Shelia Kiser, a local small business owner, first visited InterFaith Health Clinic for what she thought was a simple, routine check-up. However, this was a transition in a two year whirlwind of numerous ER visits and lengthy hospital stays. During that time, Sheilia suffered both a heart attack and stroke, and was diagnosed with an extremely rare condition known as cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM). The rarity of her condition coupled with the fact that she was uninsured left Sheila with few options.
Thanks to InterFaith Health Clinic’s program, Health Care for the Working Uninsured, Sheila received all of her diagnostics and surgeries at only 10% of the cost of care.
The Health Care for the Working Uninsured program provides on-site family practice health care to working individuals without insurance. Services include lab work and x-rays on a sliding fee scale. Specialty clinics including podiatry, gynecology, diabetic counseling and minor surgery are held at the clinic on a regular basis. Dental care, mental health counseling, and affordable medications are also offered on-site.
In addition to financial support, InterFaith’s specialists arranged for Sheila to receive treatment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where she had surgery on the 9 cm. mass on her brain. Over the course of the last year, Sheila has continued to receive her routine and preventive care at InterFaith. When Sheila learned that InterFaith offered educational resources as well as medical care, she realized she could utilize these learning opportunities to develop a healthier lifestyle. Sheila now utilizes the clinic’s patient education resources to help manage her diabetes. In Sheila’s owns words, “I’ve received everything I’ve needed from the clinic. I am humbled that people in the community are supporting it.”
The InterFaith Health Clinic is not a government program, but they depend on the generosity of United Way donors and the community to help provide premier health care. $20 a month will provide basic medical supplies to 7 patients and $50 a month will provide primary care to 1 patient.
United Way of Greater Knoxville is proud to support programs like Health Care for the Working Uninsured program that help people in Greater Knoxville. Together, we fight for the Health, Education, and Financial Stability of every person in our community. Change doesn’t happen alone. To live better, we must LIVE UNITED.