I have been employed here for almost 10 years. I live here in Graceville and have for 35 years. My uncle is the fire chief here; his name is Tommy Dennis, and he has a daughter named Tonya. Tonya, her sister Christy and I grew up like sisters. We are within a year of age, me being the oldest.

My cousin Tonya has two boys and is a single mother. She has had a rough time the past few years and is diabetic. Her partner died two years ago of cancer, and they had no medical insurance at the time. Tonya was a truck driver and was able to get a job driving a transportation bus for the elderly, but she still did not have insurance.

She developed a sore spot on the bottom of her foot, but with having no insurance, she did not seek medical attention and could not afford to miss work. So naturally, the area just continued to worsen, eventually became infected and she went to the hospital in Chipley, Northwest Florida Community Hospital, now owned by Signature. It turns out that the infection was so bad that she became septic and after further testing it was discovered the infection is in her bone.

She was sent to Marianna Hospital to have a port placed in her in order to receive long term IV medication treatment and sent back to Chipley. She also has to be put in the hyperbaric chamber daily as part of her treatment. The physician at the hospital was able to get her on full Medicaid and was going to let her go home and come back daily for her treatment. However, Medicaid will not pay for outpatient services or the hyperbaric treatment. I haven’t been able to talk to Tonya and find out the name of the physician yet, but I would like to because he went before the board at the hospital and explained my cousin’s situation to them. She will remain in the hospital for a few more weeks, and they have donated the hyperbaric treatments to her.

When I heard this, I cried. It is rare in this day and time for people to be so gracious and compassionate. Unfortunately, most people are concerned about the almighty dollar and people become figures/numbers instead of human beings. I have and still do love working for Signature, and have bragged to friends and family in the past about Signature’s Compassion Fund to help employees who have suffered great losses.

I have also bragged about our Chaplain program and how awesome I think it is that we have a chaplain in our facilites and that we are a faith based company.  And now, my family especially can understand why I speak highly of Signature HealthCARE. With all that being said, I want to say ‘thank you.’

I don’t know who ultimately approves the kind of decisions that were made for my cousin, but I wanted you to know how much my family and I are touched by this, and how very truly thankful we are. Tonya has two boys that love and need her. Things are already going to be hard for them financially with her not being able to work, so those boys need her to be there…just to love them, and so do her parents, brother, sister and the rest of us.

And I pray that God continues to bless this company. I am blessed to be able to be a small part of such a wonderful and amazing company. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

– Kimberly Smith, LPN/MDSC Asst.

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