A small change can make a big difference

By Deborah Laurents, Wesley Nurse in Elgin, Texas

A gentleman I know, Greg Silkenson, has a ministry called "Church on the Street." Greg goes to Veteran's Park almost every Friday and provides breakfast tacos, coffee and juice to anyone who shows up. The ministry usually serves the men who wait there for someone to give them a job. Greg is very faithful, caring and compassionate and has built strong relationships.

A few weeks ago, I visited with Greg and the men there. Greg introduced me to Mr. J, a gentleman who receives life-saving health care treatments three days a week in Austin.

Mr. J told me his treatments were Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Mr. J. said he rides the bus for $7.00 round trip on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but on Saturdays, the bus does not provide transportation. In order to make it to his appointments, he has to pay someone $50.00 to take him.

With Mr. J's permission, I called his case manager and asked if Mr. J's treatment days could be changed to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I pointed out the financial hardship it was causing. I was told it was unlikely his schedule could be changed.

As a Wesley Nurse, I help community members obtain access to resources. I felt I couldn't give up. I had to help. God and persistence won. The third time I called, the regular case manager was not there and another case manager returned my call. When I explained to him the hardship Mr. J. was having, the case manager immediately said, "Traveling from Elgin gives him priority in getting his schedule changed. I will see what we can do."

Shortly afterwards, I stopped by to let Mr. J. know about the conversation. I was very happy to learn his schedule had been changed. With a big smile, Mr. J. said "thank you."

Deborah Laurents, RN, is a Wesley Nurse with Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. Methodist Healthcare Ministries' Wesley Nurse program is a faith-based, holistic health and wellness program committed to serving the least served through education, health promotion and collaboration with individual and community in achieving improved wellness through self-empowerment. Learn more at http://www.mhm.org/programs/health-ministries