New Horizons – Here’s To Brighter Days Ahead
A Message from HealthWell Foundation President, Krista Zodet
It’s hard to believe that we’re almost halfway through 2021. It’s been an exciting and challenging first half of the year and I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones, friends and colleagues safe and well. While we are all still bearing the burden that the COVID-19 public health crisis has bestowed upon us, we can now see new horizons and brighter days ahead. As we continue to exercise vigilance in eradicating the spread of COVID-19 through vaccines and by following safety protocols, we are all hopeful that we will soon be able to safely reconnect with family, friends and coworkers face-to-face. It’s been a challenge for all of us and completely life-altering for many, but we can’t give up now! The team and I encourage everyone to continue to protect themselves and those around them by getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and following social distancing protocols. We are in this together – stay safe, stay well, stay vigilant!!
Before diving into my quarterly update, I want to share a very special thank you on behalf of our Board, and my corporate and contact center teams. THANK YOU, frontline health care workers for your compassion and commitment to keeping us safe and healthy and for all you have done for those who have contracted COVID-19. Your tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed, and we are forever grateful for your passion to assist those in need. Thank you for all you do and for all you have sacrificed to keep us safe! I’m honored to share that we recently launched our newest HealthWell-sponsored fund, the COVID-19 Frontline Health Care Workers Behavioral Health Fund, which I’ll review in our Fund Update section!
Since my last letter, and as a result of the continued generosity of our corporate and individual donors, we were able to enhance our program through the launch of new funds to assist Medicare patients living with myelodysplastic syndromes and pancreatic cancer.
The team continued to implement new processes to streamline our programs, identify and engage new alliance partners, and spread the word about the life-changing work we do. I’ll have more details on our accomplishments later in this edition, so I hope you’ll continue to read.
As I mentioned in my previous letter, the team and I were touched by the incredible support we received from our corporate and individual donors in 2020. Given the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have on our economy, our families, and our friends, we do not take this good fortune lightly. Even through the darkest days of the pandemic, we were humbled by their continued generosity. Through their contributions to the HealthWell Foundation, we were able to assist a record number of patients through a record number of grants in 2020. I’m excited to share details of last year’s achievements in our 2020 Year in Review and look forward to sharing the full overview of the year in our 2020 Annual Report, which we plan to publish this summer.
Meet The Team
In order to keep up with the increasing demand for our programs and services, we are fortunate to be able to continue to bring on additional team members to help us carry out our mission. Earlier this spring, we were excited to enhance our corporate team with the addition of Sharon Flores, Accountant and Franck Dewonou, Operations Support Coordinator. I hope you’ll take a moment to learn more about Sharon and Franck and join me in welcoming them.
I’m also honored to share that we welcomed many new members to our contact center team. As most members of the corporate and contact center teams continue to work remotely, I’m so proud to say that we have been able to continue to operate with the utmost efficiency to bring much needed financial support to America’s underinsured. I applaud our amazing teams for putting those we serve first and for the outstanding performance and commitment they continue to demonstrate every day. Thank you for all you do and for giving those we serve one less thing to worry about.
Fund Openings and Updates
While we are seeing the positive impact on the vaccine front, the COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on all of us. For many, the impact will be something that we will carry with us for years to come. Whether we were infected with the virus, lost a loved one or a job, or felt completely alone and isolated during the stay-at-home mandate, those feelings of loss and hopelessness can linger for months or even years. Imagine that you are on the frontlines – treating patients suffering with COVID – everyday with little to no rest. Imagine the anxiety and stress that results from endless hours of caring for patients – many of which did not overcome the disease.
We recognize the unmet needs of frontline health care workers during the public health crisis and the importance mental health has on their ability to cope with the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has imparted on the patients they serve.
In an effort to assist as many health care workers as possible, we recently launched a new, HealthWell-sponsored, fund to provide copayment assistance for behavioral health treatments for frontline health care workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Through our COVID-19 Frontline Health Care Workers Behavioral Health Fund, we offer up to $2,000 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant period to eligible health care workers to assist in covering their out-of-pocket treatment-related copayments for prescription drugs, counseling services, psychotherapy, and transportation needed to manage COVID-19 related behavioral health issues.
