Through a generous grant via the United Health Foundation and in cooperation with KC Care Clinic, CHC of Wyandotte County’s Community Health Worker initiative seeks to improve health across Wyandotte County. From time to time, we want to showcase some of the success stories from our health workers:
“I got a referral for a Kareni client from Catholic Charites. I was told that the client has a gall bladder cancer, and she needs help with her Medicaid application. The next day, I called the daughter and set up a meeting at the CHC office. I was excited to meet this client because she was my first client from the Burmese community. I was curious how they were dealing with their daily needs. On our appointment day, I was waiting for them from my office. An hour passed by, but they never showed up. I dialed the number on the referral letter but no one answered my phone calls.
I called them the next day. The daughter who answered my call said they could not make it because of transportation difficulty, and the daughter said she will call me back when she is available to bring the client to me.
After waiting for a few days, I finally met the client at my office with her daughter and two grandchildren. She was a 70 year old lady. She was smiling for me, but she seemed very weak. She speaks very softly and mostly relies on her daughter. When I asked her questions, she looked at her daughter first and talked softly. The client recently had her surgery for her gall bladder cancer and she has a tube installed on her stomach for feeding herself. She was trying to go back for follow up but her Medicaid coverage was interrupted.
I was able help her by getting her Medicaid back, and scheduled for her follow up appointment at KU Cancer Center. On her appointment day, my client had difficulties answering her medical history for the technician. I explained to the technician how difficult it was for her to answer the medical questionnaire, and I requested that the technician ask questions in the easiest possible way. The test was finally done after several attempts in that morning. The doctor saw the client in the afternoon, and said no cancer on her! She just needs to follow up in three months. Doctor said client needs to try to eat food by her mouth and follow up with Primary Care Physician to monitor her weight gain. I set up a PCP [Primary Care Provider] appointment for the client for the next month. I explained to my client and to the daughter how important it is to do what the doctor has recommended. The client said she will try to eat food by her mouth so that the tube on her stomach can be removed soon, and she will be stronger.
At her PCP appointment, the PCP doctor examined client and she said all of client’s test results are good and client has improved a lot in feeding herself by mouth. Client said she has not used the tube for about a month but feeding herself by mouth. She looks much stronger than before, and she was smiling with full confidence!”
Za Ceu Lian is a community health worker who serves Wyandotte County’s English, Chins & Burmese speaking communities.