When I was in the 7th grade, my father asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. He, along with his father and 3 brothers, were owners and operators of a wholesale grocery business, so I shared that I wanted to join them. That was the wrong answer for my dad. He responded quickly with, “go learn yourself a profession!” My dad had finished high school in 1930 and never had a chance for formal education. He was making a commitment to me that I would have opportunity.
I went through phases of contemplating careers in accounting, then architecture and engineering. But in the 10th grade I had a terrific biology teacher who got me excited about life sciences. From then on I was focused on a career in medicine.
After I began practicing, I started to notice the health disparities in our community. I saw individuals without health insurance use the ER as their source of healthcare. I recognized that ERs are not set up to treat chronic conditions like hypertension or diabetes. I made the commitment to provide more opportunity for those in our community.
Now after volunteering at the Open Door Clinic, helping to start the clinic at The Healing Place, and serving twice a month at Alliance since 2008, I know we can do more for our neighbors. We need your help. If it has been one, two, three years or more since your last gift to Alliance, I challenge you to make one now.
So far this year, I have seen more than 70 patients. Each patient has touched me in their own special way. I volunteer at Alliance because of its wonderful infrastructure, staff, and the valuable service rendered to uninsured patients. You might not be able to volunteer in the clinic, but you can provide valuable support to help those we serve at Alliance.
One special patient for me is Michael. He first came to Alliance after being discharged from the ER with a diagnosis of high blood pressure and recurring congestive heart failure. We were able to get his clinical problems under control and provide the support needed to improve. It’s personally gratifying each time he comes back in stabilized, continuing to work fulltime, and has not been readmitted to the hospital. Michael is truly grateful to receive care at Alliance.
Michael’s health has improved because he has a team working with him. I meet with him and monitor his health. The nurses at Alliance answer his questions between appointments. The pharmacy manager makes sure he gets the prescriptions he needs. He also has benefited from another volunteer, Dr. DeMaria of New Hope Wellness Center, who put him on a nutrition and exercise program that resulted in a 50-pound weight loss.
Michael’s team extends beyond his immediate medical team to the entire Alliance family of staff, volunteers, partners and supporters. It takes everyone to make sure that Alliance is here for Michael and others like him. Will you join the Alliance team this year?
With more than 123,000 adults in Wake County without affordable health coverage, Alliance represents more than a drop in the bucket, but unfortunately it is a big bucket and the need is huge. An investment in Alliance means you are extending a hand up to hard working individuals like Michael, but more importantly you are investing in our community. When Alliance sees a patient, keeps them healthy, able to work, and out of the emergency room, we all reap the savings.
A gift to Alliance now supports more than 10,200 patient visits that have already occurred this year. It also helps to build the Alliance team and provides opportunity our community. I hope you will thoughtfully consider this request and make a gift that is meaningful for you. Thank you in advance for your consideration!
Dr. Robert Bilbro
Local Physician, Retired from Raleigh Medical Group