The nurses of Deaconess Nurse Ministry in St. Louis assist clients in venues as varied as free clinics, food pantries, local churches and more. In recent years, one way they’ve been able to provide care is through financial support from the St. Louis City Senior Fund.
“We have received funding for the last three years from the St. Louis City Fund, which is a tax increment fund used to support senior services in the city,” says the Rev. Donna Smith-Pupillo, RN, executive director. “We work with seniors across the city who come to food pantries to do the National Council on Aging Economic Checklist, and then help them get resources.”
The checklist helps older adults assess their financial needs. The resources Deaconess’ faith community nurses help connect their clients with vary greatly, and include utility and rental assistance, getting into affordable housing, getting Medicare changes to assist with payments, Medicaid, SNAP benefits, and prescription drug reductions, among many other needs, says Smith-Pupillo.
“We help them fill out applications, make calls, and serve as their case manager,” she adds.
To date in 2020, three Deaconess Nurse Ministry nurses have helped 104 older adults in the city receive 253 different referrals. Those referrals have added up to a combined $20,115 in increased monthly income for those served.
Smith-Pupillo says the St. Louis City Senior Fund will fund the same outreach work next year.
“Our clients are so grateful for all the help and support they are receiving,” she says, “especially during this difficult time.”