This past week, a woman came into NOAH for the first time. For this post, I’ll call her Debra. She had recently been to a hand specialist to get her wrist checked out which has been causing her a significant amount of pain. The hand specialist wrote her a prescription for a wrist and thumb brace, but when she went to place the order at her pharmacy, she was told her insurance did not cover the brace. Debra has insurance through the Healthy Michigan Plan (also called Expanded Medicaid), but without insurance the brace would cost over $100. Her friend, who is a regular client at NOAH, suggested she come to here because we can sometimes help with prescriptions.
As I met with Debra, she told me about how she injured her hand and how it hasn’t healed properly, preventing her from returning to work. We called the pharmacy NOAH has a connection with, along with a few medical agencies we are partners with, but none of them had any of the braces in stock. The two of us were disappointed at the end of the day, but Debra left her phone number with me and I told her I would continue working on it and would let her know if I found anything.
A few hours later, I was told by the building receptionist saying that someone called and was going to drop off a brace shortly. I was confused, because none of our partners said that they had the brace. Within the next hour, I heard a knock on my office door. Standing there was Stanley, an EMT who works with Covenant Community Care and does medical outreach at NOAH once a week. He was holding a brand new wrist brace. He told me that he had heard that we called and knew where to find a brace. He explained to me how to have Debra use this brace and how to fit it to her specifications. He told me we did not owe them any money for the supplies and if we ever need anything like this to just call him.
When Debra came in the next day and she was thrilled as I fit the brace to her wrist and thumb. She thanked me for all my work on it and for not giving up in reaching out to our partner agencies. With this brace she can begin to heal and regain stability in her life.
It is when we work together as social service agencies that the most good is able to happen. With the help of Covenant Community Care, who do outreach at NOAH every week, our clients are able to sign up for health insurance, be transported to their medical and dental clinic, and receive medical care (from Stanley) on-site. It is experiences like this when I appreciate the “N” in NOAH. When we Network with other agencies, organizations, and people, our impact can be limitless. It is for these reasons and more I give thanks for the power of partnerships.