News

Online petition fosters support

Audrey Winkelsas, who was denied Medicaid after turning 21, was relieved to find out that she was taken off the waitlist for a Medicaid waiver program.

“I was so excited and relieved that we were making headway,” she said.

Winkelsas’s situation became known throughout campus because of a Change.org petition, which has garnered more than 7,000 signatures to date. The petition is helping raise awareness about Winkelsas, who had lost her home healthcare services.

Representative Bryan Nelson of Florida, who originally helped Winkelsas apply for Medicaid her freshman year, contacted her, telling her to expect a call with updates on the waitlist status. On Monday, she received a call from the Alliance for Aging about her release from the waitlist.

The Alliance for Aging is a private, nonprofit agency that provides a range of healthcare services primarily to senior citizens living in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Through this organization, Winkelsas hopes to qualify for a Medicaid waiver that will reinstate the 24-hour care she once had.

To qualify for this waiver, a nursing assessment still has to be completed to determine how many hours of care Winkelsas will be provided.

“We’re not there yet, but it’s a step in the right direction,” she said.

On Tuesday, a form was sent to Winkelsas’s doctor to be completed and sent back to the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care program, which provides additional services beyond standard Medicaid. The program will  review her case, and it will then be sent to a nurse who will complete the necessary assessment.

Upon completion of all the appropriate paperwork and assessments, she will be told how many hours of care she will be provided with.

“Hopefully it won’t be too much longer, but we don’t know for sure,” Winkelsas said.

Although Winkelsas was initially resistant to create the petition and wasn’t hopeful about regaining Medicaid, she is thankful for the support she has received through Change.org.

“I never imagined my petition would receive the amount of support it has,” she said. “I think it shows the amazing spirit within the UM student body, and the care students have for their fellow Canes. I am so appreciative of the support.”

In addition to the support shown online, Winkelsas has also received the support of UM students and administration.

Student Government passed a bill on March 5 that encourages the university to provide the necessary assistance for Winkelsas to continue her education. The bill passed with 34 SG senators in favor, while none opposed or abstained, according to SG Speaker William Herrera.

“We do it because that’s why we’re elected, to look out for the students,” Herrera said. “That’s what reaching out for Audrey is about.”

March 23, 2014

Reporters

Emily Dabau


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Most NBA mock drafts had Miami Hurricanes guard Davon Reed going late in the second round of Thursda ...

University of Miami shooting guard Davon Reed will gather with friends and family in Ewing, New Jers ...

University of Miami great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp announced on Tuesday that he pl ...

The University of Miami continues to make a hard push for five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley of ...

The University of Miami’s 2018 football recruiting class, already ranked the best in the country by ...

UM female scientists share some insight on women in science, science in Hollywood and how Wonder Wom ...

Read the latest entries from UM students who are spending part or all of their summer visiting diffe ...

UM Student Affairs Advocacy Coordinator Heather Stevens has been awarded the William Leftwich Award ...

President Julio Frenk makes the case for collaboration at eMerge Americas. ...

UM College of Engineering Dean Jean-Pierre Bardet and alumnus Rony Abovitz share the stage in a disc ...

Two outgoing Miami student-athletes, Shakima Wimbley and Gracie Lachowecki, have officially been nam ...

Miami Deputy AD/SWA Jennifer Strawley has been named a member of the WBCA Board of Directors, as ann ...

The Atlantic Coast and Big Ten Conferences announced Monday, the University of Miami men's bask ...

Three members of the University of Miami men's tennis players have been selected as All-ACC Aca ...

The University of Miami women's golf team had four individuals selected to the 2017 Atlantic Co ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.