Watertree Health MVP Spotlight: Catherine Blake

 Continuing Series…

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Catherine Blake, who covers northern Nevada and northeastern California, is a star Service Rep who has been with Watertree Health since 2010, making her one of the longest-standing team members.

She is a mother of two grown boys and has had many interesting adventures, including sailing around the Pacific for two years when her sons were five and nine-years-old. Catherine partly attributes their successes to these years, which taught them responsibility and gave them a unique perspective on the world at such a young age.

Not only is Catherine fun and adventurous, but she is a Helper who has always worked to serve others and her community. Her strong ideals matched with her ability to take action was shaped by her upbringing in Washington D.C. Following her head and heart without any sense of sacrifice, she has fulfilled a life-long path of service work and has been successful in making a meaningful and lasting impact through every pro-social and non-profit organization she’s worked with.

Using her skills in job placement, she spent the bulk of her career helping others secure work that was a leg up for most of them. In 1989 she took over a residential treatment agency that worked with people coming out of prison. Within three years she was able to prove an $11 million savings in decreased criminal activity by her special needs population.  The whole program was based on individual respect for others and the necessary personal responsibility of clients reentering the community.

“People need help and that’s the truth. For the most part, my felons didn’t go back to jail—only 23% were re-incarcerated within 3 years compared to the national average of 63% of people going back to prison within 6 months,” Catherine said proudly. This statistic has held steady for over 25 years now.
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After that career came to a close, Catherine was working with homeless people in northern California when her son introduced her to Watertree Health®. She was initially attracted to the company because of its alliances with food banks.

Five years later, she now works on the programs benefitting nonprofits that have always been near and dear to her heart: Make-A-Wish®, ASPCA®, and Care Chest, a local nonprofit in Nevada that Catherine has raised nearly $15,000 for singlehandedly.

Care Chest just celebrated serving their 100,000th client, funded solely through donations. Catherine is good friends with Patti Meals, Executive Director of Care Chest, and shares their mission to help handicapped people receive medical devices and equipment they need. For example, a man in his twenties hit by a drunk driver received a wheelchair that he otherwise would not have been able to afford. And a little girl named Anya, who has born without the use of her arms or legs, received a gait trainer so she could move around on her own.

Watertree Health has allowed me to constantly interact with people and be of service. Some days when it’s hard to get up, I start working out in the field and my whole day turns around,” Catherine said.

John, her Director shared, “Catherine Blake has more passion for our company than any other Rep I have been associated with in my 6+ years at Watertree Health. From our philanthropy programs to the health care providers and patients getting their prescriptions filled–she truly does everything in her power to help make health care more affordable for everyone in America.”

“The main thing that keeps me going and thrills my heart is working for a company with the ethics that Watertree Health has—we’re providing for people who aren’t being provided for. The attitude is not just about helping someone stay fit, it’s about giving them a leg up in life. This is what Watertree Health does, and this is what Patti at Care Chest does,” Catherine said.

Thank you, Catherine, for all of your efforts over the years. It’s incredible to experience your passion and see how it’s made the bonds in our company that much stronger. You’re not just an amazing Rep, but an amazing person. We’re so lucky to have you!

Open Enrollment: Close the Gap?

Woman holding child on lap sitting next to a woman wearing a doctor's coat and stethoscope. Child is giving a high five to the doctor.
By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health… 

Open enrollment is starting again next month, but the time period has changed dramatically: it now only runs from November 1st – December 15th, compared to January 31st in previous years. What probably won’t change is the gap between adequate health insurance and affordability.

As the new plan year starts, it appears likely that huge numbers of individuals and families will remain “underinsured” because they’ll buy the least expensive plan on the marketplace. This means they’ll have high copays, high deductibles, high number of medications not covered and/or high out-of-pocket costs.

This should concern us because price has been cited as the key reason for prescription noncompliance:

  • 20-30% of prescriptions are never filled
  • Approximately 50% of medications for chronic diseases are not taken as prescribed

This lack of adherence causes approximately 125,000 deaths a year and costs the U.S. health care system $100-289 billion annually.

So, what do we do?

A recent article in The Hill by Gary Shapiro, “10 no-brainer ways to cut healthcare costs without hurting quality”, had a few interesting ideas. Below are some that I think should be considered:

  • Let the #1 purchaser of drugs in the U.S.—the federal government—negotiate drug prices
  • Don’t incentivize health care professionals to prescribe more costly drugs
  • When patents expire, get rid of roadblocks to the introduction of generics
  • Think about a price cap on prescriptions

We need to take a fresh approach to the accessibility of health care in America. Otherwise, the cycle of health for millions of Americans will not get better, probably only worse.

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Watertree Health is the leading provider of free prescription discount cards benefitting nonprofits year-round. Cardholders save up to 75% off brand name and generic prescriptions at virtually every pharmacy nationwide.