Patient Story – Tamara: National Minority Health Month
April is National Minority Health Month. This is a time to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minority populations and encourage action through health education, early detection, and control of disease complications. To participate in this discussion, we wanted to highlight some of our patients.
Today’s patient story is Tamara’s (name changed for confidentiality). Tamara immigrated to the United States from Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Tamara was having pain in her breast, but without a primary care provider or health insurance, she waited until the pain was unbearable before seeking care in an emergency room. The team there diagnosed her with both breast cancer and a MRSA infection.
Tamara enrolled as a patient at a WeCareJax partner primary care clinic, and we immediately referred her for treatment through Baptist MD Anderson. Tamara had a full mastectomy and is continuing chemotherapy. Her prognosis is good at this time, but the duration of her care plan is extended due to the late diagnosis.
Her case is an example of how multiple barriers to care can disproportionately impact uninsured neighbors. Without access to regular primary and preventive care, cancer is often diagnosed late in the course of the disease. Early detection could have eased her pain before it got to the point of an emergency room visit, and made her path to recovery a smoother process. It also could have allowed her to begin her care with us through the Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, one of the only pathways to Medicaid coverage for adults in our state.
WeCareJax is committed to health equity and to removing barriers to care. This month, we hope you’ll help raise awareness and join us! Please share this post or subscribe to our monthly eNews below. We look forward to connecting with you!