Ricky is a 10th grader at North Central High and has dealt with respiratory issues his entire life. His mother enrolled him in CMC’s School-Based Healthcare Center (SBHC) at the beginning of the year.
In September, Ricky was sitting in math class and found it difficult to breathe and quickly notified his teacher. After a visit to the school nurse, Ricky was then referred on to Vicky Craig, the Nurse Practitioner in the SBHC. Upon arrival, Vicky listened to Ricky’s lungs and determined there was limited airflow and his oxygen saturation levels were very low. After two breathing treatments, Ricky’s oxygen levels were still low. Vicky knew that action should be taken immediately and that he needed a steroid shot from his doctor’s office. Ricky’s grandfather was able to get Ricky to the doctor for the steroid shot and then went on to the emergency room. Ricky’s mother and family, credit Vicky and the SBHC team with recognizing Ricky’s respiratory distress and saving his life through quick action.
It is fortunate the acute care services Ricky needed were only a few steps from his classroom.
Caleb is a trained painter from Asheville, NC, who moved back to Westville, SC, to care for his aging parents. After suffering a heart attack and an arm injury, he has been unable to find work. After discharge from the hospital, Caleb was contacted by the Community Medical Clinic to discuss follow up care options.
He has been working with CMC ever since. Utilizing CMC services has been critical to Caleb’s recovery because he needed necessary medication and lab work.
Because of the follow-up care provided by CMC, Caleb did not have to return to the Emergency Room for continuing complications.
James, a 52-year old man from Lugoff, came to CMC in 2016 suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), high blood pressure and diabetes. He was being hospitalized every several months for complications.
After coming to CMC, James is breathing much better and he hasn’t had any additional hospital admissions. He has been able to get the proper medication and has received health coaching to help him manage his health more holistically.
On average, hospital admissions cost upwards of $28,000. CMC was able to provide James with the quality medical care that allowed him to avoid repeat visits to the hospital.
Not only has James received care from CMC, but his wife and son have also been able to receive much-needed medical care and medications to keep them healthy.
Sally, 38, began coming to CMC for primary care in November 2015. On a Friday night in April she was robbed at gunpoint.
Following this traumatic event, Sally came to CMC tearful and distraught. Because CMC has a mental health counselor onsite, Sally was able to make an appointment immediately to get the care she needed. Our counselor confirmed she was having standard trauma responses: little sleep fraught with nightmares, easily startled, flashbacks of the gun in her face and thoughts that she was going to die, increased anxiety and fearfulness, and a loss of appetite. Both our counselor and Sally agreed to address her distress in a holistic way.
Over the course of several months, our counselor met with Sally every week.
Sally learned relaxation techniques from her counselor so she didn’t need medicine to fall asleep and feel safe in her home. She learned how to monitor the tension in her body as the first line of defense in managing the stress. She learned to visualize a comforting place in her mind where she could find a break from the onslaught of friends asking details of the robbery, nightly news of other violent crimes in nearby communities, how to handle a new employer who had become verbally abusive, and how to prepare for court where she would have to view video of the robbery.
As of today, Sally makes practicing her relaxation strategies part of her everyday routine, she is sleeping and eating again and said she is incredibly grateful for her counselor's support through this difficult process.
Sally's story is an example of CMC seeing the whole person who walks through our doors.
Three years ago, Rachel Sladek went to the emergency room to see a doctor. She didn’t have health insurance and didn’t know where else to go. After the ER visit, Rachael, a North Central High School alumni, was connected with the Community Medical Clinic (CMC) of Kershaw County where she was able to find a medical home and receive the care she needed.
“I was one of those people in the ER. I went because I had no health insurance,” Rachael said.
Today, Rachael is healthy and now employed as a Community Health Worker with CMC. What really “takes it all home” for her is being able to provide the same level of care to others as she received.
The average ER visit cost $1,265, according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). In the past year, CMC treated 207 patients who would have visited the ER for non-emergency services. What would have cost over $260,000 in hospital bills, the CMC provided medical care for a little over $20,000.
By leveraging local resources the Community Medical Clinic empowers its’ patients to take control of their health and well being. Rachel is here to be your bridge to better health. “If you have a healthcare need, I can help get you on the right path,” she said.
Jenny is a CMC patient who’s husband passed away three years ago, leaving her without a source of income. Jenny had been living off of a small amount of life insurance from her husband’s passing but that money was quickly dwindling after a recent trip to the Emergency Room.
Transportation to Camden was an issue, so CMC staff scheduled Jenny to be seen at the Refuge Baptist Church satellite office.
Through working with CMC, Jenny was able to complete applications for both SNAP and Medicaid, as well as charity care for her most recent ER visit that she does not have the funds to cover. In addition, Jenny has applied for Social Security Disability as a possible source of income. While Jenny is now receiving almost $200 a month in SNAP benefits, she is also receiving additional food from the food truck that visits DeKalb once a month. CMC staff have witnessed Jenny going from a withdrawn, depressed nature and into a more outgoing and joyful spirit. Over the holiday’s last year, Jenny delivered baked goods to the Refuge satellite as thanks to the CMC team.
*names have been changed