Assist M.E. is a non-profit [501c(3)] organization in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. We take in gently used medical equipment and gift it to low income, uninsured patients in our community. Assist M.E. gets wheelchairs, bedside commodes, walkers, shower chairs and other medical equipment from individual donors and organizations.
Making a REAL difference
We support 4 to 5 low income, uninsured patients per week
Patients with the right mobility equipment are 90% less likely to fall or to be re-admitted
That every patient in the community has the medical and mobility equipment they need.
When citizens in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County lose their mobility to injury or illness, they are at serious risk of losing their independence. Fortunately, if they are provided with the correct rehabilitation mobility equipment when they need it, they are able to maximize their ability to regain both mobility and independence.
A troubling number of our citizens are at risk on a daily basis because they cannot afford the rehabilitation equipment they need to regain lost mobility and independence. 13% are uninsured, even after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Many more are underinsured and their policies will not cover all of the equipment they need. When they cannot regain their mobility and independence, they cannot reenter the community as productive contributing citizens and are instead forced to depend on the community to support them, at a cost of millions of dollars each year in healthcare costs. Our whole community suffers as a result.
Assist M.E. is a group of concerned healthcare professionals and members of the general Charlotte community who came together in 2014 and committed to address this need with a community-based model.
After collecting new and gently used rehab mobility equipment donated by members of the community, the 19 volunteers sanitize, repair and then gift mobility-related rehabilitation equipment (wheelchairs; walkers; power chairs and scooters; canes and crutches; and bath aids including shower chairs, tub transfer benches and commodes) to low-income citizens who have no health insurance or other financial means of obtaining equipment they desperately need. This previously ignored or forgotten equipment kept in garages, basements and attics finds a new purpose in a new life.
Falls, one of the major causes of mobility loss, will be dramatically reduced because people have the right equipment to support them when they need to move about. Data shows that falls and the cascade of healthcare costs (ER visits; hospital admissions; doctor visits) caused by those falls are dramatically reduced by over 85% when the proper equipment is matched with a person returning home.
These dramatic drops generate substantial cost savings to the Charlotte community. Estimates suggest that each time Assist M.E. gifts mobility equipment to a member of the Charlotte community, approximately $15,000 in potential healthcare costs is avoided. Assist M.E. projects that it will help over 175 individuals in 2018, resulting in potential healthcare savings of over $2.6 million.