When Gabriela* was laid off from her job of more than 20 years due to a company shut down, one of her first thoughts was how she would maintain adequate healthcare for her family. She drove to the hospital where she had been receiving care that same day to apply for health insurance. She knew the importance of ongoing care for herself, her husband, and their two young boys.
Though she tried all that she could to continue her health benefits, she was denied for medical assistance. In October of 2014, she was informed that the health benefits she was receiving at another health center would be discontinued. She was seven months pregnant, and she couldn’t find a single HMO that would accept her, and her family given her advanced pregnancy status.
In December of 2014, despite still being uninsured, Gabriela gave birth to her beautiful daughter, Olivia*. In March of 2015, Gabriela’s family received devastating news: Olivia was diagnosed with a hyperextended neck and would need to receive Occupational Therapy services.
Gabriela waited more than a year before Olivia would receive services at one of Chicago’s major hospitals. Gabriela’s family would spend those months navigating between a variety of hospitals and doctors at several locations across the city, just to get Olivia the care she needed.
But hope arrived later that spring when Gabriela received a recommendation from a friend and IWS patient about our services. She brought her older son in to received therapy services and she brought Gabriela in to see one of our providers. As Gabriela put it: “You guys have everything here. It’s like family when I come in”.
Thanks to the skill and attention of our providers, Olivia received a referral for genetic testing which led to her finally receiving a diagnosis for her condition- which she hadn’t received before. Gabriela’s children were also referred to our CACS, CHAT and Early Intervention/ Home Visitor services.
Today, Gabriela and her family receive all their services at the Angel Harvey Family Health Center. Medical, dental, social skills, therapy, occupational therapy, and the emotional support and encouragement of our staff. As Gabriela puts it: “I live here. You are my angels.”
We are grateful to Gabriela and her family for trusting us for their healthcare needs. We are proud to be equipped to provide her family with comprehensive care in our single, centralized location.
Thank you, Gabriela, for sharing your story and for being an important part of the IWS living legacy.
*Name changed to protect patient privacy.