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Impact of Philanthropy

Cheryl Pontanini has a big heart for taking care of others. She has three grandchildren living right next door, and she sees them off to school in the morning. She also helps care for her mother and brother. And in addition to her family members, there is usually a stray cat or three under her care while she tries to find them a good home.

While she was busy caring for everyone else, her own health started taking a dangerous turn.

“I was having chest pain, but didn’t go to the ER and was certain I would not be able to find a specialist that I could afford,” Cheryl says.

Her referral to the Aurora Community Heart Clinic came just in time. Angela Ross, NP, did her exam and sent her to Rush Copley Medical Center for a stress test, which determined blockage in three areas. Angela was able to coordinate with a primary care doctor at VNA to get new blood pressure medicine for Cheryl, holding a heart attack at bay until she could have an angiogram.

In January, Cheryl applied for Medicaid and she finally received her card right before scheduling the angiogram.

“It’s been a big relief to know I have coverage for the treatment I’ll need,” Cheryl says. “If I had not found the Aurora Community Heart Clinic I would have gone without care and would have ended up in the ER – or worse. I’m so grateful the Aurora Community Heart Clinic was here when I needed it.”