June was a stellar month for Wallace, its patients and the Rockwood community. We couldn't be more thrilled! The Supreme Court ruling upholding the most critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act means that Wallace's new status as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) is assured. As an FQHC, we will build and expand our primary and preventive services, as well as continue to offer high quality urgent care services. We'll also begin to provide lab, dental and mental health services--conveniently located, culturally-appropriate and tailored to each patient's needs.
Health care policy is almost as complex as human biology, and there are countless stories to follow! To help you put this ruling into context, we're pleased to share links to statements from a few of Oregon's leading public officials and comments from Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers. If you have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact us. We also update information frequently on our Facebook page. Please visit us at https://www.facebook.com/WallaceMedicalConcern.
Today we had two patients come in with interesting stories:
One expressed great gratitude for Wallace and the service we offer. He says that he and his wife have been uninsured for many years and they feel quite scared knowing that if they do get sick or hospitalized, they would have to go into debt. The wife has struggled with thyroid issues since age 5, and Dr. Anna took her on as a patient as part of the Wallace Primary Care Pilot Program. We have been able to supply her with free lab work through Legacy Health System for the past several months. Dr. Anna has also been able to monitor this patient’s thyroid levels with medication. The husband was told he had high blood pressure several years ago, but without insurance and in his financial situation, he was unable to purchase the medication that was prescribed to him. He also couldn’t afford the needed follow-up visits with his doctor. He didn’t know where to turn, so he just ignored his blood pressure problems for years. His wife finally heard of Wallace and that is when she scheduled them both to come in to see the doctor. They were very relieved to find out that the medication for her thyroid and for his blood pressure were both on the $4 list at several pharmacies. They both expressed their appreciation for Wallace and the excellent care they received from Dr. Anna.
Another patient came to the Mobile Clinic today with the same concern as all of our patients: They have a medical issue, but lack the insurance and the money to afford to get treated. This patient had done some major research and homework to try to find an affordable health insurance policy for himself and his wife. Once he realized he could not find anything in his price range, he decided instead to save up some money to take care of the minor surgery that he needed. He had a few hundred dollars saved up and called several local hospitals and clinics to get a quote. Each place told him that he would need to be seen by several doctors to figure out exactly what he would need, and that each visit would cost about the same amount that he had saved up, since he didn’t have insurance. Finally, one of the hospitals told him about Wallace. He was ecstatic and shocked that we could schedule patients within one week of his first phone call. He came to the Medical Van and Dr. Anna was able to perform the surgery that he needed here on the Mobile Clinic. He has been in a few times since the procedure and is very pleased with the service he has received at Wallace. He donated the money that he had saved to Wallace and thanked everyone that makes such a place accessible to patients in need.