Ahoskie, NC — An appointment with a primary care physician at Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center (RCCHC) recently ignited a life-saving process for a local man who had no idea what health problems he had developed.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, is an Ahoskie citizen who is active in his church and traditionally has always been a hard-worker. He had never missed a day of work in his long career, but after a while he began having significant pain in his left leg and could hardly make it back to his car after his work day ended.
Advised to go see a primary care doctor since he had not had a check-up in an extended period of time, he was initially skeptical and chose to wait. A friend, who also happens to be executive director of Hertford Health Access (HHA), Weyling White, recommended he enroll in HHA and visit a primary care doctor at RCCHC.
“Hertford Health Access is designed to help uninsured people in our area have access to health care,” said White. “Primary care under HHA is provided at a low, affordable cost that can help prevent chronic diseases and major health problems for the people in our area.”
The program did just that for White’s friend, who agreed to enroll and visit a primary care doctor at RCCHC.
The man soon met with Dr. Thamrah Wright, a primary care doctor at RCCHC’s Ahoskie Comprehensive Care Center to whom he was assigned through HHA, and he informed her of problems he had been having with his left leg. Dr. Wright confirmed that he needed hip replacement, and recommended he see a specialist.
On Wednesday, December 18, the man visited Dr, Sonny Larabee’s office in Ahoskie to begin preparation for the hip replacement. Dr. Larabee immediately sent him to the hospital, as his left leg had significantly swollen since his visit at RCCHC. Upon arrival, it was identified that he had a blood clot in his left leg, and he was immediately sent to Greenville for emergency surgery. By Friday night, the man had returned home in good condition.
“God is blessing me,” said the man. “If I had a million dollars, I’d give them [RCCHC] every bit of it to say ‘thank you’ for starting me down the right path of this problem being discovered. The community health center was a blessing to me.”
While this is one of the most impactful stories of HHA’s history, White noted that the program has had many early successes.
“The bottom line is that there are people that need affordable care in this area, and that is where our program helps fill the gaps and provide preventative services to those in need of health care.”
HHA is a network of doctors who participate in providing care to the uninsured and underinsured citizens in the area. RCCHC, among other entities, is a member of that network.
To qualify for HHA, enrollees into the program must meet the income requirement of at or 200% below the federal poverty level and must be uninsured or underinsured.
Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center is a not-for-profit organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, committed to providing quality service and comprehensive healthcare to meet the needs of the rural community, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay. RCCHC offers a sliding fee scale for their patients, as well as medication assistance programs. Evening clinics are available at all locations.