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     As a member of PPMM’s Regional Reproductive Health Coordinator team, Bianca O. is accustomed to navigating the health care system for overwhelmed patients who have just received a life-changing diagnosis, whether it’s an ectopic pregnancy or invasive cancer.
    She helps people find hospital treatment they need, makes appointments with specialists in the community, and she connects uninsured and under-insured patients with public programs to cover their treatment costs. That has never been more important than during the days of COVID.
   Recently, Bianca helped a woman who had breast screening at a PPMM health center and was then referred out for diagnostic testing, including a biopsy, which revealed breast cancer.
   “This patient had lost her job due to the pandemic and was scraping by on her savings,” Bianca said. “She relied on me to set up treatments and consults for her (at an excellent nearby hospital), and I helped her get on a program that would cover most of her costs.”
    The patient speaks Spanish only, and Bianca, who is bi-lingual, was able to be her point person for every stage of her breast cancer treatment process.
    “The health care system is so confusing for anyone to get through, and doing it during times like these is even more stressful,” Bianca said. “I’m just really glad I could be there for her, that I could call her and say, ‘There’s a program that can help you, and I’ll help you enroll right now. You will be covered.’”

Tags: healthcare, healthcare coverage, covid