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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

One hopes there are more Roland Gardners

I just read about the retirement of Roland Gardner of Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services (BJHCHS). About 10 years ago, when I was working as a social worker at DCI, a dialysis clinic, I had the privilege of talking to Mr. Gardner.

A new patient, recently released from prison, came to our clinic. He had been in prison for 20 years and was now living with his family. This man, who I’ll call Ray, had kidney failure and diabetes. He had no medical insurance and needed medication and a primary care doctor.

This was before Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). Though he would have been eligible for Medicaid, the process would have taken too long for his (immediate) needs. I called BJHCHS and briefly explained his problem.

The receptionist forwarded the call to Mr. Gardner, who picked up the phone himself. He asked me about Ray and then said he would take care of everything. “Just have Ray come to the Okatie clinic the next day about 10 a.m.” and ask for him. I told Ray, and he called his brother who said he would take him to the clinic the next day.

Ray went to the Okatie clinic, met Mr. Gardner, had a session with a doctor, got the medications he needed and signed up for Medicaid. Mr. Gardner told him there was no cost. Ray was so relieved as he didn’t want to be a burden to his family. He later received Medicare and Medicaid and was happy to be a patient of BJHCHS and DCI.

I always marveled at the compassion and humanity of Mr. Gardner … a man so highly placed who saw his duty as personally taking care of a man long displaced from society and needed help. One hopes there are more Roland Gardners in our world.

– Barbara Temple


Thanks for supporting military, veterans

I (recently) read The Island News’ veterans benefits article of March 30, 2022, on how the VA can help military members before they get out (retire, separate) from the military. The article reminded me of some of the veterans’ benefits that I had forgotten about.

I read your excellent articles each week. The Island News newspaper and your writer Larry Dandridge, are helping the men and women in our armed forces and us veterans – and our families. Thank you for The Island News’ support of our military members and veterans.

– Frederick Massey, Capt., U.S. Navy (Ret.), Past Region V Commander MOWW

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