Patients not only see doctors, help too

Clinics link patients to social service programs

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Darryl Hill used to stop by his doctor's office fairly often.

But, the 54-year-old man wasn't always in to see his physician.

Instead, he met up with Eliticia Vieyra at Creighton University Medical Center University Campus located near 24th and Cuming streets. 

His condition? How to bounce back after years of hardship.

"I was losing my house from when I got laid off from my job and went through serious depression trying to find a new career," Hill said. "[I] went back to school and things like that. Things just weren't working out for me."

Vieyra assisted the Omaha native after he couldn't re-finance his house which led to leaner times in the kitchen and tougher times to healthcare access.

She's the manager of Community Link which is a program that connects patients to resources like food pantries, clothing and Medicaid while also enrolling others into utility assistance programs and ESL courses for non-English speakers.

CHI Health offered its program after receiving a grant July 2016, Vieyra told 3 News Now.

From July 2017 through May 2018, she estimates Community Link assisted close to 4,000 patients at both the University Campus and L Street sites. 

The program highlights a commitment  the University Campus made to the community when it opened its emergency services department in June 2017.

A promise to not only provide top-notch care in health services but to also battle life's problems alongside patients.

"We understand that doctors only play a percentage in the role of physical health care," Vieyra said.

She believes the rest  is found in showing patients how to advocate for themselves to improve their own health and well-being.

As for Hill, Vieyra said he's now independent and hasn't seen much of him since he found work as an electrician. 

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