By Stephanie Jarnagan
Photo courtesy of Mission of Mercy
When Frank*, a long-haul truck driver, came to one of Mission of Mercy’s free mobile healthcare clinics, he was losing hope. He had recently passed out behind the wheel and woke up in the Emergency Department to find out he had skyrocketing blood sugar levels due to undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. One of his medications was more than $500/month – an expense he could not afford.
He was fortunate to find Mission of Mercy (MOM) to get the care and medications he needed in order to improve his health and continue working. Mission of Mercy, a Phoenix-based nonprofit with six mobile clinic sites located throughout Maricopa County, is driven by its mission to restore dignity and provide healing through love with free primary healthcare and prescription medications.
Frank’s story is one of the many Mission of Mercy staff and volunteers hear every day. Over the past 23 years, Mission of Mercy has provided more than 254,000 pro bono patient visits and dispensed more than 422,000 free prescription medications to those – like Frank – who have fallen through the cracks of a broken healthcare system.
At Mission of Mercy, no one is excluded from access to high-quality and compassionate care provided in large part by an extensive network of volunteer medical professionals and led by Medical Director Dr. Brad Smith.
“We serve anyone who needs primary care services regardless of age, status, background or ability to pay. This means no sliding scales or qualifying process,” says Executive Director Paula Carvalho. “And we not only provide care and treatment for acute health concerns, we also provide holistic medical care and education for those dealing with chronic conditions like diabetes.”
Mission of Mercy empowers uninsured patients like Frank to effectively manage chronic conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol through ongoing care and patient education. More than 80% of MOM’s patients have at least one chronic condition.
“The patient education and medication are critical to what we do because without those components, we’d effectively just be putting a Band-Aid on medical problems,” says Andrew Jacob, M.D., J.D., a board member with the Arizona Health Partnership Fund, a funding organization for Mission of Mercy Arizona. “As a medical home to nearly 3,000 patients annually, we are able to follow along on their health journey and track their progress, especially with our patients who have chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes.”
Mission of Mercy is 100 percent privately funded, receiving no federal or state funding. As a result, it is foundation, corporate and faith partners as well as individual community members who make this unique care accessible to our community’s most vulnerable.
Mission of Mercy’s Arizona Health Partnership Fund is a qualifying organization for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit. For more information on how to support Mission of Mercy through volunteering or by making a financial contribution, visit www.momaz.org.
*Patient name changed to protect patient privacy.
Mercy in the Morning Virtual Breakfast, Dec. 9
Mission of Mercy is hosting its 13th annual community breakfast in a virtual format this year from 9-9:30 a.m., Wed., Dec. 9. Register online today at giftmercy.org to learn more about MOM’s 2020 impact.