Transforming the Healthcare Experience: Sarah’s Story

Sarah – a Medicaid beneficiary – was a single mother, struggling to make ends meet while raising two young children. She worked tirelessly at a minimum-wage job, but it was never enough to cover all the bills. To make matters worse, she was diagnosed with a chronic illness that required expensive medication and frequent doctor visits a few months ago. Despite these challenges, Sarah always put her children first.

As Christmas approached, Sarah knew she couldn’t afford to buy her kids any gifts, so she began researching programs that provided gifts to kids in need. After days of searching, she found most were no longer accepting applications.

Sarah knew she was going to have to make a tough decision about what to skip this month to get by. She knew if she didn’t pay rent, they would be evicted. If she didn’t buy food, they would go hungry. She might be able to skip purchasing her medication this month or eating less, but that wouldn’t be enough. She knew it was a risky decision, one that could have serious consequences, but the thought of her children waking up to nothing on Christmas morning was too much to bear.

Thankfully, a CHESS case worker contacted Sarah to see if they could provide her any resources. CHESS learned that Sarah had been looking for a program to help her kids this Christmas and that she was struggling financially to afford her bills, medicine, and everyday expenses. For two weeks, the CHESS case worker called and researched programs for Sarah. Once the case worker found a program, she helped Sarah apply since she did not have a computer or printer.

Sarah was accepted to the program and was overwhelmed with gratitude and relief, knowing that her children would not go without this Christmas. CHESS’ support helped ease Sarah’s burden by addressing her social determinants of health and allowed her to focus on her health and well-being.