A Family Gift
Richard worked as a brick layer in the booming construction business found in Sumner County. He used the emergency room for his health care needsincluding injuries, sinus infections and, finally, a tooth ache. Although Richard was working full-time,his employer did not offer health insurance of any kind and Richard didn’t qualify for any insurance plan available on the ACA Marketplace. Without health insurance, Richard couldn’t even make an appointment with a physician or a dentist. On his last trip to the emergency room at a local hospital, his complaint was that a tooth was hurting, his jaw was swollen and he was unable to eat because of the discomfort. The physician had seen Richard on prior visits to the emergency room. He examined Richard and told him he had an abscessed tooth. The doctor went on to tell the patient that he couldn’t fix the tooth, only a dentist could do that and there were no dentists in the emergency room.This time, though, the doctor recalled the services available at Salvus Center and told the patient he could receive dental help from that clinic. Richard was in such discomfort, the promise of relief wasn’t enough. Richard took the information from the emergency room physician and immediately drove to the Salvus Center. Upon his arrival, he talked with the receptionist who told him what he needed in order to be seen at Salvus Center including proof of income, proof of residency and a photo ID. Knowing that the gentleman was in great pain, the receptionist registered the patient to be seen that afternoon. Staff called the ER and requested the patient’s record which contained documentation of certain vital signs. Richard was seen by the Salvus Center physician 30 minutes later.
Dr. Hill knew immediately that the patient needed to see a dentist. His health status was good with no indicators of disease or a health condition that could be a problem for the dental clinic. An appointment was made for Richard to be seen the next day at the Salvus Dental clinic. Before he left, Dr. Hill gave the patient a prescription for an antibiotic to begin fighting the infection
.Richard arrived early at Salvus Dental Clinic. He was immediately taken back to the treatment room where he had imaging done of the tooth and jaw.The dentist talked with the patient telling him that the root of the tooth was infected and the best option available was to extract the tooth. That procedure could be done that day. The volunteer dentist extracted the tooth, gave Richard post extraction directions, and shook his hand. Richard had tears of gratitude in his eye as he said thank you to the dentist. He paid for the services, made an appointment
for a dental exam and cleaning. He left the dental clinic with a numb jaw but with joy in his heart that he had relief.
The next day Richard’s mother, wife and uncle called the Salvus Center to make appointments in the medical clinic. Learning of the services available to those who are working but have no insurancewas a gift to this family. This gift is one that was not taken lightly.