Health care reform is a major priority in Washington and North Carolina. There are estimated to be over 2 Million people in the state and 120,000 in Wake County without health insurance. Alliance patient Gail Johnson spoke at a Health Care Forum on July 22, 2009 in Raleigh and told her story about the financial, physical and emotional cost of being uninsured. Though working for the same company for the past five years, she does not have employer-sponsored medical benefits. In the past Gail was not able to afford routine diabetes medication and testing supplies that cost 30% of her total monthly income, nor did she have a primary care provider directing her care. During that time period, her health deteriorated to where her condition forced her to WakeMed’s Emergency Room.
Since establishing a health care home at Alliance, Dr. Lewis is Gail’s personal physician and she qualifies for reduced fee medications with the help of Nicole Emswiler, PharmD. Overall, her health and outlook on life has dramatically improved. She says “ I’ll never be able to pay off the hospital bill from my ER visit, but at Alliance I’m able to receive consistent and quality care that I can afford. More people need the kind of care I receive” Her comment brought cheers to the crowd.