Phoebe holds first help day - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Phoebe holds first help day

Albany- Throughout the Albany Civic Center, two words can desribe the atmosphere. "Phoebe cares," says Phoebe representative Darrell Sabbs.

The hospital is dedicating an entire day to South Georgia residents. "Today is help day. It's a very important day for the citizens of Albany, Georgia and for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital," says Sabbs. "We thought this would be a great way to bring everyone together in one spot sort of a one stop shop so that everybody can find what they need to help them," says Phoebe representative Gail Carter.

Like free information and education on health issues, testing for blood pressure, H-I-V, and blood sugar levels. "I found out today that my diabetes test was perfect so that means that's good, at my age I'm good," says event attendee Thomas Ellis.

But for many senior citizens, free testing like this is a God send. And at a time when the cost of healthcare is at an all-time high, many people are uninsured or underinsured. The elderly makes up the majority of those numbers. "To not have insurance, it can be devastating," says Sabbs.

But Phoebe is taking steps to take the pressure off of patients with the addition of the Phoebe Care Card. They're qualifying families for free or reduced-cost care. "It will benefit me in a whole lot of ways because I'm not working," says Louise Collins.

Louise Collins is here to benefit from all the health screenings and information along with financial assistance, something she says the hospital has always provided for the community. "A lot of people didn't even know about this until they came out with the Phoebe Family card. Now it's going to benefit more people but they have always been there. Phoebe has always been there for the low income families," says Collins.

But now they're taking the resources from inside the hospital straight to the people to provide a sense of relief. "When you know that you can go to the hospital, when you know that you can make your regular doctor visits, when you know that you can get your medication, there's a certain peace that you have," says Sabbs.

A peace that many are seeking and the hospital is helping them find. Future Help Saturdays will be held in surrounding areas including Lee, Terrell and Worth counties.

posted by len.kiese@walb.com