The GAP Fund
Through a program called the GAP fund, the Foundation fills in the gap of what patients need and what they can afford.
In 2016, the Foundation provided over $4,800 dollars assisting patients and their families including $2,350 dollars spent on medication assistance. This included assisting patients with no insurance or copays for patients who were unable to afford the cost. Susan Miller, BSW, LSW, is a Social Worker and the Foundation’s liaison to insuring the GAP fund is used as intended. In her work, she and her team focus on patients’ needs who are being discharged from our hospitals.
Assistance may come in the way of necessary medical equipment, emergency housing, medications and transportation. Transportation is often a barrier with many of our patients. The GAP fund provides gas cards, KRT bus passes, as well as Greyhound bus tickets for patients needing transportation out of the Charleston area. One patient in particular was in West Virginia on a mission trip assisting flood victims. He became ill while helping others and was hospitalized. Unfortunately his group had to return home without him. The social worker assisted him in returning home by providing him with a Greyhound bus ticket.
We also helped several patients with hotel accommodations. One patient was homeless and needed medical treatment after discharge. He could not return to the environment he was living prior to admission. A hotel provided him a safe environment where he could continue with his follow-up treatment after he was discharged from the hospital. Another patient was diagnosed with breast cancer. Due to the distance she lived from the hospital, a hotel was provided for her prior to her receiving outpatient surgery. Another patient was a teenager who was admitted for orthopedic surgery. He did not have a bed at home. His social worker felt that his recovery from surgery would be hindered without a proper place to sleep. The GAP fund was used to purchase this young man a bed.
The GAP fund makes it possible for our social workers at Thomas Memorial and Saint Francis Hospitals to assist patients that otherwise would not be helped. Donor support of The Foundation helps improve the lives of our patients and members of our community.