TruHealth Stories of Hope and Healing

TruHealth nurse practitioners and physician assistants expand patients’ access to care and act as care managers for specialized Medicare Advantage health plans managed by American Health Plans. The model of care delivered by TruHealth improves the overall health and quality of life for residents in long-term care communities.

But it’s more than that. It’s about relationships. It’s connecting with members in meaningful ways that bring more joy and comfort into their lives. The following stories are real narratives about the lives enriched by the work of the TruHealth team. They are the stories of hope and healing.

Mrs. Marna
American Health Advantage of Missouri

Danielle and Marna became fast friends. Marna shared stories about all of her children, including Tom, who was a pitcher for several major league baseball teams. Marna was his biggest fan and traveled to every game, for every season, until Tom retired in 1995.

In a small Missouri town with less than 400 people lives Mrs. Marna*, a 94 year old loving mother to 11 children. Marna lives in a senior living facility where she met Danielle, a member advocate with American Health Advantage of Missouri.

Marna had a birthday coming up, and Danielle wanted to do something to celebrate. Unfortunately, Marna contracted Covid and couldn’t enjoy her Little Debbie snack cakes that Danielle would usually bring during each visit. Danielle needed another plan.

“I was trying to figure out what would be an appropriate present for her birthday with everything going on. I wondered if she had ever seen all of her son’s baseball cards,” said Danielle. “I searched around on eBay and purchased a card for every team Tom had ever played for.”

Danielle brought the cards to Marna on her birthday, and the look on Marna’s face says it all. “I’m very blessed to have the life that I do, and I’m so thankful for my friend Danielle,” says Marna.

Mr. Cannon
Georgia Health Advantage

Fighting cancer is a difficult journey. While every patient faces obstacles, the right team of caregivers can make all the difference. After several years of battling cancer, Mr. Cannon* of Greensboro, Georgia was unable to continue chemotherapy treatments due to a lack of transportation and family support. With limited resources and severely diminished cognitive abilities, Mr. Cannon was left with little hope – until he met the TruHealth team.

Mr. Cannon was paired with Jonathan, a TruHealth nurse practitioner, to regain control of his oncology treatment plan. “No one had ever asked him what he wanted in his cancer journey,” said Jonathan. “I wanted to make sure he had everything he needed and deserved.”

Jonathan and the TruHealth team provided transportation and personal in home care aides for Mr. Cannon. The team also scheduled his appointments and increased engagement with Mr. Cannon’s primary care physician. Through Jonathan’s work and in coordination with a TruHealth dedicated care manager, Mr. Cannon received the advanced care support and personal aide services he needed. The TruHealth team regularly met with local case management services to ensure he had access to the resources and support available to Georgia’s elderly and disabled Medicaid recipients.

This personalized, coordinated support for each patient is at the heart of the TruHealth model of care. As Jonathan points out, there was a whole team supporting Mr. Cannon and together they made a tough journey a little easier and it made a meaningful difference in his quality of life.

Ms. Isabella
Kansas Health Advantage

When Jason Douglas spent two years abroad in Spanish speaking countries, he had no idea these trips would make such an impact to one family more than a decade later. In December 2021, Jason, a TruHealth nurse practitioner in Kansas City, Missouri, learned of a new member in a local rehabilitation facility. Isabella*, 71, was in the facility because she needed a significant level of care after suffering a major stroke. Facility staff had trouble communicating with her because she couldn’t speak English, which was frustrating for everyone, especially Isabella.

When Jason and Isabella first met, Jason noticed she was watching a Spanish-speaking television program and struck up a friendly conversation, in Spanish, about the show. Isabella immediately began to cry tears of happiness because no one at the facility had been able to speak to her in her native language. She called her husband and children and introduced Jason to her family.

Together, they reviewed her health care goals in great detail, and Jason thoroughly explained her medical diagnoses the coordinated care plan to Isabella and her family. “Isabella finally felt like she had a place there”, said Jason. Today, Jason and Isabella share stories about their personal lives, families and Isabella’s favorite game – soccer.

