed.

Several weeks later, she received the first bill- a bill over $1,000. Overwhelmed, she set it aside. Getting back to work was her first priority.

Then a second bill arrived. Different from the first, this bill totaled $565. Then another bill came, and then another. It was too much.

Fortunately, Khim was there to help.

An immigrant himself, Khim speaks Tila’s language. As one of the CNNC’s Community Health Workers, Khim works just a few doors away from Tilia in the community center providing interpretation and helping newcomers navigate the health system and gain access to healthcare.

Khim and Maureen Flak, who serves the community center residents through the Cone Health Congregational Nurse Program, worked together to help Tila. They spent hours on the phone with different medical providers, completing paperwork, and following-up with individuals personally.

Six weeks later, Tila received the good news. Her medical bills would be covered 100% by the hospital’s charity care program. Tears filled her eyes. She was overjoyed.

You can impact individuals like Tila. A one-time gift of $110 supports a week of services from a community health worker like Khim.

Join us this giving season. Your contribution can transform the lives of immigrants and refugees in our community so that no one has to make the choice between feeding and housing their children and getting basic medical care.

The holidays and the end of the year are a time when many of us are moved to give. Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27th, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is a global day of giving following the shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Read more about our Giving Tuesday and year end campaign and the ways you can impact the lives of our newest neighbors during this difficult time.