CentroMed Helps Michael Persevere
- April 18, 2017
- Posted by: swebadmin
- Category: Community Corner
Michael is a 56-year-old male resident of San Antonio. In 2015, he was gainfully employed as a manager with a local call-center company until the company lost a significant client, and Michael, along with other co-workers, was laid off.
During his employment, Michael noticed that he was sleepy all of time, felt ill, weak, and had no energy. Because of his overwhelming life circumstances, however, he did not seek medical care.
While most people were welcoming the New Year, Michael had depleted his unemployment benefits and found himself homeless. He was able to temporarily stay with his sister until he had to move out to make room for his niece and her children, who also became homeless. Michael eventually ended up at the Haven for Hope campus.
In January 2016, Michael enrolled for services through Haven’s Prospects Courtyard. He developed a lump on the side of his neck, and was advised to seek medical care. During a visit to the emergency room, Michael was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. The following month, Michael presented at the CentroMed Sarah Davidson Clinic located on the Haven for Hope campus, where he shared his recent diagnosis with a family nurse practitioner, who immediately initiated referrals to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, an oncologist, and also had the medical case management team at CentroMed assist in coordinating his care.
Given Michael’s medical condition and impending treatment plan, the team sought placement for Michael on the Transformational side of the Haven campus, which provided him single-room occupancy to protect him from further health conditions due to his compromised immune system. The team then assisted him with the application for the University Hospital System’s CareLink Homeless Assistance Program (HAP), which provides medical treatment for homeless individuals requiring specialty care.
Throughout his treatment, Michael remained in communication with the team at CentroMed. The staff provided him bus tickets to get him to medical appointments for the treatments he needed. Recently, in a conversation with CentroMed’s director of homeless services, Michael stated “I owe my life to the staff at CentroMed. It is because of them that I was able to get the healthcare I so desperately needed.”
Michael has experienced some medical setbacks, but has persevered. He was able to secure Social Security Disability benefits, however, is not yet eligible for medical benefits. He has subsequently been re-enrolled in HAP services and continues to be an active participant in his healthcare plan.
In light of Michael’s difficult journey, he now has the opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency again. He is currently exploring several housing options that he now qualifies for and looks forward to his new life and the opportunity to “make a difference” in our community.
CentroMed, a United Way partner nonprofit, provides medical, dental, behavioral health, social, and nutritional services to economically disadvantaged, homeless, and medically underserved persons.