Last month, Health Services of North Texas, one of our tenants at The Wheeler House, received something from a recurring patient named Jan: a four-page letter bursting with praise. Not only was Jan able to afford her clinic visit, but she was also treated with the utmost respect, never once being looked down upon. Shame was never in the equation. This treatment was the reason Jan returned in a time of panic.
Jan wrote to HSNT, “I have been a ‘sliding scale’ patient at your Denton facilities for almost 2 years. First of all, there has never been an occasion where I left there feeling anything but gratified, valued, properly diagnosed and helped...every single encounter with staff from front to back...has been handled with grace, empathy, professionalism and efficiency.”
Recently, Jan became concerned she may be catching a dangerous condition – pneumonia. After trying to convince herself she could treat her symptoms on her own, she decided to call HSNT.
“Because of the respectful way I had been received by your staff, I felt I could trust them to either tell me I was already doing the right thing and go home… or they would genuinely CARE for me. The fact that your program only [cost] $20 for a visit, the decision to get proper medical care was simple,” Jan said.
She called late that afternoon. HSNT found a way for a provider to see her the next day.
Speaking about her visit, she said, “She (the doctor) listened to me describe the symptoms and changes I had been experiencing. She thoughtfully advised me of every step she felt appropriate and necessary and what it would cost as we went along. They efficiently and quickly got me the care I needed. She advocated for a bold approach for my treatment, and I am in AWE of that clinic’s professionalism on every level.”
At the end of the visit, she didn’t have to be surprised by how much her appointment would cost. The doctor informed her along the way. She was charged $66. After hearing this final number, she wrote, “Can you imagine what a relief that was for me?!?! Do you realize how many people (like me) have NEVER had the luxury of feeling like they may be able to afford to seek professional medical care when their bodies are clearly telling them they need help?”
In her finishing lines of the letter, she included, “I know that you and everyone at Health Service of North Texas must have worked very hard to put such a wonderful program together. It could only take dedication, empathy, compassion and tremendous commitment to quality of care for every single person that comes to your door on a daily basis; no matter their insurance (or lack of), or income or ethnicity or social standing. I applaud you all. I want you to know that today; I’m pretty sure your hard work, ALL OF YOU – most certainly saved my life. I am humbled and eternally grateful.”
Her words are a testament to how much grace and professionalism HSNT brings to the medical care profession in our city. Thank you for partnering with Serve Denton. You are making Denton a healthier place!
For more information about Health Services of North Texas, email their Community Outreach & Volunteer Program Director, Teri Johnson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.