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This post comes to us from our Texas Associate Member, Texas Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.:

David Molina of Dallas, Texas knows the important role health centers play for those without insurance.  Like most working-poor, uninsured adult patients, David puts the care of his family front and center, and his own care takes a back seat. 

In fact, David, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, did not know that he was one step away from losing his sight due to diabetic retinopathy (DR). Fortunately for David, Dallas’ Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic had been able to purchase two retinal cameras through a grant from the Hoblitzelle Foundation to provide DR screening for patients with a diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes.

And thanks to Los Barrios Unidos’ persistent medical team, along with the deeply discounted services, David made it to the clinic for a routine diabetes management visit and received a no-cost DR screening.  The images were electronically delivered to Los Barrios Unidos’ optometrist Dr. Christopher Choat, who immediately determined that David had advanced DR, and was at high risk of sudden, permanent vision loss.

After viewing his own images, and learning about the realities of diabetes and the severity of his diabetic retinopathy, David was surrounded by a compassionate, highly competent medical team which grew to include Parkland Health & Hospital System’s ophthalmologist. They formed an immediate and collaborative plan of action, and David promptly received injections to prevent further retinal damage, thereby significantly decreasing his risk of blindness. 

David’s story had a happy ending, but there are countless uninsured Texans who weigh the cost of medical care against other basic needs. It’s a choice that ultimately represents life and death. Visit www.tachc.org to learn more.

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