Acadian Health Texas Mobile Health Paramedic Don J. has built a rapport with many of his patients. He shares a story of how empathy and advocacy has created a lasting impact for one patient, Mr. C.

Don began visiting the patient at the beginning of 2023 for joint disease and COPD. He recognized that the patient was obese and in need of an exercise program, but did not know what to do.

Through reflective listening and observation, Don offered health and nutrition suggestions — primarily actionable ways for Mr. C. to reduce his soft drink consumption and replace those drinks with water. He also suggested Mr C. start riding a bicycle — but the patient didn’t have one.

Don said, “While driving around one day, I found a garage sale. There was a bike with a $15 price tag. I was speaking with the owner and told them I wanted to purchase the bike for this patient. After hearing his story, the owner donated the bike at no charge.”

After receiving the bike, Mr. C followed Don’s suggestions, a testament to the trust between patient and care provider. He started biking, first going just a half a block, and slowly increasing his distance to a mile… then two… then three. 

Mr. C lost approximately 100 pounds through his water consumption and daily bike rides — and then his bike was stolen.

Don went back into action, continuing to advocate for his patient’s health. He didn’t give up on finding another bike for Mr. C., going as far as speaking with a major sporting goods store. He acquired a voucher that enabled the patient to get a new bike and a lock.

Don doesn’t visit the patient on a regular basis any longer, but he still remains in contact. He shares that Mr. C. is still losing weight and is now riding nearly 10 miles a day.

Thanks to our ability to track social determinants of health and build relationships with our patients, we are able to make impacts that go beyond a clinical scope.

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