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As the Patient Advocate at His Hands Free Clinic, I am able to assist patients to apply for insurance and community referrals. When I started at the Clinic in July, a family member of mine was diagnosed with cancer. You hear about cancer all the time, but it never has sounded so scary as when you learn that it is affecting someone you love deeply. The testing phase seems to last forever

The family member of mine with cancer lives in another community. Due to lack of communication, her care was being drawn out and necessary procedures were being delayed. So the choice was made to transfer to Cedar Rapids for care. Once here, my family member was prioritized, concerns were addressed quickly, and the necessary procedure happened within a very short period of time. Christmas was very special this year for my family; we celebrated that the cancer had not spread and a full recovery was expected.

Through these last few months, I have spent more time on the phone and in doctor’s offices and hospitals than I have  ever experienced before. Though it was a challenging time, I was reminded again and again how blessed I am to be a part of this Clinic. Our providers and nurses truly care for our patients. Even though we are a free clinic and not a Primary Care Provider, they do an amazing job of following up with patients and making sure that they are getting the best care possible. Our medical staff also realizes that even though there are physical implications of chronic disease or major health concerns, there is an emotional component as well. They are caring and compassionate when discussing and making treatment plans with patients.

I was also reminded again and again how blessed we are to be a part of such a wonderful medical community in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. We have an array of specialists, hospitals, and health care professionals that cannot be found in every community in Iowa. No one wants to be sick, but if that is the situation a person finds himself or herself in, it is such a relief to know that quality care is close by.

Amy DeLay
Patient Advocate