Former AZ Health Partnership Fund board member shares her inspiration for getting involved

 

Dr. Brand Smith presents Kim Fleurquin of Sonora Quest Laboratories with the Lifetime Cornerstone Partnership Award for providing more than $2 million in free lab testing for Mission of Mercy AZ patients over the past 25 years!

When Kim Fleurquin, Chief Risk Officer for Sonora Quest Laboratories, got involved with Mission of Mercy more than two decades ago, a part of her passion for the mission stemmed from a deeply personal healthcare crisis that her family faced. Following an accidental fall from a 60-foot cliff at Lake Pleasant, her daughter sustained an open head injury and broken neck.

By the grace of God and numerous neurosurgeries and rehabilitation, her life was saved and she is doing well today. But her family maxed out their medical benefits at the time. Even though they had good jobs and healthcare benefits, it was a struggle. And Kim could not imagine how much worse it would’ve been without the safety net of healthcare insurance.

“We did have a safety net and support, and it was so difficult to go through it. I just can’t imagine not having healthcare insurance,” Kim said. “MOM is such a gift that provides free healthcare treatment, education, medications and lab diagnostics – and without judgement.”

 

A legacy of giving back

Sonora Quest has been one of MOM’s longest-standing partners, stepping up to provide free lab services for MOM patients shortly after a joint venture between Samaritan Health (now Banner Health) and Quest Diagnostics formed Sonora Quest 26 years ago.

What started out as a pro bono contribution to help prop up the newly formed nonprofit has ended up growing into a much deeper relationship built on CEO Dave “Dex” Dexter’s commitment to corporate responsibility  through aligning Sonora Quest with community organizations that share similar goals and values.

“Dex’s expectation of his leaders is that they will get involved in the community as part of our corporate leadership development,” Kim said. “We’re part of an integrated healthcare network, and a sustainable partnership like what we have with MOM makes sense.”

Over the past decade alone, Sonora Quest has provided more than $2 million in pro bono lab services for MOM patients, averaging $200,000 to $300,000 annually. The commitment extends beyond pro bono services – Sonora Quest is also among the top supporters of MOM’s annual fundraising events as well, including this year’s 25th anniversary celebration to be held at the Hotel Valley Ho on Nov. 10.

 

Stories of success

Kim feels pride when she hears stories of MOM’s impact, especially when they come from her own employees. She recalls a time when a co-worker encountered a man experiencing homelessness who appeared to be in distress. He shared that he was thirsty and had low blood sugar. After giving the man some water and an apple, her co-worker drove him to one of MOM’s free mobile medical clinics. More than 93% of MOM’s patients have a chronic condition, including many with Type 1 diabetes.

Moving into MOM’s next 25 years of service, Kim hopes to hear more stories like that, in addition to stories of innovation. She hopes MOM’s leadership will take a hard look at how new technology and treatments can benefit MOM patients. “The world continues to go through transformational change, and healthcare needs are changing rapidly. My hope is that MOM can be kept at the forefront by expanding the medical services provided to potentially include mental health, vision care, dental services and more,” she said.

While Kim recently rolled off MOM’s Arizona Health Partnership Fund board of directors, she’s been preparing a new Sonora Quest leader to take on the position and will continue to serve as a liaison between the two organizations.

She challenges other businesses and individuals to get involved: “There are so many businesses and individuals that are willing to help. It’s a leap of faith to become an ambassador for MOM and get involved, but it’s a rewarding one.”