With the help of her coverage, Maria Rodriguez received the care she needed and took control of her health.
Hypertension has been a part of Maria Rodriguez’s life for as long as she can remember. The condition runs in her family, with one of her seven siblings suffering a heart attack and another needing two open-heart surgeries. But when Maria’s 55-year-old brother, Raymond, died after a cardiac arrest in 2013, Maria, a Secretary II at Monteﬁore Medical Center in the Bronx, knew it was time to have her heart checked. On a co-worker’s recommendation, Maria made an appointment with a doctor, and after a physical exam and an EKG test, the doctor told her that the results were concerning. Two days later, Maria suffered a heart attack.
“I’ll never forget the day it happened,” Maria said. She and her husband, Luis, were in bed when she suddenly felt a burning sensation in her chest. Before her checkup, she would have written the pain off as indigestion, but she knew that it could be something more serious. “Going to the doctor when I did saved my life,” Maria said. Her left artery was 99 percent blocked, and she had to have a stent inserted.
I receive as an 1199SEIU member are amazing. They allowed me to ﬁnd a doctor who really cared about me and
is committed to helping me live a healthier life.”
Since her heart attack, Maria has worked with her doctor to make lifestyle changes to improve her heart health, like altering her eating habits to include more vitamin-rich vegetables to control her blood pressure. Maria has also started walking during her lunch break three times a week, a low-impact exercise that is easy for her to ﬁt into her busy schedule.
“The beneﬁts I receive as an 1199SEIU member are amazing,” Maria said. “They allowed me to ﬁnd a doctor who really cared about me and is committed to helping me live a healthier life.” Now, she is feeling better and looking forward to seeing her daughter, Diamond, graduate from college: “I’m so grateful for the second chance my beneﬁts have given me.”
We’re always looking for the opportunity to spotlight members who are using their health, training, child-care or pension benefits to improve their lives. If you have made positive changes in your life–or are just starting to–we want 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 Communications@1199Funds.org.
Thanks to all of her 1199SEIU benefits, Shernel Phillips-Williams has improved her health, secured quality child care for her daughter and bought her first home with her husband.
Since retiring in 2010, Evelyn Blissett credits her defined benefit pension with giving her the freedom and peace of mind to stay active without worrying about finances.
Attending one of our Wellness Department’s health workshops gave Vernice Mitchell the nudge she needed to start exercising again, eating healthier—and even meditating.