Following a car accident in March 2018, Maria (not her real name) was referred to the Grand County Rural Health Network by Middle Park Health’s Kremmling Clinic for financial assistance to obtain prescription medications due to severe injuries, including a blood clot in her leg. Maria did not have any insurance or income, as she was no longer able to work because of her injuries. After the Network provided direct financial assistance for her prescriptions, Maria was then referred internally to our Nurse Patient Navigator, Cole, for support in finding a longer-term solution.

Cole began working with Maria in May 2018 and helped her apply for a patient assistance program to receive the needed medications free of charge. Maria was accepted onto this program successfully and has been receiving her medications in the mail ever since. Cole worked closely with Maria as an advocate to navigate her health issues due to language and cultural barriers.

As Maria gained trust in Cole, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with cancer in 2017. She had not received any treatment because of her inability to obtain insurance and a lack of understanding of her diagnosis. Cole collaborated with Denver Health and was able to advocate for Maria to be accepted into the Denver Health Financial Assistance Program in order to access affordable cancer treatment. Cole has coordinated transportation to Maria’s appointments both within and outside the county and helped her apply for additional financial assistance through our partner, Mountain Family Center. Maria began chemotherapy on October 30th, 2018, and without Cole’s support and advocacy, may not have otherwise ever been able to access the care she needed.