Linda has always relied on her 1199SEIU Funds to help keep her and her family healthy—never more so than throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than two decades ago, Linda Askew made a life-changing career decision when she moved from the transportation industry to healthcare—and she hasn’t looked back. A Senior Clerk at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, Linda knows she made the right move all those years ago.
Of course, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Linda’s job changed in ways she couldn’t have imagined. In addition to printing labels to draw blood and processing forms to refill patients’ medications, she began scheduling telehealth visits—and even found herself having to learn how to help patients install an app on their phone so they could access care from home. And throughout the pandemic, she didn’t miss a single day of work. “I look at patients like my family,” Linda said. “They’re here because something is wrong, so I’m here to help them, especially when things get rough.”
“My family is healthier because of the care we get. We are able to do it all with wonderful physicians, thanks to my benefits. They’re a blessing.”
A mother of three and happily married to husband Tony for over 44 years, Linda has had to grapple with some health issues of her own. Years ago, she learned from her doctor that she had high blood pressure and was prediabetic. Her doctor prescribed medication for her condition—all covered by her Benefit Fund—and advised her to make some lifestyle changes. “I decided to take my condition seriously,” Linda said. Although she loved cooking with flavorful but high-sodium southernstyle seasonings and snacking on salted pumpkin seeds, she cut them from her diet. For exercise, she began walking 45 minutes home from work, which has also helped relieve stress—especially important during the pandemic. “I put on my headphones, turn on my gospel music for inspiration and just start walking,” she explained. “By the time I’m home, I feel calm and energized.”
Over the years, Linda has made good use of all of her Funds benefits. She used her training benefits to go back to school to become a Patient Care Technician, and her child-care benefits allowed her youngest son, Quinton, to attend three years of summer camp, where he made friends he’s still in touch with 18 years later.
Even though she’s eligible to retire, Linda is not ready to do so just yet. But she is planning to speak to a Pension Counselor to learn about her options for when the time is right, so she can spend quality time with her grandchildren. “My family is healthier because of the care we get,” she said. “We are able to do it all with wonderful physicians, thanks to my benefits. They’re a blessing.”
You count on your health benefits to support you in your efforts to stay healthy, whether it’s by getting regular checkups, keeping a chronic condition under control or just improving your lifestyle in general. But has there ever been a time when your health coverage literally saved your life or the life of a loved one? If so, we’d like to hear from you. To share your story with your fellow members in an upcoming issue of For Your Benefit, please contact the Fund at [email protected].
After a trying year—both physically and emotionally—MaryGrace Colobong reflects on the peace of mind her 1199SEIU health benefits afforded her.
Recovering from cancer—and a bout of COVID-19—Yesenia Pena gained a newfound appreciation of the support she receives from her 1199SEIU Funds.
Faced with an increased risk of diabetes, Oliveen Cowans-Mitchell got her health back on track with the help of her Benefit Fund.
Marcella Smart credits her benefits with protecting her health, and our wellness workshops with helping her maintain a healthy weight.