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Mark Foti: grateful for quality, compassionate care

November 28, 2017

About a year ago, Mark Foti was a successful businessman in Lewes. He operated a barbershop, following in the tradition of his father, and enjoyed his modest apartment.

Health issues caused his productivity to spiral downward, leading to a hospital stay, the loss of his business and, eventually, the loss of his apartment.

Finally, his diabetes got the better of him, causing his blood glucose to spike to over 800, landing him in Beebe's Emergency Department.

"I was at rock bottom. I didn't know where to turn. And, then, like an angel, I met Holly Rader, a nurse practitioner with Beebe's CAREs program," said Foti.

Navigating his health journey

After his hospital stay, Foti ended up at Beebe's Advanced Care Clinic in Long Neck. The clinic serves as a bridge for those who either do not have primary care physicians or who cannot get an appointment with a primary care provider for more than a week after a hospital stay. The care providers at the clinic are able to help individuals meet their immediate health needs prior to seeing a primary care provider.

"I met Michelle Shockley at the Advanced Care Clinic and told her my story," said Foti. "I wasn't really able to focus on what I needed to do for my health because I didn't have a place to stay at that time. Michelle connected me to Holly."

The CAREs program is operated by Beebe's Population Health team in an effort to work directly with community members who are facing severe health issues as well as personal issues that could cause them to return again and again to the hospital.

CAREs stands for care coordination, access, referral to community resources, and empowerment of patients.

Collaborating for the best care

"When I met Mark he was homeless, uninsured, unable to afford his medications, and had complex medical needs," said Rader. "He was a perfect candidate for the CAREs program, which was created to help patients experiencing difficult situations, like Mark, get back to living the best life possible."

Rader, along with her team, went to work. They collaborated with community agencies to assist Foti with housing, food, payment for medications and VA benefits. The team connected him with a shelter in Georgetown and later helped secure him a spot at the Home of the Brave in Milford, since he is a veteran.

In addition, Rader created an individualized care plan with Foti so he could learn about his health issues which included uncontrolled diabetes, an enlarged prostate and heart issues, which required open heart surgery earlier this year.

"Once we are able to provide a patient with essential items they need for life and get their health on track, then they are able to focus on their personal goals and dreams again," Rader said, "CAREs is a very unique program here in Sussex County, and it really showcases Beebe Healthcare's community focus and steadfast commitment to helping those who need support."

Foti credits Rader and the existence of the CAREs team with his return to health. "To be honest, I am embarrassed that I ended up in my current situation. However, to Holly's credit, she never made me feel anything except empowered, and she was there to help motivate me even during my darkest hours," said Foti. "I can never repay her or the CAREs team at Beebe for the support I have received. I have been humbled by the way they are able to provide nonjudgmental support and care for me."

He still has some health hurdles to overcome, including another upcoming surgery; however, Foti is optimistic for the future.

"I would have never been able to find a place to live or find resources to help pay for my medications without the CAREs team. I shudder to think where I would be right now if they didn't exist," he said. "Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that seem impossible to overcome. It's not ideal. However, I am proud to live in a community where CAREs exists because I now know the importance of this group, and I can never thank Holly or her team enough. They saved me, and for that I will be always grateful."

For more information about the CAREs team and Beebe's Population Health team, call 302-645-3337 or go to www.beebehealthcare.org/cares.

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