We Assist with Medicine and Health Care Needs
Tricounty Family Ministries’ volunteer health program strives to foster and facilitate "whole person" health (body, mind and spirit) of anyone in need. These Healing Hands Ministries focus on helping under-served, uninsured and lost individuals with their medical needs, while fostering relationships that empower them to better maintain their own long-term health care.
Professional nurses volunteer their time and college interns gain practical clinical experience running the program from a room near the Tricounty Family Ministries Center. Classes focusing on diabetes care and nutrition are also offered to help clients learn to take better care of themselves.
Assistance with expensive prescriptions is a common need among those who frequent the Center. In fact, Tricounty Family Ministries helped 654 clients stay on their medications last year alone. Trained volunteers cut through red tape and complete applications that allow clients to obtain long-term, life-sustaining medications directly from the manufacturer at little or no cost. The lengthy application process must be completed for each separate medication and renewed at least twice a year. Usually it takes about four weeks for a six-month’s supply of medication to arrive for the client at his or her physician’s office.
The Doctor is In
In 2014, two physicians offered to donate their time to provide clients with primary care. This program allows clients to meet with our volunteer physicians on Monday mornings to obtain vital medical care at no cost. Clients are assisted with prescriptions, referrals and general care without needing to go to an alternate facility or experience lengthy delays to obtain the initial appointment.
Dental, Vision, and Hearing Clinics
Thanks to the generous support of Trident United Way and previously Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Tricounty Family Ministries has been able to bring dentists, optomitrists and audiologists on site for screening clinics. The patients at the clinics are ranked and provided follow up dentures, glasses and hearing aids as funding permits.
Health care referrals
Those with little or no available health care are matched to the services they need either at the state’s health department (those covered by Medicaid), the Franklin C. Fetter Family Health Center Inc., the Medical University (MUSC) or private physicians as needed. Through the Fetter partnership, Tricounty Family Ministries volunteers can schedule clinic appointments and serve as clients’ references, while Fetter sends patients to Tricounty Family Ministries for prescription advocacy or food or clothing assistance.
A personal story
Freddie*, one of our regular clients, peered over the Dutch door at the Center’s entrance. A wet towel was wrapped around his jaw, swollen from a painful, abscessed tooth. He had no money and had been turned away by several dentists who told him he needed to see a physician first. Tears ran down his cheeks as he asked for some aspirin to help with the pain.
We immediately sent him to a partnering clinic where he got the treatment he needed. He left with some antibiotics, knowing that Tricounty Family Ministries would help him or anyone in pain.
Clients who frequent the Tricounty Family Ministries Center often complain of health issues. Because many are homeless or living on the edge, they say they must choose between taking their medications— such as high blood pressure prescriptions and insulin shots—or eating. * Names have been changed.