211’s free Health Advocacy program goes above and beyond to assist clients in accessing crucial healthcare. 211’s Health Advocate will do whatever is necessary- often meeting clients who have literacy and communication barriers to help with their applications for low cost health insurance, prescription medicine and food stamps or to set up clinic appointments. 211 frequently collaborates with partners such as the Health Department, the Health Care District, Project Access and the local clinics scattered throughout Palm Beach County.
During 2014, 211’s Health Advocate assisted 280 people of which 90% either did not have health insurance or had lapsed with what they previously had. These individuals and families truly had fallen through the cracks…with really tough stories.
James Cannon was virtually homeless and did not know where to turn. He shared his 211 story with the media, stating that 211’s advocate had brought him hope as he knew something was drastically wrong with his health. Unable to make the clinic appointment that the advocate set – his pain forced him to the ER and subsequent diagnosis of stage four lung cancer. Without insurance he would not qualify for treatment…211’s Health Advocate worked tirelessly to get his application expedited for Health Care District coverage. He was relieved to be able to start his long process towards healing.
Sometimes it was a caller in excruciating pain being connected to a clinic that provided tooth extractions. Sometimes a caller’s excruciating pain was because the person was in need of a double hip replacement and no insurance to help…a case in which 211 enlisted the help of Project Access.
One young woman had been diagnosed with HIV and had been without medication and lacking the necessary care to keep her disease from progressing. She knew that she had been in denial for several years and was fearful as her symptoms worsened. 211’s Health Advocate comforted her, helped her take things step by step, and connected her with the right service provider for case management.
A young woman was receiving treatment for uterine cancer when she lost her insurance coverage. 211’s Health Advocate helped her to apply for Health Care District coverage. The woman was approved and then able to resume her treatment.
Another woman was very emotional and upset when she found a lump in her breast. She was out of work and had no health coverage and was extremely fearful as her mother had died from breast cancer. The 211 Health Advocate was comforting and supportive linking her to Susan G Komen- with the subsequent biopsy proving positive…and then helped her to get health coverage for chemo treatments.
211’s Health Advocacy program truly brings hope when people needed it the most!
211 HelpLine is free, confidential and available 24/7. To learn more about available community resources and services call 211. Also visit 211palmbeach.org.