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Friday, February 05, 2010

And finally, here it is: Our Call to Action!

*UPDATE*
We've already had success! We're asking everyone to hold off any more phone calls, faxes and letters. S&WHP has just approved TWO VISITS for Lisa at MD Anderson. This is a fantastic and amazing first step.
For now we'd like people to hold off on more contact with Scott&White Health Plan.
We made need you again in this capacity soon but for now let's all celebrate this small victory!!!

THANKS EVERYONE!






Hi everyone! It's Lisa's sister-in-law, Tracy Smith, once more. Below is a copy of my post on our call to action. Thanks for all the love, support and prayers you have been giving Lisa and her family. It means so much to them and it means so much to us!
- Matt and Tracy Smith, Houston, Texas.
-----


In grappling for a concrete way to HELP Lisa in her battle to: 1. get into MDA, 2. get a complete diagnosis and treatment plan, and 3. beat cancer once and for all, we've discussed a lot of different ideas.

As you probably already know, there is the care calendar where you can logon (Calendar ID: 31452
Security Code: 9389) and sign up to help by bringing dinner, cleaning the house, etc). It's a great way to help, especially if you're in College Station. For those of us who are not, it's a little more challenging to be effective and helpful in that way.

There's also a donation PO Box that has been set up. For those of us who feel called to support the Smiths monetarily, that's a great (and *very* helpful) way to help.

There is a (now completely full!!!) prayer wall dedicated to Lisa and the family. This is a great option for everyone to take a few minutes out of your day and ask God to please watch over Lisa and her family during this time.

And now, we've got another way you can help. This is an important action-oriented call for help. We need phone calls AND we need letters!

Matt (my husband) did a test run this morning and was able to speak with a very kind woman at Scott and White Health Plan (Lisa's insurance carrier) about our concerns for Lisa's health and treatment and our desire to have S&WHP cover Lisa to be seen and treated at MD Anderson. He included a few facts and a quick summary and she was happy to take down his concerns and pass them on to be included (as a tally) in Lisa's file.

She was also very open in sharing with him the best and most effective way to make sure that S&WHP knows how many of us are on her side and how many of us are united in our fight to get Lisa treated at MDA. She passed along some important information in our struggle to be effective:

Every letter that is sent to S&WHP on Lisa's behalf is attached to her file.

Every.single.letter.

Every call is logged and tallied and attached to her file.

Every.single.call.

She offered that letters can certainly *look* more impressive than calls as the calls are merely tallied whereas the letters are actually attached. Can you imagine 200, 400, 800 letters included in her file when S&WHP reviews her case?! AND 200, 400, 800 CALLS tallied to express the public's support and concern that Lisa be given the best chance of beating this disease?!

I think it would be awesome to have all of our letters and phone calls there representing each of us who are supporting and working for Lisa when the board reviews her appeal. ANYONE can write a letter. ANYONE can help Lisa win entrance as an "in-network" patient at MDA.

I'm asking that you take a few minutes to sit down and write (or type) a letter to S&WHP expressing your concern for Lisa's health and treatment and your desire to have them allow her to be seen as an "in-network" patient at MDA.

One example or what you may want to express to S&WHP is this:
Lisa Meador Smith of College Station, TX (d.o.b. 11/18/70) needs for S&WHP to extend her coverage to include treatment at MD Anderson.
MD Anderson is the leading research institution specializing in her extremely rare form of cancer. The highly aggressive, soft tissue sarcoma of the breast that Lisa is combating can be treated with the highest probability of success at a specialized sarcoma research institution where they treat soft tissue sarcoma of the breast patients on a daily basis. Fortunately, MD Anderson is recognized as the world's leading institution in this type of cancer and it's right here in Texas.
Thank you so much for your attention and compassion. And thank you in advance for making the decision to help save Lisa's life.
Please make the decision to approve Lisa's coverage for treatment at MD Anderson. It's the right thing to do.

Another way to express your concern may be:

Lisa Smith of College Station, TX (d.o.b. 11/18/70) has an extremely rare type of cancer: Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the breast. Her doctor isn't able to give her a complete diagnosis. Soft Tissue Sarcoma must be treated by a Sarcoma Specialist who sees multiple sarcoma patients regularly. Scott and White recommended an immediate mastectomy surgery but, MD Anderson soft-tissue sarcoma specialist, Dr. Jonathan Trent has said more data is required before making a decision of this caliber.
And, according to research at the University of Miami School of Medicine, there is a significantly higher success rates for patients treated at major sarcoma centers.
Soft Tissue Sarcomas are rare. This leaves most health care institutions with outdated or inadequate resources, which impede the ability to offer optimal treatment of these rare and often complicated tumors.
An article from the UCLA School of Medicine, "Surgical Management of Soft Tissue Tumors: Avoiding the Pitfalls," notes the best way to avoid surgical errors for rare tumors (and, remember, all sarcomas are rare) is to be treated at a specialty center with an experienced multidisciplinary team.
Scott and White does not and cannot offer such a specialty center.
MD Anderson has the best sarcoma treatment center in the world. They are willing and able to help save Lisa's life.
Please approve Lisa's request to be seen as an "in-network" patient at MD Anderson so she can receive the treatment that she needs to beat this cancer.

