We Care Manatee – In The Media

We Care Manatee – In The Media

SRQ Daily Saturday Perspectives Edition - July 14, 2018

For Many in Manatee, Quality Health Care Still Out of Reach

The good news on the national and local scene is that unemployment rates are low. The not-so-good news is that low unemployment rates are not a predictor of good health—or even an ability to access affordable health care when you need it. With one of the nation’s lowest minimum wage rates and highest uninsured populations (19 percent), more than 3.6 million Floridians do not have health insurance. In Manatee County, nearly 15 percent of residents do not have health care.

Let’s face it; access to health care is expensive. Actual cost can vary depending on the severity of the condition, the setting where the care is provided and the intensity of services needed. For instance, an average primary care office visit costs $150; a visit to an Emergency Room (ER) starts at $500 but could easily escalate into the thousands; and the cost of prenatal care plus delivery for an uncomplicated pregnancy is nearly $10,000. According to a recent report by the United Way, nearly one-third of Manatee County residents are a paycheck away from poverty, or even homelessness. So for many, quality health care is truly out of reach.

This challenge transcends race, age and community. The consequences of inaction are grave: Overcrowded emergency rooms, increased burden on taxpayers, decreased productivity in the workforce, a healthy and thriving community replaced by one that is sick and decaying.

Where can the poor and uninsured go for medical care? Last year, We Care Manatee delivered more than $1.3 million worth of medical care to qualifying low-income, uninsured County residents. Since 1999, We Care Manatee has provided free medical care to thousands, saving those served and Manatee County taxpayers over $7 million in donated care. We could not have accomplished this without the dedication of our volunteer physicians, local medical professionals who are known and trusted in this community.

If you are concerned about the long-term consequences of this challenge, I urge you to visit the We Care Manatee website, at www.wecaremanatee.org. Find out how you can help us do more.

We often refer to this area as “paradise.” If that is so, let’s envision a community where all our neighbors have access to quality health care. Please join me in making that future a reality.

Victoria Kasdan is executive director of We Care Manatee.

Herald-Tribune - June 10, 2018 By Gayle Guynup Social editor


The theme was “Motown Magic” at this year’s second annual We Care Manatee Luncheon and Fashion Show, held at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. We Care Manatee, now in its 19th year, provides free, quality medical care and referral services to low income, uninsured and under-insured adult residents of Manatee County.

Among the 100-plus guests seen at the event were Executive Director Victoria Kasdan, honorary chairperson Jeannie Slater, event chair Kobee Masiello, Susie Bowie, Jeanie Kirkpatrick, Melissa Howard, Sandra Collazo, Jeanette Planes, Adell Erozer, Jodi Allen, Trudy Moon, Christine Wengerd, Nancy Haller, Dorothy Williams, JoJo Smith, Samuel Gamero, Annie Breitinger and Ira Kasdan, among others.

After perusing a large raffle selection and silent auction, guests were welcomed by Masiello and Victoria Kasdan, who noted that in 20 years, the organization’s mission has not changed. With the help of its network of 80 volunteer physicians, partnerships with community hospitals and alliances with other medical facilities, thousands of residents have received medical care from qualified providers who they can trust – in the process saving taxpayers more than $7 million. She then presented Bowes Imaging Center with We Care’s annual Community Service Award, thanking them “for their dedication to helping those in need.“

Following lunch, it was time for the fashion show, set to some of Motown’s many iconic hits (more than 180 number one hits in all), “songs that changed the nation,” Kasdan said.

Models Kathleen Cucci, Mary Jo Hixon-Cohen, Susan Harrigan, Erna Giles Smith, Veronica Thames, Diana Rutland and Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore made their way down the fashion runway, to the music of The Temptations, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Jackson Five, Lionel Ritchey, The Four Tops and many more. Summer fashions were provided by two area retailers, Bows and Arrows Boutique and By the Sea Boutique.

Last year alone, nearly 80 percent of the 1,100 low-income, uninsured people requesting We Care Services, received free, quality medical care valued at more than $1.1 million. Those services included primary care, physician referrals, pharmaceutical assistance and breast health and wellness services.

The “fans’ of Motown music come out at We Care Manatee’s fashion show and luncheon.

106.9 FM/1220 AM WSRQ Radio Interview with Veronica Brandon Miller : Tell Me Something Good

April 12, 2018 We Care Manatee, Executive Director, Victoria Kasdan does radio interview on 106.9 FM/1220 AM WSRQ.

“Tell Me Something Good” focuses on the good that is happening in our community – highlighting those individuals, nonprofits and businesses that give tirelessly of their time, talent and treasure. Your local Goodwill is working with all of them to keep the good-will going in our community through programs and services to change lives through the power of work.

We Care Connection: A Community Health Newsletter

Special thanks to Manatee Memorial Hospital Foundation for their generous support of We Care Manatee, Inc.

Special thanks to Lakewood Ranch Community Fund for their generous support of We Care Manatee, Inc.

Special thanks to Chuck Slater of the Manatee Community Foundation for their continued support of We Care Manatee, Inc.