|Faces of Michigan Health Centers: Eric Gray|
Patient & Board Member | Advantage Health Centers | Detroit, MI
Back in October of 2006, I had a heart attack and the doctors had to insert a stint. At the time I was working for a small company which didn’t offer health insurance. I needed a provider to help watch the medications I was taking so the hospital set up an appointment for me at Advantage Health Centers’ site closest to where I live. Without Advantage, I don’t know what I would have done. At that time, I was not able to work and my wife was busy taking care of both of her elderly parents. Luckily for us, Advantage has a sliding scale for the fees they charge, based on a patient’s income, so I pay only a small fee to see my doctor.
When I visited the cardiologist who performed the surgery after my heart attack, I was told I could not come back unless I had insurance. That wasn’t a problem at Advantage. In fact, they helped me eventually find a health insurance plan I could afford. With their help, I found the State of Michigan’s Health Insurance Program (HIP) which I could afford and not have to wait a year before I could use it for my heart problems. Once I was covered by HIP, I had a surgery I needed but had been delaying.
When Advantage asked me if I would be willing to be on their Board of Directors, I told them I would be honored. Advantage was there for me when I needed them. Now I am their fundraiser chairperson. I am lucky to have a place like Advantage to go to, but these types of centers are too few and far between. We need more of them to make sure people have somewhere to go to get the kind of care I have.
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