Patient Story: Family Health Center Takes Care of Me, All of Me.

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Published on July 27, 2015

Family Health Center Takes Care of Me, All of Me.

Travis Harker, MD and Family Health Center PatientMelody French of Concord does not have a lot of money, but if she did, she knows what she would do with it.

“If I won a million dollars,” she said, “I’d buy a little place for myself, and give Concord Hospital Family Health Center (FHC) money to expand and add on wherever they want.”

In collaboration with NH Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency, Concord
Hospital Family Health Center in Concord and Hillsboro-Deering provides primary and preventive care, behavioral health care and dental care for families, regardless of their ability to pay. Many patients, like Melody, have limited or no health insurance.

Melody has been receiving care for arthritis, back problems, dental issues, as well as emotional counseling, nutrition advice and anti-smoking programs.

“They always say, ‘How can we help you,’” Melody said. “At other places they say, ‘How are you going to pay?’” 

Melody gets emotional when she speaks of the services she’s received and the friends she’s made at FHC.

“I can honestly say they have saved my life,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here without them.”

In addition to caring for chronic, painful physical ailments, some the result of domestic violence, the healthcare team at FHC has looked after Melody’s emotional well-being, especially after she suffered two major losses in 2014. In February, it was the death of her beloved dog, who she saw as her protector and part of her family. Four months later, her fiancé died.

Melody feels like she is surrounded by a caring team, led by Dr. Travis Harker. 

“It’s like they took me in this cocoon and that’s what I feel good about,” she said. “It’s not about just fixing a broken bone, it’s about all of you, your whole well-being.”

Psychotherapist Maryann Simoni even referred Melody to vocational counseling, in hopes that she might find a job that’s
less taxing. Melody cleans houses, but the physical activity is difficult with her bad back and shoulders.

As for the million dollars? Melody said she has offered to give back, even as a volunteer. “But they don’t want anything back. They said you are going to give back by taking care of yourself.”