Veterans Day honors the sacrifices and service of our nation’s veterans and their families. Today, JaxCareConnect honors all military personnel – active duty and retired. We do this by talking about the unique health-related issues that members of the United States military face, and by combatting those issues by working to make healthcare more accessible.
According to the National Library of Medicine, “veterans experience mental health disorders, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress, and traumatic brain injury at disproportionate rates compared to their civilian counterparts”. With unique health-related issues comes unique health-related solutions – something that JaxCareConnect works at every day. Our work to help our uninsured, Duval County veterans can best be represented by a client story.
Douglas (name changed for patient privacy), a JaxCareConnect client, is a veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps. Before coming into our program, Douglas was uninsured and unemployed for about three years. Due to the unique health-related issues he faced as a veteran, Douglas lost his job and employer-based insurance. He suffered from untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which lead him to abusing alcohol as a means to cope. It was not until Douglas was hospitalized with Acute Liver Failure, related to alcohol abuse, that he chose to seek help and take back his life and his health. That’s when he found the JaxCareConnect program. Through our program, Douglas was connected to primary care, mental health care, veteran support resources, and more. During his time in our program, he said his Patient Health Advocate (PHA) was “his rock”, offering invaluable guidance and support as he worked to get his health back. As of January, Douglas was almost fully recovered from his health issues and was celebrating fourteen months of sobriety! He said he might have gotten through it with just family support but is so grateful he did not have to. His PHA was his “cheering section, his crutch, a shoulder to cry on or vent to, and a valuable resource of relevant information”.
JaxCareConnect believes that all people should have access to high quality, comprehensive healthcare regardless of insurance status or ability to pay – especially those who have served our country. We try to embody this belief through the work that we do, clearly shown in Douglas’ story.
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