Becoming a Member of BIHSRebecca Brown shares why being a member is important to her
Why Become a Member of Block Island Health Services?
Two and a half years ago when I moved to Block Island, I was vaguely aware of a health center existing here but knew very little about it or the kind of services they offered. I honestly never planned to use the health center, as my primary care doctor was right in Wakefield, an easy ferry ride away. Several months later, I went to work and was not feeling very well. I was light-headed and felt as though I might faint. My coworkers at the post office urged me to go the health center to get looked at. As it was almost impossible for me to get off the island that day and definitely not back the same day, I took their advice, called the health center and was told to come right in. Liz Dyer, RNP, evaluated me and quickly determined that I had an electrolyte imbalance probably caused by a stomach bug I was just getting over. I was reassured and received timely and appropriate medical treatment without having to leave the island. I was quickly back to my healthy self.
That first experience got me to thinking of how privileged we are to have that kind of service here on our island. If I had tried to see my primary care doctor that day it would have involved making an appointment in Wakefield for hopefully that same day but more than likely not, taking an hour long ferry ride when I was feeling awful, calling one of my coworkers in on their day off to cover me at work, finding a friend to pick me up at the ferry and bring me to the doctor, put me up for the night, and then bring me back to catch the ferry home the next day. It would also have cost me at least 8 hrs. of sick leave and I would have been late for work the next day.
Although I’m relatively young and healthy, the convenience of being able to use the health center and see top notch health care professionals without leaving town sold me. I have since become a patient of the dentist and podiatrist that visit the health center and also get my routine blood work done there. Most importantly I know that if I were to have an emergency, no matter how insignificant or traumatic, the health center staff is on call and available to me 24 hours a day seven days a week without having to leave the island. This fact eases my mind particularly when my grandchildren and elderly parents visit me.
I hesitated visiting the health center the first time because I had heard that there was a membership. I thought that perhaps you had to be a member to be seen there. I was feeling so awful that I figured I would go anyway and the worst that could happen was that I would be asked to become a member before I was seen. I was prepared to do that. No one mentioned membership to me that day.
Later that year I got a letter in my post office box asking me to become a member and explaining that being a member gives you the opportunity to vote for new board members in elections and to support the health center with financial donation. So of course I became a member.
That year at Christmas time I made a donation to the “Lights of Love” fundraiser in memory of my grandson, Carter James Lucy, who we lost to SIDS in 2011. I’m not a wealthy person. Those donations were not large, but I have learned since becoming a member of the membership committee and now the chair, and also a member of the board, just how important those small donations are to the health center.
My donation and membership in BIHS ties me to this community in a special way and says I support Block Island Health Services. I hope to live on Block Island for a very long time to come and know that having medical services here is vital for me to be able to do that.
Please consider becoming a member of BIHS by filling out the online form. Just click the button at the top of the page. I urge you to consider joining me in supporting Block Island Health Services to promote health and wellness on Block Island.