Editor’s note: The post below was originally published by Mary’s Center, a community health center that provides health care and other services to underserved people in the District of Columbia metro region. Mary’s Center is a partner of Direct Relief, and the center hosted a roundtable this week to highlight the BD Helping Build Healthy Communities program with BD, Direct Relief and the National Association of Community Health Centers. The post appeared on Mary’s Center’s site on Mar. 30, 2017.
Juan and his wife, Milagros, received a terrible blow in 2009. He lost his job at the company where he had worked for 30 years.
“All of a sudden, I was on the street without any income or health coverage. My wife had diabetes and I had high blood pressure and we didn’t know what to do, where to go or who to ask for advice,” he says.
One day, while walking along Flower Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland, Juan and Milagros saw a Mary’s Center sign and decided to ask if the staff could help them.
“I opened the door. Believe me, that was the best door I ever opened in my life. In 15 minutes, we were able to get the answers we had been looking for for three months. We were able to make our first appointment with the doctor and the next time we came, we applied for the discount program (sliding fee scale) Mary’s Center has for low-income families.”
Juan was pleased to learn that Mary’s Center offers comprehensive services, including dental services and assistance in applying for insurance.
“I told my wife: ‘We have found the best health package anybody can get!’” he says.
The Mary’s Center team helped Juan and Milagros fill out their Medicaid application forms. Before long, their application was approved.
“I will never forget the day the medical assistant, Wendy Quinteros, called me to let me know that she had received the insulin for my wife and that I could pick it up any time.”
Juan and Milagros say that they have been very impressed by the quality of care at Mary’s Center and the professionalism of the doctors, nurses and the rest of the staff, who have helped them to manage their chronic conditions.
“Now we are retired, enjoying our retirement in good health, thanks to Mary’s Center,” Juan says, beaming.