Kaiser Permanente Helped Diana Parret Navigate Health Care Enrollment, Cancer Diagnosis and Surgery in One Month
“Every day I knew when I got up, I knew I had a problem but I didn’t know what to do.” In December 2013, Diana Parret, 59, had began experiencing some concerning symptoms. But her hands were tied; she had just been notified that she was losing her job, and therefore, her health insurance. She had heard about Covered California in the news, but she was intimidated by the online sign-up process.
In February, Diana was referred to the Shop KP retail store in Fresno and was met by James, a certified enroller, who helped her through the process of signing up for health coverage. “I sat down, told him my story, told him what I needed,” said Diana. “Within an hour and a half, I was signed up. That was such a peaceful feeling, knowing that I have insurance now.”
When her coverage kicked in on March 1, Diana immediately made an appointment with Amanda Reeve, MD, OB/GYN at Kaiser Permanente Clovis Medical Offices to find out what was was causing her symptoms. An ultrasound and a biopsy confirmed that she had uterine cancer.
“She said, ‘I need to make sure you get this taken care of, because this is a very aggressive, fast-growing, nasty cancer,'” Diana recalled. While they were still on the phone, Diana and Dr. Reeve selected a facility, a surgeon and appointments for her pre-op and surgery at Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center.
Diana had her surgery, performed by Betty Suh-Burgmann, MD, on April 2, just one month and one day after joining Kaiser Permanente. On April 7, Dr. Suh-Burgmann shared good news: they were successful in removing her cancer and she did not need chemo or radiation treatment.
“That was the beginning of my life again,” she said tearfully. Diana is thankful that Kaiser Permanente helped her navigate the process so quickly. “If it had gone longer, I don’t know what the outcome would be.”
Today, Diana is focused on healing her body and taking care of herself so she can better take care of her elderly mother.