Murfreesboro, Tenn. – In response to the nation’s confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act, a local group in Rutherford County will host a free healthcare forum for community members to learn about how the ACA might affect them and how. The Rutherford County Chapter of Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (SOCM) has invited Donna Seely, a family nurse practitioner, to help attendees understand the details and options available to them. Staff members from Murfreesboro’s Primary Care and Hope Clinic will also be on hand to assist in applying for coverage and answering questions. The forum will take place at the Patterson Park Community Center (521 Mercury Blvd., Murfreesboro), on Saturday, October 12th from 1 to 4 p.m.
Seely earned her Master’s Degree from Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing and is currently volunteering at Partners for Healing, a free clinic for low-income and uninsured residents in Tullahoma. Earlier this year, when she realized how many of her patients delayed medical care and much-needed medications due to limited access to medical insurance, she made it her mission to help them live healthier and more productive lives. She decided she could best do that by learning all she could about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and sharing that information with them and her fellow Middle Tennesseans.
“I became interested in learning more about the Affordable Care Act because I thought the ACA may present opportunities for my patients that they normally wouldn’t have,” Seely said. “I started doing a lot of reading and attended several seminars and forums and began telling people about it so they would know what to expect when it went into full effect. I also wanted to work to correct the misinformation out there. I wanted to encourage people to sign up [for coverage] and let them know that there were a lot of falsehoods and some things they may believe aren’t true.”
Seely’s observations about the lack of adequate health insurance options has been confirmed by a recent report from The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that promotes better access to healthcare for the vulnerable, when they ranked Tennessee 40th among the states in serving the health needs of its poor. Under the ACA, much of the work entailed in helping people navigate the rather complicated process of obtaining insurance coverage must come from local organizations.
“Our SOCM Chapter felt this was a much-needed community service,” said Chloe Cerutti, one of the organizers. “Hopefully at the end of this forum, attendees will have a better understanding of what their options are and how to take full advantage of the Affordable Care Act.”
The event is free and open to the public, however space is limited. Attendees are encouraged to reserve a seat by contacting event organizer Chloe Cerutti at 615-962-7598 or email@example.com or SOCM Middle Tennessee Organizer Brad Wright at 615-355-9356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.