Raymond Gipson // Charity Care
Although Raymond Gipson has lived in Richmond most of his life, he is the type of man that chooses to serve others. An area bricklayer, he moved to Florida for a while after the hurricane to help rebuild homes for FEMA.
Last November, Ray found himself in a difficult situation. He had been to Reid’s Emergency Department for some breathing problems where he received a breathing treatment, some medications and instructions to see a doctor if he wasn’t feeling better in a few days.
Ray waited more than a few days, but he was still having trouble breathing. He knew he didn’t have insurance to pay for a visit to the doctor, so he found himself with Dr. Robert Bode who volunteers at Siloam Health and Wellness Center, a free clinic in downtown Richmond. After an additional round of medications, Dr. Bode referred Ray to Dr. Dana Reihman, pulmonologist. “Dr. Reihman was very thorough. He treated me like I was his only patient,” Ray said. “He ordered several tests and another breathing treatment at Reid. When I let them know I couldn’t afford them, Dr. Reihman called the hospital and they helped me fill out Medicaid forms.” Reid provided charity care for Ray until his Medicaid was approved.
“The nurse let me know that anything I needed would be covered and the fees waived,” Ray added. “I don’t know what I would’ve done without them. I just can’t thank them enough!”
Ray soon received the news that he had lung cancer and would need 35 radiation treatments along with chemotherapy.
The radiation is now over, and Ray is finishing chemotherapy. Even after some time, he has difficulty saying the “c” word. “It’s just that name is scary,” he said. You see, his sister was like a mother to him, and not long ago she died of cancer – because she waited too long to seek treatment.
Ray is pushing through, determined to get well, and he has developed close relationships with the staff through the process.
“The doctors and nurses don’t just talk to you,” he said. “It’s two sides – they listen. They take the scariness out of it.”
One of the memorable moments of Ray’s journey was when he finished his radiation treatments. “To celebrate, they sang me a song that they wrote…it kinda brought tears to my eyes.”
From the family-style atmosphere, the friendly staff, and the help with knowing how to afford much-needed care, Ray says it is the staff that makes him want to get better.
“Every time I walk down that hallway, I am thankful”
Reid has always had a need to provide charity care. However, recent economic difficulties and changes in national health care policies make charity care an increasingly important focus for Reid Foundation.
People just like Ray walk through the doors every day, needing care – many choosing to compromise their care – without the ability to pay or knowledge of available resources. Reid staff are trained to assist, and if certain criteria are met, offer financial assistance.
Please consider making a donation to Reid Foundation in support of Reid Charity Care.
*In 2012, Ray passed away. It was a pleasure to get to know this special man.