I n October of 2018, Maurice was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and was given 6 months to live. At bedside, UPMC representatives told Maurice and his wife Vicki that they wouldn’t be able to accept their Highmark insurance after June of 2019. Vicki, a nurse of 13 years, understood the importance of continuity of care and knew they had to find doctors that were covered under their Highmark insurance that could treat Maurice consistently, and quickly.

The last thing she wanted was for Maurice to be treated by doctors who knew his case intimately, and then drop him completely after the June 2019 deadline. She found a team at the Cancer Treatment Centers for America in Atlanta that were in network. For months, Maurice and Vicki traveled back and forth from Pittsburgh to Atlanta for his chemo and other treatments.

It was very hard on them, but Vicki knew she could no longer trust UPMC- a hospital that was supposed to be a charity, and help people in the community. They had become big business and had pushed aside their community’s most vulnerable people in their attempt to squash their rival. Vicki decided to speak out on her husband’s behalf, and somehow managed to be his advocate, while balancing her own work as a nurse, and her trips back and forth to Atlanta.

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