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Patient Voices Blog

  1. February 22, 2021

    February Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Stabile

    There were many people, including patients and the elderly, who needed help, advice, even just a phone call to see how they are doing and to give reassurance to those living alone. I spent time on the phone arranging meals to be delivered, groceries and pet food to those who could not go out at the beginning of the pandemic. Helping folks understand how to do a zoom call/video call with their doctor gave them much needed comfort.  These challenges forced me to update my advocacy skills so that I could better connect to the heart of my community.

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  2. January 25, 2021

    January Volunteer Spotlight: Rebecca Barnes

    In the beginning of the pandemic, all of us in my community—much like everywhere else—we did not know what to expect. A lot of people lost their jobs and their businesses. That in turn meant losing income, losing insurance, not having enough food. At that time, I was unemployed going through the state unemployment appeals process. It was because of that process that I gained enough knowledge to help others in the area. I got on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media reaching out to the community and even assisted in other states. I was grateful when the people I assisted received the large retroactive pay so that they could pay back rent, mortgage, and bills.

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  3. December 15, 2020

    I was uninsured for 2020. Here's why I chose to #getcovered.

    Never before in my life have I ever had to worry about health insurance. Then came 2020. Over Memorial Day weekend I came down with a minor infection which, while nothing serious, required me to schedule a visit with a physician and pay out-of-pocket for a round of antibiotics that came out to almost $150. In June, after I started running again, an old knee injury started to flare up, but I had to choose to forgo getting it checked to avoid extra expenses. In July, I had to cancel my dental cleaning for a second time, the first one initially canceled in April due to COVID. One morning in August, I woke up with a small fever, and fearing it might be the virus (thankfully it wasn’t), frantically looked up the price of local testing which, while intended to be free of charge, some neighbors had informed me that they had received surprise bills. By September, I worried about the cost of getting a flu shot, was down to my last few pairs of contact lenses, was overdue for my annual eye and general wellness exams and considering seeking counseling for some mild anxiety from the pandemic.

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  4. December 14, 2020

    Why Young People Need to Understand Health Insurance: Losing My Health Insurance in College and What I Learned

    Managing your health, whether it is good or bad, is a challenge, especially in college. As a first-generation college student, I struggled to navigate my way through my science degree, even with the correct medications and support system. Around my junior year of college, I lost my health insurance unexpectedly and, as a result, my clinical support system. If I was working with a patient who was going through the same thing, I would have presented them with a plan of action, outlined options available following a change-of-life event, and help them identify the steps to get covered. But when it happened to me, I couldn’t think.

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  5. November 18, 2020

    Access to Health Insurance Minimized My Healthcare Disparities

    Had Maryland opted-out of offering their residents a Marketplace option, I could have been uninsured: my income was too high to qualify for Medicaid and I couldn’t afford private insurance. Simply put, I would not have had access to healthcare, necessary screenings and essential treatments. Not having health insurance could have set my health back years and, with that, I could have suffered lifelong consequences. I was young, but youth is not a guarantee for absolute health. 

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  6. October 20, 2020

    Patient Congress 2020: Finding Community Through Advocacy

     Patient Congress was held on September 23-25, bringing together nearly 100 volunteers, advocacy partners and stakeholders virtually with Patient Advocate Foundation and NPAF staff for a range of interactive sessions focused on community advocacy and engagement

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