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The Path to Independence

By April 20, 2018Stories

HOPES was there for L.B. Tate

L.B. Tate has become a beloved face when he rolls up to the front desk at HOPES. He’s always upbeat, happy and is known to be a bit of a flirt. Though he has made a lot of friends with HOPES staff, his closest relationship is with Trudy Italiano, HOPES’ Seniors’ Supportive Nurse.

LB turned 68 years old in the beginning of 2018. He is an Army veteran from the Vietnam War and spent much of his life working in an oil refinery, other than a stint as a DJ in the disco era.

When L.B. first became a patient of HOPES in 2014, he was recovering in a motel from his second leg amputation due to complications from diabetes. Before that in 2012, L.B. survived a stroke and experienced homelessness for a brief time before he started living in a motel. After his amputation, a city case manager referred L.B. to HOPES to get primary care. He then became the first patient of Trudy’s Medication Management Program.

When L.B. was established as a patient, he began to benefit from HOPES’ wrap-around services. First, Trudy and HOPES staff worked with his city case manager to move him into permanent housing. He started receiving primary care services to help get his diabetes under control, and started seeing HOPES’ Behavioral Health therapists. HOPES drivers transported him to and from appointments, and he was able to get all his tests done at HOPES’ onsite lab. Though he gets his usual meds from a different location, he uses the HOPES pharmacy to fill in the gaps and get urgently needed medicine such as antibiotics.

Thanks to HOPES’ collaborative medical model, HOPES case managers and medical providers worked with Forrester Custom Prosthetics to get him new legs, and helped schedule surgery to alleviate L.B.’s cataracts.

Through the Medication Management Program, Trudy visits L.B. every two weeks. she helps L.B. keep his medication straight and checks his vitals and general health. One of the more useful services Trudy provides L.B. is drawing up his insulin for him. This program provides medical help to L.B. and other seniors, which allows them to stay independent and in their own homes while keeping them healthy.

Over the years, L.B. has become an invested partner in his own health care. L.B. now schedules all his own appointments, and gets to HOPES on a scooter he applied for through a program that helps veterans. Trudy says L.B. is 100 percent compliant with his medication plans and therapies and only needs some minor diet maintenance to keep him healthy. At the beginning of 2018, L.B. moved into a bigger apartment with his dog Bear and was able to navigate the paperwork by himself and get the deposit paid for thanks to a grant he applied for. His friends at Forrester Prosthetics even volunteered to help him move.

“Here they take person care of you and take care of your needs. HOPES doesn’t treat you like a number.”

“Empowering our clients to be independent is really the crux of our Medication Management Program,” Trudy said. “He independently found his new place and got himself all set up to move, which is super awesome. That’s what we’re trying to do and I’m really proud of him.”

One of L.B. health goals is to be good enough on his prosthetic legs to have a dance party with all his lady friends. That is a goal Trudy is happy to work towards, but only if she gets the first dance.