Lionel's Journey, Independence Now, Maryland

Independence Now, a Center for Independent Living in Silver Spring, Maryland recently shared a consumer success story from one of their Public Health Specialists below.

Lionel's story began when he moved to Rockville. Living on his own was his goal, but his eyesight made it tough, and that's where Independence Now came into the picture. He was referred to our agency through his social worker. As a Public Health Specialist, I was ready to help him as much as I could to fulfill his goal.

First, Lionel needed to see a doctor, but his health insurance was a bit tricky, and many doctors didn't accept it. I did some research and started making calls to find a doctor who would work with Lionel's insurance. It took some time, but I was able to do it. Lionel now had a Primary Care Physician.

Additionally, Lionel needed to see some special doctors for his eyes and other health issues. Finding them was hard, but Lionel and I didn't give up. We had a meeting in person, and during this meeting, we called Lionel's insurance company together. We asked for a list of doctors who would take Lionel's insurance. Success! The insurance representative and I found the right doctors and set up appointments.

As we continued working together, Lionel told me about his transportation troubles. I helped Lionel apply for Metro Access.  Upon approval of his application, it will be much easier for him to get around. I found information about bus routes that Lionel could use to get to his doctor's appointments, which would give Lionel more freedom.

Lionel informed me that he had a device that could help him read, but he didn't know how to use it. So, I connected him with our Assistive Technology Specialist, to teach him how to use it. Furthermore, I helped Lionel get important papers, like his social security benefit letter, which he needed for extra help from another organization. I even found a lawyer to help Lionel with his immigration issues and provided the phone number to the IRS to assist with his tax file.

Finding a stable and affordable place to live was also important to Lionel. I guided Lionel on how to get on the HOC list for housing and I told him about the Affordable Connectivity Program, where he could get the internet at a good price. I also gave Lionel a phone number to call a local agent who could help him sign up for Medicaid.

Then again, it wasn't just about health and housing. I also encouraged Lionel to join an online event called "Lighting your Path." This will help him become more social and connect with his community. As Lionel's story continued, he felt more independent and confident. With each step, we found new opportunities, made Lionel more independent, and helped him feel supported. Lionel's journey with Independence Now is a lesson in what public health is all about—helping people in every way, giving them tools not just to take care of their health but also their well-being.

 

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