Senators Ray & Kip Bateman Medical Clinic for the uninsured
A patient was brought to SHIP’s Mobile Medical Clinic by family members. He was in very bad shape, with a fever, infected wound, low BP – close to septic shock. He had been shot in a drive by several weeks earlier and had surgery and a couple of week hospital stay. He was discharged with retention sutures still in his abdomen and had no follow up care, as he was uninsured. Dr. Joe examined him and determined he needed to go to the ER where he could receive IV fluids and IV antibiotics. His son drove him over and then called Dr. Joe when the ER refused to treat him. Dr. Joe had to get on the phone with the ER doc and threaten to call the chief doctor at hospital before they took him in and treated him. He could have easily died without our care.
A very healthy looking 40 year old Costa Rican man with no insurance came to see us at our clinic in Somerville. When I took his history he said he had no medical issues. When asked why he wanted to see the doctor he said he had to urinate frequently. This is a symptom of diabetes so I checked his blood sugar and found that it was 397 (normal is under 100). We then started him on diabetic medication, gave him a glucometer, taught him how to use it and also did dietary teaching through a translator. We definitely kept him out of the ER.
A recently uninsured woman came to our clinic Somerville with a history of uncontrolled diabetes and symptoms of a gastrointestinal bug. She had been having uncontrolled diarrhea many, many times per day, abdominal pain and just could not keep any food in her. Her blood sugar was very high and she couldn’t afford the expensive medication that was prescribed previously for her. When she arrived she was sobbing and looked terrible. Dr. Joe diagnosed her GI problem and we gave her antibiotics and antispasmotic meds for the diarrhea. We also changed her diabetic medication around so that she could take advantage of Shoprite’s free diabetic program, as well as getting her the one very expensive med from the Somerset County Food Bank Prescription Program for free for a month.
She returned to see us a few weeks later and came in smiling and so appreciative of our help. She is feeling a bit better, her blood sugar was much improved and we are helping her apply for charity care at Morristown Hospital.
An uninsured Hispanic woman who was 8 weeks pregnant came in with symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Through our partnership with Somerset Family Practice, I was able to get her a medical appointment for the UTI the next day, where they tested her urine and gave her antibiotics, and then she was enrolled in their charity care prenatal program.
An out of work and uninsured truck driver came to us as he failed a D.O.T physical because of high BP. His BP was quite high and we started him on an antihypertensive drug. I came and met the patient the next week in Somerville, as there was no clinic that day, to check his pressure. It was still high so I phoned Dr. Joe and we increased his dosage. The next time he came to the clinic his BP was under control and we could give him a note for the D.O.T. saying that he is being treated for his high BP and they will give him another shot at his truck driver’s license and hopefully he will be employed again.
A very sick woman came to SHIP’s Mobile Medical Clinic with abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. She was also a diabetic. Dr. Joe suspected gallbladder disease and gave her a prescription for an ultrasound. One of our volunteers drove her to the hospital. She had the test and was sent home with no follow up care prescribed because she is uninsured. One of our translators followed up with her, got the results of gallstones and Dr. Joe has a surgeon at Overlook who is willing to do her gallbladder surgery for free. The patient is currently being assisted to enroll in Overlook’s charity care program so she can get her operation.
Many of our mobile medical clinic patients come in with vision problems. Dr. Joe was able to get an eye doctor to do free eye exams on 10 of our patients on a Saturday in Summit. One of our volunteers drove them to Summit and we were able to get glasses for all 10 patients for $250.
A 16 year old high school student came to Somerville all the way from Hackettstown. His dad has no insurance and the boy needed a physical to be able to play football at school. They could not afford the $450 that their local doctor was going to charge, and we were able to do his physical for free. I also helped the dad fill out all the athletic forms for the school.
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At SHIP we create programs and services that increase the Somerset County and surrounding regions capacity to respond to the needs of the poor and working poor.
Since March 5, 1984 We have served over 100,000 people.
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