Susan Gurley, Executive Director, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, shared her thoughts, “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unshakeable impact on our lives. For those who are treating patients infected with the virus, the impact is exacerbated by reoccurring traumatic events and uncontrollable outcomes. During these unprecedented times, many are dealing with added anxiety, thoughts of helplessness, failure, and fear. Oftentimes, people suffering from these feelings do not seek necessary treatment and counseling, which can lead to more serious situations, including PTSD, and even thoughts of suicide. We applaud the HealthWell Foundation for recognizing the paramount need for frontline health care workers who are going to heroic measures to save the lives of those impacted by COVID-19 by providing a vital financial resource that will enable them to obtain critical behavioral health services.” Visit our COVID-19 Frontline Health Care Workers Behavioral Health Fund to learn more.
This quarter, we were also excited to announce the launch of two new funds to assist Medicare patients living with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and pancreatic cancer. Both funds offer up to $10,000 in medication copayment or insurance premium assistance for a 12-month grant period to eligible Medicare patients living with these conditions. To learn more about these funds and our robust portfolio of diseases we cover, visit our Disease Funds page.
In addition to adding new funds, we recently updated the types of assistance we provide through our Hepatitis C Fund. We’re happy to share that we have added insurance premium assistance in an effort to help even more Hep C patients in need. To learn more about the fund, visit our Hepatitis C Fund page.
Real-Time Fund Alerts
We also continued to implement new and improved processes to ensure that the HealthWell experience is as user-friendly as possible. I’m excited to share that we recently announced the launch of our enhanced Real-Time Fund Alerts portal. Through the enhanced portal, anyone can register and receive instant email notifications to track the status of HealthWell’s diverse portfolio of disease funds in real-time.
- Simply select Real-Time Fund Alerts from the dropdown Portal button at www.HealthWellFoundation.org.
- Create an account with just your name and email address.
- Once you are logged in, click “Get Fund Alerts” and select the funds you would like to monitor in real-time.
If the status of a fund changes, you will receive an instant notification through the email address you provided during registration. In addition, you can change the funds you would like to monitor by selecting additional funds or removing a currently selected fund at any time. Visit our Real-Time Fund Alerts Portal today to register.
Patients, providers and pharmacies, if you have not already done so, we encourage you to sign up under the designated portals to monitor grants, activities, and also sign up for Real-Time Fund Alerts.
Resources from Our Valued Alliance Partners
As we continue to expand our programs across a variety of disease areas, it’s important to identify alliance partners who share our mission to assist those in need. Partnering with organizations where we can share resources and cross-refer patients is paramount in reaching individuals who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn. We are honored to be working with our newest alliance partners, National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), and the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation. Click on the links to learn more about our new partners. We also hope you’ll take a few moments to learn about the other amazing organizations we work with by visiting Our Alliance Partners page.
Making a Difference
We’re always looking for new ways to make life easier for everyone. Many people don’t think about how the creation of a will can have a tremendous impact on loved ones. That’s why we’re excited to announce a new resource to protect what you love. Nearly 70% of American adults don’t have a legal estate plan in place, often because the task can seem overwhelming and expensive. To help protect those you love and make a plan for your future, we have partnered with FreeWill to provide a free estate planning tool. It’s safe and secure, takes 20 minutes or less, and is completely free to write your legal will. Get started here. We hope you’ll take advantage of this free service to give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind for the future.
Your Support is Critical in Helping Us Carry Out Our Mission
During these challenging times, and always, HealthWell stands by its commitment to ensure that no one goes without critical, often lifesaving, medical treatments simply because they can’t afford them. As the need for our services continues to grow, your support of our mission is more important than ever. Your support allows us to provide a financial lifeline to the thousands of patients who reach out to us each year to help with the cost of life-changing medical treatments – treatments that many would go without due to cost. We can’t say “Yes” without you! Did you know that 100% of your tax-deductible donation is put to work immediately to assist people living with chronic, life-altering, illnesses? Won’t you help us say “Yes, we can help you” today?
There are many ways you can support our life-changing work!
- Create a Facebook fundraiser to commemorate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion.
- Make a tax-deductible contribution.
- Donate in the name of a friend or loved one.
- Include the HealthWell Foundation in your estate plans.
- Spread the word about the important work we do by sharing your HealthWell story.
Can’t make a financial contribution? You can help by spreading the word about the life-changing work we do. Connect with us through our social communities!
Helping us spread the word is a critical and valued contribution to the HealthWell Foundation. Thank you for helping us help others in any way you can!
Wishing you continued safety and good health. The HealthWell Team