Medical care in the U.S. isn’t cheap. Surgical procedures can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, forcing many people to make difficult financial decisions when it comes to their treatment options.
Demetrio spent more than 20 years serving in the Air Force, providing medical care to soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan. His time there was immensely impactful because he performed more than 250 procedures on civilians who wouldn’t have been able to receive help otherwise. And his passion only grew from there!
When he returned home, Demetrio knew he wanted to continue supporting his neighbors just like he had in Afghanistan. So he came up with a unique idea: Why not give patients the option to pay for their operations with volunteer hours?
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These days, qualifying patients can choose to calculate their “costs” in service hours. For example, one man could either pay $12,000 for his surgery or complete 560 hours of community service. Even better, patients can recruit their friends and relatives to donate their own volunteer efforts to the overall goal!
“[Patients] have the moral support of their community to help them get better, and that is shifting the way in which patients pursue their health care,” Demetrio told CNN. “In my heart of hearts, I had this hope that we would rekindle in our neighbors and in ourselves a sense of volunteerism.”
The innovative program has already made medical care accessible to many more people — and has inspired their community to get involved!
M25 is allowing people to connect in new, meaningful ways that go beyond the expected! It’s safe to say it has been a tremendous success!
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