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November 11, 2020

Sometimes Justice Looks Like Healthcare

By Liz Coates, Executive Director at Good News Clinics

Imagine experiencing symptoms like increased thirst or hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, or slow-healing sores – all symptoms of the onset of type 2 diabetes – and feeling you have no place to turn for answers and treatment? Good News Clinics not only screens all of our patients for risk factors like being overweight, family history of diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, but treats roughly 500-600 diabetic patients annually.

One patient, “Cara,” recently came to us via telehealth when the pandemic first hit. In only seven short months, this patient has lost 14 lbs and lowered her A1C by almost two points! She received one-on-one counseling with our registered dietitian, medical visits, lab work and medications. This was the support she needed to take control of her health, and she received that support because of our donors.

November is American Diabetes Month. Did you know that it takes about $130,000 – $150,000 annually to support our diabetes program alone? To treat one of the 500-600 patients who rely on us to help them learn about and control their diabetes, it’s roughly $350 per year. But, the value of that treatment in the lives of our patients is priceless. Just ask Cara.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that every patient over age 45 should be screened every 3 years for type 2 diabetes, especially if risk factors are present. Donors help us make sure that no one is without the opportunity to be screened.

Justice isn’t only happening in courtrooms. It’s happening every time a laid off worker can access a doctor. It’s happening when the homeless woman can get the insulin she desperately needs and has gone far too long without. Justice is simple – it’s righting what is wrong.

One of my favorite professors engrained on my heart many years ago that word from the prophet Amos, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”  Amos was calling God’s people who offered burnt offerings and sacrifices to realize that’s not God wants. Rather, God wants those offerings to be used to care for one another and God wants us to be a people who meet the needs of the world. That’s exactly who our donors are to every patient with diabetes.

May the kind of justice our loving and merciful God is about be the kind of justice we are about. And may it flow abundantly, like a never-failing stream, to grace the lives of all God’s children.