Medical care in the U.S. isn’tcheap. Surgical procedures can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars,forcing many people to make difficult financial decisions when it comes totheir treatment options.That’s what inspired Dr. Demetrio Aguila of Nebraska tocreate the M25 Program, whichallows patients to pay for their procedures by volunteering!Demetrio spent morethan 20 years serving in the Air Force, providing medical care to soldiers andcivilians in Afghanistan. His time there was immensely impactful because heperformed more than 250 procedures on civilians who wouldn’t have been able toreceive help otherwise. And his passion only grew from there!
When he returned home, Demetrioknew he wanted to continue supporting his neighbors just like he had inAfghanistan. So he came up with a unique idea: Why not give patients the optionto pay for their operations with volunteer hours?These days, qualifyingpatients can choose to calculate their “costs” in service hours. For example,one man could either pay $12,000 for his surgery or complete 560 hours ofcommunity service. Even better, patients can recruit their friends andrelatives to donate their own volunteer efforts to the overall goal! “[Patients]have the moral support of their community to help them get better, and that isshifting the way in which patients pursue their health care,” Demetrio told CNN. “In my heartof hearts, I had this hope that we would rekindle in our neighbors and inourselves a sense of volunteerism.”
The innovative program hasalready made medical care accessible to many more people — and has inspired theircommunity to get involved!
M25 isallowing people to connect in new, meaningful ways that go beyond the expected!It’s safe to say it has been a tremendous success!