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Mitrano launches healthcare listening tour, will work with RIP Medical to pay off local debts

Tracy Mitrano, a Democrat seeking to challenge Congressman Tom Reed this fall says she’s working to shed light on medical debt in the Finger Lakes.

She announced the start of a five-city healthcare crisis listening tour. Mitrano’s announcement came during a press conference at the Pendergast Library in Jamestown to highlight a unique partnership helping district residents out from under crushing medical debt.

Working with RIP Medical Debt, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Drs. Ralph Walton and Marguerite Uphoff of Jamestown and Ithaca respectively, announced that they and other area doctors would purchase more than $170,000 of medical debt owned by individuals struggling with the burden. Their generosity will eliminate more than $500,000 of medical debt at one percent of original cost.

“I am proud of the patients I helped during my long career, but when I think of a patient whose family struggled to pay a bill or was impacted severely by the debt load, my heart breaks. I know there must be a better way and I wanted to draw attention to this crisis,” said Walton, who was present for the announcement.

“Drs. Walton and Uphoff genuinely care about the well-being of residents in the 23rd congressional district. These dedicated professionals and their colleagues realize healthcare costs are too high, and we need to develop common-sense solutions. I applaud their efforts and look forward to working closely with them and other medical professionals across the district to address this crisis.

“The healthcare industry across the United States is broken and in chaos. We can do better. You deserve quality healthcare at an affordable cost. “To this effect, I am launching a five-city healthcare listening tour beginning in Dunkirk on Monday, Jan. 20. I want to hear from everyone about their healthcare concerns and what their experiences have been with our healthcare system,” Mitrano said.

Dates, times and locations of Mitrano’s five-city healthcare crisis listening tour are as follows:

Dunkirk, N.Y. – Monday, Jan.20, 2020, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Dunkirk’s Democratic Committee, 423 Central Avenue, Dunkirk, New York 14048.

Jamestown, N.Y. – Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, from 6 to 8 pm. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown, 1255 Prendergast Avenue, Jamestown, New York 14701.

Olean, N.Y. – Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the John J. Ash Community Center, 112 N Barry Street, Olean, New York 14760.

Corning, N.Y. – Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the United Steelworkers Local 100 Union Hall, 100 Nasser Civic Center Plaza, Corning, NY 14830.

Geneva, N.Y. – Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the IBEW Local 840, 1431 State Route 5, Geneva, New York 14456.