Thrive by IU Health

November 22, 2023

Patient assistant funds provide hope in crisis

IU Health Methodist Hospital

Patient assistant funds provide hope in crisis

In emergency situations, patients and their families often find themselves in a position of uncertainty, fear and worry. They may wonder how they'll get back home after being flown to the hospital via LifeLine helicopter, or if their family can afford a hot breakfast after a long night in the emergency department. Thankfully, philanthropy-supported Patient Assistance Funds are often available to help patients and their loved ones in situations like these. Social Work teams serve as stewards of these funds and can dispense resources immediately to qualifying patients and families in need.

Lesly May, a social worker in the Cardiology Clinic at IU Health Methodist Hospital, says her work often addresses psychosocial factors that profoundly impact health and well-being. “My work includes talking to patients about trauma and social determinants of health and educating families about their loved ones,” she said.

Over the past three years, May has seen an increase in need for housing assistance with the patients she works with. “Too many individuals face eviction, resorting to living in cars or enduring life on the streets, all stemming from overwhelming debt,” said May.

Lesley May, MSW,​ LCSW

In June of 2023, May was working with a patient who had been unhoused for six months. Through the generosity of donors to IU Health Foundation, May was able to offer a lifeline, using Patient Assistance Funds to pay a security deposit, ensuring her patient's access to safe housing to continue her focus on her cardiac health.

"The most rewarding aspect of my role is offering tangible solutions that can positively impact a patient's long-term well-being," May said. "I've learned that sustaining health requires a collaborative effort. Donor contribution to the Patient Assistance Fund is a testament to your dedication to our shared community."

May's unwavering commitment exemplifies the transformative power of compassion and community support, illuminating the path toward a healthier and more hopeful future for those in need.

To date, our Patient Assistance Funds have served nearly 13,000 patients and/or family members. However, due to overwhelming need, our Social Work team consistently receives more requests for help than they can adequately provide. Supporting the Patient Assistance Fund is simple and accessible—and every gift makes a difference for a patient in need. Donors can feel confident that 100% of their gift goes directly to patients and their loved ones for immediate, necessary care.

Join us in making all the difference in the lives of patients and their families with a gift to the Patient Assistance Fund.