I recently had coffee with a patient of ours who recounted what her pre-InterFaith days were like. As she was sharing her story with me, she made this statement and it stopped me in my tracks. “Missy, before InterFaith I had to ask myself—Do I eat or do I go to the doctor?” Now I have spent some time with several of our patients over the last year since being here, but had never quite heard the struggle of what our patients experience put quite like that.
We finished our coffee and I left there with that phrase rolling over and over in my mind. It impacted me so much that I put it on this post it note (pictured here) and put it up in my office, ‘lest I ever have a bad day and forget that what we do here--it really matters to people.
For those that do have insurance, scheduling a routine doctor’s visit or having to see a specialist for something out of the ordinary, can often feel more like a nuisance than the luxury it really is. Finding the time to go to the doctor amidst family schedules, work schedules, and just life often feels like ‘one more thing to check off the list.’
But for many of our patients who have now found InterFaith and for the tens of thousands that still need what we do in our community, accessible and affordable health care is a life-saving and life-changing gift. This is a gift that I pray we all do our best to never take for granted. And may we share the ‘gift of InterFaith’ with everyone around us so that no one has to decide, “Do I eat, or do I go to the doctor.” With InterFaith, they can have the blessing of both.
Have you ever been given a gift that was so overwhelming that it left you dumbfounded and just shaking your head in awe? Well, that is exactly how I felt the night that InterFaith was selected to be the recipient of a $10,000 check from 100 Women Who Care. I was speechless. This group of amazing women meet together four times a year and within an hour they select and award one of three charities a large check to help them reach a specific goal. The goal InterFaith put forth that night was the funding of 3 ½ months of our in-house lab operating costs. Lab services are critical to almost 99% of our patients and in underwriting the cost of these lab fees these women will possibly touch and help nearly all of our patient population as most of our patients require quarterly routine blood work.
The whole experience was a little bit surreal. We had five minutes to present and three minutes for questions—that was it. Then all of the charities went in a room and we waited while the women discussed and voted. I was so thankful that two of our Foundation Board members, Suzanne Laine and Rhoda Harb were with me just to help keep my nerves at bay! My prayer was, “God, you know our needs and the needs of others. Please give this to whoever needs this most right now.”
Lo’ and behold, surprise of surprises--it was us! It was a humbling and amazing moment—all rolled up in to one. I think Suzanne, Rhoda, and I all went home that night kind of ‘floating’ on joy and awe.
To all those associated with 100 Women Who Care—thank you for believing in the work that InterFaith is doing in this community. The hope and healing we bring to our patients in the days ahead is made possible, in part, due to your generosity! (On a side note: I may just have to join this fabulous group of ladies come July!)