Ms. Tammy
American Health Advantage of Tennessee

Trudy Hicks says building deeper relationships with our members is the most rewarding part of her job. Sometimes those deeper relationships make all the difference. It did for Ms. Tammy*, a resident at AHC Union City, a skilled nursing facility in West Tennessee. Trudy serves as her member advocate, so she visits with her often and when possible they share a hug and always a laugh and good conversation.

One day last fall Trudy noticed Tammy wasn’t her normal feisty self. “Normally Ms. Tammy brightens up when I come into the room, Trudy said, but on this day she didn’t even look up. When I asked her what was wrong, she said no one cares about me; I just want to sleep and not wake up.”

“Hearing her say that just broke my heart. I let her know that I, along with a lot of other people, love and care about her. I also knew we needed to take a closer look at her mental health and devise a plan of action” Trudy continued. At that point, Trudy brought together the TruHealth care team that included her case manager, the nurse practitioner, the community nursing staff and mental health counselor. Together they developed a plan for increased nursing check-ins, more engagement and social activities, and to have Tammy meet more regularly with her mental health counselor. The plan worked, and with the extra attention, counseling and clinical support, Tammy got back to her old fun-loving self. In October of 2022 she was very excited to be the center of attention at her 101st birthday party.

“We all came together to ensure that a plan was in place, and Ms. Tammy would have the full range of support that she needed. It’s been so rewarding to see that these efforts made such a difference for Ms. Tammy.

Mr. Richard
American Health Advantage of Missouri

Danielle, a member advocate with American Health Advantage of Missouri, met Robert* in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Due to COVID restrictions, Robert felt lonely and isolated, as family members and member advocates like Danielle weren’t able to visit. One of the nurses suggested that Robert could chat with Danielle via Zoom, and while Robert was hesitant at first, it turned into his weekly highlight. Each Tuesday, Danielle and Robert met virtually and developed a deep friendship full of stories and laughter.

But the story doesn’t end there. In early 2022, nearly two years later, Danielle stopped by for a regular in-person visit and Robert shared how much he had been missing his wife Debbie*, who had passed away several years prior. Before Robert moved into the facility, he visited Debbie’s grave every day, but was unable to continue to visit the cemetery on a regular basis because of a skull surgery and limited

Danielle wanted to support Robert. She asked Robert what Debbie’s favorite flower was, did some online research to find exactly where she was buried, purchased beautiful red roses and set out to visit the grave on behalf of Robert. Danielle and her daughter found Debbie’s headstone, cleaned up the grave and placed her favorite flowers in her honor.

At her next visit, Danielle shared photos of the restored grave to Robert. He was overjoyed, and with tears in his eyes, Robert thanked Danielle for being his friend.

Mr. Johnny
American Health Advantage of Tennessee

After spending nearly 10 years in health insurance sales, Jenn wanted the opportunity to create meaningful relationships in a hands-on setting. She learned about TruHealth, where she became a member advocate in Tennessee, and she hasn’t looked back.

When Jenn met one of her favorite members, Mr. Johnny*, he was battling severe depression. With a son who lived several states away and a wife was also in an assisted living facility, Mr. Johnny was lonely and isolated. Even on the prettiest of days, he kept his blinds closed and never interacted with any of the other residents and staff.

Jenn jumped at the chance to be friends with Mr. Johnny. She soon learned that he was an incredible musician who had even played with Elvis Presley. “Mr. Johnny opened up to me and shared some amazing stories and videos from days past,” says Jenn. “I bought him a small guitar, and it’s so meaningful to me that my small effort has made a huge difference in his life – he now even goes outside and plays music for residents and staff.”

With Jenn’s love and support, Mr. Johnny has put his depression behind him and he’s soon moving into his own apartment. The TruHealth team is focused on delivering a coordinated model of person-centered care that focuses on all aspects of a member’s physical and mental health.

Member advocates like Jenn know that simply having someone to talk to can make a big difference in overall well-being. “Several of our members don’t have any family or friends – that’s why I’m here,” she says.

*Patient names changed for privacy

To download the PDF of TruHealth’s Stories of Hope and Healing, click here >