How the Heart Led the Way

Edith’s Story with LVIM

When Edith walked past Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine on her way to work, she noticed the heart in LVIM’s logo. Curious, she decided to step into the clinic and learn more about it. From the moment she entered LVIM, Edith noticed a difference in the people she encountered compared to other healthcare facilities she had visited. From the enrollment volunteers to her healthcare providers, she felt that everyone wanted to help her and genuinely cared about her and the work they were doing.

Before finding LVIM, Edith struggled with Type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. She didn’t always have access to medical check-ups or the medication she needed. Alongside her diabetes, she also struggled with rheumatoid arthritis, which inflicted significant pain upon her. Through LVIM’s Collaborative Care model, Edith began receiving mental health services, including prescribed medications from LVIM’s Pharmacy and Publix’s pharmacy. She expressed that this comprehensive approach to her health, addressing both physical and mental aspects, had made a significant difference in her life. She feels cared for as a whole person, rather than just being evaluated for her conditions.

Through LVIM’s Steps to Good Health program, funded by the GiveWell Community Foundation, Edith received a free YMCA membership to help her in reaching her medical goals through physical exercise alongside her prescribed medications. This program enabled Edith to engage in regular exercise and even learn how to swim, which helped alleviate the pain from her arthritis.

Despite the obstacles posed by her arthritis, Edith worked very hard to manage her diabetes. With the support of the YMCA program and her medications, she successfully lowered her A1c from 13.7 to 8.8 and her rheumatoid arthritis pain has lessened. Additionally, her mental health is improving through the care provided by LVIM’s Collaborative Care model. Edith emphasized that without the cost-free services at LVIM, she would not have been able to afford the care and medications necessary to manage her health issues.