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FDL woman finds friend in Samaritan Health Clinic

12:01 PM, May 12, 2014  |  Comments
Agnesian HealthCare Clinic nurse practitioner Louann Biddick, performs a check up on patient Robin Ingram, of Fond du Lac.
Agnesian HealthCare Clinic nurse practitioner Louann Biddick, performs a check up on patient Robin Ingram, of Fond du Lac.
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It took a life or death situation for Robin Ingram, of Fond du Lac, to find one of her new best friends. Three years ago, Robin started experiencing shortness of breath so extreme that a friend brought her to St. Agnes Hospital's Emergency Department.

"The ED doctor knew right away that something was wrong," Robin recalls. "I had a 104 degree temperature, and felt like I was drowning and suffocating at the same time. I couldn't breathe and I thought I was dying."

Robin credits her physician with his persistency. "He didn't stop until he had answers."

The answer came after a CT scan - a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung). That treatment, along with a new diagnosis (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - COPD), started what has become an enlightening and beneficial relationship with Agnesian HealthCare's Samaritan Health Clinic.

Providers, including Yasir Hatahet, MD, pulmonologist, and Louann Biddick, APNP, with the Agnesian Care Clinic, have been a mainstay in Robin's road to recovery and overall maintenance of several chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, COPD, asthma and osteoarthritis.

When Robin's health scare came in 2011, she was unemployed due to physical disabilities. "I had no income other than unemployment and I needed healthcare desperately. The Samaritan Health Clinic and Agnesian HealthCare have been a Godsend. Without the medical care they have given me, I would not be here today. I couldn't afford my rent let alone the co-pays for medication."

Robin speaks highly of Biddick, who she visits every month. "I love her to death," she says. "If I need medications, she goes out of her way to see which meds are covered, and works with Anna Kaniess (medication assistance specialist), who helps to search for covered medications (through the Samaritan Health Clinic). Louann is very concerned about me, and she lights up the room when she walks in. She puts a smile on my face."

Robin also gets a breath of fresh air when she visits the team at the Samaritan Health Clinic. "They're always wonderful and are happy to see you," Robin says. "They make what is going on seem not so bad."

And, she praises Dr. Hatahet for his assistance. "He's wonderful. At first, I was scared because he was so professional. But, the more I got to know him, he would help me with what I should do, and it has been delightful. I love coming to see him."

Robin's story is not unusual. The Samaritan Health Clinic welcomes more than 275 new patients each year, providing nearly 500 healthcare services vouchers monthly for physician follow-up visits, vision or dental care, and medication assistance.

To help support the Samaritan Health Clinic's important mission, the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation is offering a new fund-raiser, the Samaritan Health Clinic $150,000 Cash Raffle. The raffle replaces the house raffle which ran for 18 years.

"Individuals within Fond du Lac and surrounding communities have embraced the new fund-raiser," says Rita Meidam, Agnesian HealthCare Foundation executive director. "We have appreciated the community's generous support of the house raffle, but felt it was time to put a new twist on our annual Samaritan Health Clinic fund-raiser through the cash raffle."

And, it's done exactly that. Interest is high as the final days before the May 13 drawing approach. Joe Kemp, MD, an orthopedic surgeon, and Brita McCullough, MD, an obstetrician/gynecologist, both with Agnesian HealthCare, as serving as co-chairpersons.

As part of the cash raffle, ticket purchasers can win up to $150,000 in various cash prizes. First prize will be $100,000, with second prize at $15,000. Remaining prizes are as such: third prize, $10,000; fourth prize, $5,000; fifth prize, $4,000; sixth prize, $3,000; seventh prize, $2,000; eighth to 11th prize, $1,000; and 12th to 25th prize, $500.

Tickets are $50 each or four for $150, and are available at the Foundation office at St. Agnes Hospital, 430 E. Division Street, Fond du Lac, or through the ticket hotline at (920) 926-4959. A ticket drive thru will be open on Monday, May 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Tuesday, May 13 from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Interested individuals can pull up to the St. Agnes Hospital main entrance and will be serviced without having to leave their vehicle.

The drawing is scheduled at noon in the St. Agnes Hospital lobby.

For Robin, she hopes sharing her message about the Samaritan Health Clinic will help give others encouragement who may be facing health concerns without the financial means to pay for care.

"I have a renewed hope for the future," Robin explains. "The people through the Samaritan Health Clinic take care of me. They are wonderful, personal and show genuine concern for their patients."

To learn more, call the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation at (920) 926-4959.

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