I'm a Mount Sinai Nurse who works in administration at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. I like to run in the East Village, where I live with my tall Brazilian husband and our tiny dog Jeff.
On my tenth birthday, I went to see my doctor for my annual checkup. “Whoa! Congrats on making it into the double digits!” the staff exclaimed. The thought of my expanding age had never occurred to me before.
Another thought that never occurred to me on my tenth birthday, or throughout my adolescence, was the cost or coverage of my care. My parents were always insured, and my need to see a doctor was never limited by their ability to pay. As such, I grew and remained healthy, regularly visiting my doctor and dentist for well visits and when my health required throughout my preteen, high school and college years. Covered, treated and protected by my ever-available medical providers, I grew up worry-free.
So when I first learned about the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center (MSAHC), I felt the same surprise that I felt on my 10th birthday, as I thought about something that had never occurred to me: What might my life look like now if I had not had access to medical care on my 10th birthday?
MSAHC gives 10,000 adolescents comprehensive health care each year – just $1,000 allows for an entire year of complete, integrated coverage for one adolescent patient. Everything including preventative primary care medicine, dental care, and mental health care, to sexual and reproductive health care is covered in this small amount. MSAHC care is not quick or sloppy; MSAHC is a world leader in adolescent health, with a renowned medical fellowship and award-winning staff.
It was one of my physicians that first got me into running as a young twenty-something woman. I met him during a time in my life where I really needed his care. Looking back, I don’t know how I would have fared without his treatment, but I am certain that my health and recovery directly benefited from my absence of concern about how his bill would be paid.
With mental health and chronic illness starting earlier and earlier in adolescence, and with the increasing lack of security in our health care system and legislation today, it’s imperative that all young people have access to full, comprehensive, high quality care. I’m proud to be running on behalf of MSAHC because it not only meets this triple aim, it exceeds it, and in doing so, directly impacts thousands of young lives.
For more information on the MSAHC 2017 NYC Marathon Charity Team and how to contribute, please visit my full Crowdrise page – www.crowdrise.com/runamandarun. You can also keep track of my training via my blog, www.amandajanderson.com or on Twitter, @ajandersonrn.
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