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People First, Then Things, Then Money….

By Pamela Madsen

May 18th, 2010 at 7:12 am

I don’t know about you – but the sense of anxiety around financial survival seems to be permeating my pores and has taken residence up in my stomach.  It is not my own personal circumstances that is affecting me – it is the constant pounding of the media keeping me constantly informed of the shaky state of our economy.

If it is not news about the credit crunch, the falling of the stock market, the high job loss rate and the people who are "at risk" for hunger.

On Saturday, I went to the supermarket and the place was packed. It seemed that people may be cutting back – but they are not willing to give up their family gatherings, tail gate parties, picnics and other types of celebrations. Watermelon, pies, burgers, and huge platters were over flowing from shopping carts.  I started to smile – even though I could barely move for the jam of shopping carts. 

When we drill it down – what are we willing to cut? 

Suze Orman says "People First,  Then Money, Then Things…." Amen. I agree. What about couples who are in the midst of struggling to have a baby? How will the financial crisis effect them? Will these couples decide to postpone their baby making plans because of financial anxiety? And if they do, that begs the question can they really afford to postpone? Because the cost of postponing may be much higher than an economic cost – postponing actually may cost them the opportunity to ever have a child that is genetically connected to them.  For many women who are struggling to conceive – time is already not on their side – and six months or a year delay – can for many be the difference between a baby or not.

So…let’s go back to our premise – "People First – Then Money – Then Things".  How are IVF Centers, and physicians and pharmacies stepping up to support patients during these difficult times? How are they putting people before money?

EMD or 1-866-LETS-TRY  is offering fertility medications at a reduced cost for their cash paying customers.  Please call them for details.  And  Ferringwww.ferringfertility.comis offering a new and improved Heart Rx Program that can save patients up to $2,100 on their fertility meds. It is good to see them step up. And what are the IVF Programs doing to put "People before Money"?

At East Coast Fertility that has been a big topic of conversation these days. What can East Coast Fertility do to support patients to not have to put their dreams of a family on hold – and possibly hurt their chances of conceiving forever? To that end, continues to offer consultations at no cost to the patients. The doctors are willing to give of their time to speak directly to patients and help them make the right and best decisions in keeping their baby making dreams on track. Perhaps it is time for that second opinion – but you were feeling stuck – and financially pressed? Well – this is the opportunity to do that and make sure that you are where you need to be. Or the opportunity to finally get started.  

Dr. David Kreiner, Founder and Medical Director of ECF has taken his commitment to access to care even further with a new Money Back Program, Single Embryo Transfer Program and access to care through the participation in studies at ECF.

Like the rituals of our daily life – from the soft ball games to the family reunions -is putting our dreams of a family something that any person can really afford to put back on the shelf until later? Or is having a baby something that is so sacred to us as humans that it is non negotiable?   I contend that it is.

It is our job as patient advocates – as health care providers - to step up and stand beside our patient community during these difficult times. It is our job to do everything that we can to create even more access to care.  Having a family is something that is not expendable and sacred.  If you are a patient – call your health care provider and ask how they can help you.  Don’t put your dreams on hold.

People first, then money…then things.

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