Get Well Program Helps the Underserved
Dr. Tiffany Lester
High school English class reading lists commonly include the 1961 satirical novel, Catch-22, by Joseph Heller. The book’s title is one many people can relate to when seeking integrative medicine alternatives. Finding therapies that are financially within reach or covered by health insurance can be challenging, but the The Get Well Program at Cincinnati’s Alliance Integrative Medicine (AIM) is bringing help to the underserved.
AIM’s team of four doctors includes Tiffany Lester, M.D., who directs The Get Well Program. She shares, “Financial issues shouldn’t inhibit people’s access to integrative medicine and wellness options. That’s the cornerstone of The Get Well Program.” Their integrative medicine services include nutrition and wellness counseling, stress reduction techniques, acupuncture, Rolfing (a type of massage) and energy healing. According to Lester, “These therapies are evolving into the future of medicine, but reimbursement denials are common with insurance companies that haven’t evolved with them.”
The most common conditions Lester helps patients with are neck and back pain, gastrointestinal issues, depression/anxiety and migraines. The program’s aim is to provide options for as many people as possible, whether a single mom working several jobs and struggling with back pain, or a man without a job and health insurance trying to put his life back together while battling reoccurring migraines.
Since its founding in 2011, the program’s success has helped 75 underserved local residents. “Conditions that can be effectively treated by integrative medicine therapies are not exclusive to those with means,” says Lester. “Most often, help is needed during challenging periods, and it is oxymoronic that it is so common that people are financially stretched to pay for the treatment they need to heal at such times.”
The Get Well Program services are available on a sliding scale. Those in need can apply online at GetWellProgram.org, but Lester emphasizes that prospective patients can also write a letter explaining their circumstances in consideration for acceptance into the program. “Sometimes people need help for a few months to improve, but it can require longer,” shares Lester. Because the program is cash-based, insurance coverage is not a factor. “It is our way to give back to the community,” she notes. “Our approach can be an important stepping stone back to wellness.”
The Get Well Program is backed by the nonprofit Integrative Medicine Foundation and supported by generous community leaders and people whose lives have been transformed by integrative medicine. For those that financially support the program, contributions are tax-deductible. According to Lester, “Many contributors select specific treatment programs to support and sometimes sponsor treatment programs for needy individuals that they personally know. We have a strong and supportive community. It is so rewarding as a doctor to be able to reach underserved people with integrative medicine options.”
Alliance Integrative Medicine is located at 6400 E. Galbraith Rd., in Cincinnati. For more information, visit MyHealingPartner.com or call 513-791-5521.
Gayle Wilson is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings. Contact her at DashWriter.com.Edit ModuleShow Tags