Yesenia: Strong Partnerships Mean that Patient Needs Come First

Yesenia had lost so much weight – she was exhausted and didn’t look well. Her friend, an Arlington Free Clinic patient and a diabetic herself, recognized the signs and knew that something wasn’t right. She brought Yesenia to AFC’s New Patient Lottery two years ago, and thanks to a proper diagnosis, access to ongoing medical care, and help moving toward a healthier lifestyle, Yesenia got her diabetes under control and was feeling great.

Nine months ago, Yesenia and her husband, Heber, were excited to learn that their two daughters would soon have a new brother or sister. AFC doesn’t duplicate services that are available elsewhere in the community, so, typically, Yesenia’s medical care would have been transferred to the Prenatal Clinic at Arlington County Department of Human Services (DHS) where our Nurse Managers work with the DHS team to ensure a smooth transition. However, diabetes makes pregnancy very risky so Yesenia was instead transitioned to Virginia Hospital Center’s Outpatient Clinic to receive specialized OB care.

VHC’s Outpatient Clinic offers low-cost internal medicine, OB, gynecological, surgical, and orthopedic care to many Arlingtonians. Thanks to the great relationship that exists between AFC and the Outpatient Clinic, when Yesenia’s psoriasis flared up six months into her pregnancy and painful red patches covered over half of her body, VHC quickly alerted us. She’d had the skin condition since she was a toddler, but the stress of her latest pregnancy and diabetes exacerbated the disease causing tremendous pain.

Since AFC partners with a large network of medical providers, we were able to assume the management of Yesenia’s dermatological needs: Dr. Surag Venna saw her right away and knew that she needed immediate intervention. For her final trimester, Dr. Nina Fisher provided Yesenia much needed relief through UVB light treatment sessions multiple times a week at Mclean Dermatology Associates since this was the only safe treatment option available to her during pregnancy. Dr. Fisher worked closely with Dr. Michael Moxley, Yesenia’s obstetrician at VHC, to coordinate the management of her psoriasis with her prenatal care until delivery.

Transitioning our patients to the County and VHC clinics during pregnancy not only gives them access to well-established, high-quality prenatal care, it prevents duplication of services and fosters collaboration. But with Yesenia’s complicated pregnancy, we continued to work with her to provide the essential specialty care she needed from our partners. Our strong relationships and broad support within the community grant us the flexibility to always put our patients’ needs first.

Yesenia delivered a healthy baby boy, named Heber after his dad, on a bright day in mid-August. Three days later, all bundled up for his very first adventure, newborn Heber charmed the staff at Arlington Free Clinic when he came in with Mom to pick up her medication. He was also the youngest recipient of one of the handmade baby blankets a volunteer makes for all the AFC babies!

Read our complete 2016 Annual Report.