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Some might say that Jakie Bradley does a bit more than "care" for her patients. The nurse practitioner says she spends more than 30 hours a week treating people at a tiny clinic nestled in the basement of a church.
That`s on top of her job at Kaiser Permanente.
"I mean, we are here to provide good health care, but the next step is letting them know you have a personal relationship with them," Bradley says.
Bradley is part of Kaiser`s Community Ambassador Program, which places nurse practitioners and physicians assistants in some of the region`s most vulnerable areas. Places where health care is lacking and people are suffering, from chronic illnesses like diabetes, kidney disease and high blood pressure.
People like Terri Young, Bradley`s first patient.
"I happened to lose my job and I have a medical condition where I have to be on my meds everyday," Young says.
Young heard about Bradley through word of mouth and, with Bradley`s help, found a way to get her medication at a much lower cost.
"I shudder to think what may have happened if she wasn`t brought into my life," Young says.
"There is a great need in southeast to have quality health care for individuals in this area and to make sure that they have good access to care when they want it," Bradley says. "That`s what`s most important, access."
To give them that access, Bradley says she sees people regardless of their financial status -- whether they have health insurance, Medicaid or no coverage at all.
And she does it all by herself. From booking patients, doing intake to drawing blood to treatment.
"It sounds like a lot, but once you get your rhythm, which I finally got after six months, it`s really not that bad," Bradley says. "The patients really like that I do everything for them."
"To have someone as confident, as personal, as caring, as Miss Bradley is .. in this area .. is truly truly a miracle," Young says.
"I did what God placed me here to do which was to be a healer, to serve my community, to give people what they don`t have by any means necessary," Bradley says.