Posted by on May 25, 2017 in News |

Working as a school bus driver brings Annabelle joy.  When she first started working years ago, it did not bother her that she did not have health insurance through her job.   She did not need insurance, or so she believed. After all, she was healthy!

As time went on things changed, Annabelle developed Type II Diabetes and required medical care.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) initially helped Annabelle to buy health insurance.   However, eventually she could not afford the premiums and co-pays.


BVMI’s Certified Diabetes Educator, Holly Homa, RN-BC, CDE provides Annabelle with some tools for creating a healthier lifestyle.

Annabelle did some online research and discovered Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI) in Hackensack, NJ.  “Here was a place that would take care of me so that I could keep going to the job that I love so dearly.  It almost seemed too good to be true,” said Annabelle.  “And then, when I came to BVMI and saw how nice everyone is, I was floored.  Being patient at BVMI feels like a dream.”  “I can finally get the care I need,” she added.  Diabetes education, GYN visits, social work appointments, podiatry exams, general care. And I finally got to see an eye doctor – something I haven’t been able to do in three years!  Also, I didn’t know about pharmaceutical assistance before I came here. BVMI helps me get my diabetes medication for free, and that’s a big help.”

Prior to becoming a patient at BVMI, Annabelle was overwhelmed and stressed – her health was compromised, and it was exhausting.  “If it wasn’t for BVMI, I might have had to quit the job that I love so much – and I do love those kids.  The thought of leaving them would break my heart,” she said.  Now Annabelle is back to laughing, smiling, and feeling good again.  “It eases my mind knowing that BVMI is here – not only medically but also emotionally.  Everyone has been so patient and kind and nice.  BVMI is a godsend,” she said.

~Shared with permission from BVMI, a member of the VIM Alliance.