One of the best things about working for NOAH is the opportunity to make a real difference in our patients’ lives. These rewarding interactions are often a result of screening for Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) as part of NOAH’s commitment to whole-person care.
Our Community Resources team was recently introduced to Sandra, a patient who has experienced tragedy and hardship that have greatly affected her overall health.
Although she was devastated by the sudden loss of her sister to COVID-19, Sandra had to remain strong as she would now be responsible for raising her sister’s five children in addition to the five children of her own. Adding to the complexity of the situation, Sandra’s nieces and nephews also needed to relocate from Texas to Arizona. Grieving the loss of their mother, the children would also be met with the challenge of adjusting to life in an unfamiliar home and a new school; hundreds of miles away from the support of trusted friends.
Going from a large family of seven to an even larger family of 12 overnight created a significant hardship for Sandra and her husband. Living solely on the income from Sandra’s husband, the family has been struggling with providing basic needs for the ten children ranging in age from 4 to 18 years old.
After meeting with NOAH Community Resources, Sandra’s family quickly began receiving a variety of food delivered via weekly visits from Desert Mission Food Bank and the kids have been provided with backpacks and school supplies to support learning at their new schools. The NOAH team went on to assist with the application process for AHCCCS and SNAP which is currently pending approval with the state. Once approved for medical coverage, all ten children will be scheduled for appointments with family medicine and dental providers. Sandra has already begun counseling sessions to help cope with the variety of challenges she’s facing. Additionally, our Community Resources team’s connections with programs like St. Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army have resulted in donations of clothing and shoes.
NOAH’s support doesn’t stop there. Our Community Resources team will continue to assist Sandra and her family with navigating the programs available and finding normalcy in their new life. Stories like Sandra’s help illustrate the importance of asking every patient the difficult questions to screen for SDoH. Every patient may not be struggling like Sandra, but for the ones who are, we can provide the help and support they may have never known existed.
For more information on SDoH and how NOAH helps, see last week’s story “Meeting our Patients’ Basic Needs”.