Finally, you may want to say something like this in your call and letter to S&WHP:
My concern is that Lisa Smith (d.o.b. 11/18/70) of College Station, Texas, has been diagnosed with an exceedingly rare type of cancer: Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the breast.
Seeing the right type of specialist is the NUMBER ONE factor supporting patient survival without recurring cancer and, unfortunately, sarcoma is highly recurring.
Scott and White doctors, while wonderful, are not equipped to fully diagnose and treat Lisa.
Their inability to do so is threatening her life.
Please allow her to be seen at MD Anderson.

Please approve her to be seen at MD Anderson as an "in-network" patient.

These three samples are just guides to help you formulate your communications with S&WHP.

Please, please, please CALL AND SEND A LETTER today!

Gather your family and friends and have each person send their own letter and make their own call.

Numbers matter.

Please help us!

Scott and White Health Plan Phone Number: 1-800-321-7947

*update*
When you call they will ask you for your name and a daytime telephone number. They will also ask for your relationship to Lisa. Everyone is allowed to call and voice their concern whether it is a friend, family member or concerned citizen. They may tell you that they cannot release any info about Lisa. That's great -- we don't want them to release info we just want them to include our concerns in her file. Please be sure to include her full name and date of birth (11.18.70).
Thanks again!

Scott and White Health Plan Address
(please address the envelope exactly as it is below):


Scott and White Health Plan
ATTN: COMPLAINTS
2401 South 31st Street
Temple, TX 76508
*update*
Apparently, you can also FAX letters to S&WHP:
1.254.298.3385 (thanks to Lori Enzor for that information!!)

FINALLY, when you've made your phone call and when you've sent your letter please post here to let us know!!

I feel so fortunate to have so many people on board to support my sister-in-law in this battle for her health.

Thank you in advance.

And Please Pass the Word!




33 comments:

mrs. smith said...

I'll start it off for everyone! One letter sent, one call made!
Let's blow them away!!

Katie Nellis said...

I have just put my letter in the mail.

Sarah Soon-to-be Langhoff said...

I'm calling right now and will put my letter in the mail tomorrow! :-) This is a great way that everyone can help support Lisa!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

will start on the letter in just a few hours....and then make a call....and will write a post directing bloggers to this site...

Teresa Powell

Angela Birdwell said...

I just put my letter in the mail, too!

Tracy Sanders said...

Letter is in the mail.

sonja said...

Letter is going to post office right now, and call was just made, 2:05 and I spoke to MARIBEL at S&WHP. She was very nice and said it was being added to Lisa's file.
Go Lisa!!!

mrs. smith said...

Just got three emails from friends who have made calls and sent letters! Keep it going, guys!

lori enzor said...

Call made. You can Fax letters also to: 254-298-3385

Kathryn, Michael and Alex said...

Letter written and mailed.

Kathryn, Michael and Alex said...
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Ms.Pam said...

My husband and I each wrote a letter and I'm taking them to the mailbox right now. You're in our prayers.

Leslie said...

I put in a call and so did Kyle. I mailed a letter from each of the 4 of us. Yes...Shiloh at 3.5yrs and Josephine at 18mos each wrote a seperate later! I'm also going to fax a couple of more requests from my mom's house in Houston tomorrow...one from each family member and all of her friends(she's have a party...so at least 15 more requests will be faxed tomorrow).

lori enzor said...

2 Facebook friends have called.

His Girl said...

we're on it!!!

Anne said...

I just hung up from my call to Scott and White at 4:45 p.m. cst/Feb 5, 2010 and am doing my letter now! Anne McElroy

mommaof3 said...

This is fabulous!!! I am going to mail a letter tomorrow from myself, 3 children and husband.

I can't wait to see the Lord work in a mighty way!

Anonymous said...
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Kathleen said...

Fax has been sent!

His Girl said...

looks like s&whc has a twitter & fb account...looking into reaching them this way as well....

TRUTH SHARER said...

Count me in! I'm writing a letter right now and trusting God that as we become Lisa's [Moses'] = Aaron and Hur - holding up her arms when she needs the Victory! We will rally but it will be our GOD who brings the VICTORY!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

awesome Lisa. So awesome.

TRUTH SHARER said...

Wrote my letter and putting the stamp on the envelope now!

I also posted LISA'S Call to ACTION - as FRONT PAGE NEWS on my blog post this evening!

We will storm heaven and earth on her behalf - and give God all the PRAISE, THANKS and GLORY for what He is about to do!

Choosing JOY, Stephanie

Laura said...

Good news! Still praying. My thoughts are with you, Lisa.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Getting my letter ready to mail tomorrow.

Praying sweet one. Lifting you up to the throne of Grace!

Beth

Anonymous said...
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His Hers Ours and Autism said...

Thanks for the information. Writing my letter, too!

Bernie said...

Another prayer answered, lets keep them going everyone....Lisa is going to win this battle.

Much love to you Lisa.....:-) Hugs

Anonymous said...
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Gretchen said...

I am happy and sad to say that I didn't even get the chance to write my letter before we were asked to stop. Our God is an awesome God! Thank you for giving us something tangible to do, and if you need another letter, let us know. (hopefully not!) ;)

Blessings and hugs from Seattle.

Tamara said...

I would just like to thank everyone who has been helping Mrs.Smith. I work at MDACC and you guys have made my job much easier. It is an honor to go through this experience with Mrs.Smith. She is truly an exceptional person and I pray that God's will is done. When I meet patients like this I really understand why God has placed me at such a wonderful place. I hope and pray that everyone will keep this fire burning so Mrs.Smith can receive the BEST treatment.

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