Meet Sarah: Driven to Be a Pal to Those in Need
With three school-age children at home, Sarah values family. She feels rewarded by supporting others in her community as if they were her own.
A stay-at-home mom to three school-age children, Sarah says her life changed when she came across a job posting to become a Papa Pal, which immediately caught her attention. She explained, “The support our Pals provide helps improve overall well-being and quality of life for those who are truly in need.”
“I meet Medicaid members who lack the most basic needs—food, housing, transportation—and I support them as I would my own family,” Sarah said. “I help them access health care and community services by driving them to get meals from food kitchens, essential medicine from the pharmacy, or to receive care at the doctor’s appointments. In this way, being a Papa Pal is no longer a job.”
Sarah works with members in rural areas of Pennsylvania, helping address those social determinants of health that drive up to 80% of health outcomes. Sarah scheduled essential medical appointments (dentist, cardiologist, optometrist) for one member, who lacked access to health care, then transported them to all of their appointments. With Sarah’s determination, the member received new glasses, dentures, and vital medication refills.
“These members often have no family or loved ones to be there for them and only have me. They are like family and rely on me. The smiles when they see me make being a Papa Pal worth it.”
Meet Ronald, Papa Member
Ronald took up painting as a form of therapy after returning from the Vietnam War. Sharing his art and experiences with his Papa Pals has been healing.
Meet Bernie & His Papa Pal Marco
Bernie, a retired construction worker, looks forward to his weekly coffee and Spanish rock listening sessions with Marco, a local college student.