Help, Healing, & Hope

Every Dollar You Donate Forgives $100 In Medical Debt

Did you know that St. Luke’s is partnering with Hope Episcopal Church to wipe out medical debt for residents of Pennsylvania?

Medical debt accounts for over half of all debt in collections in the US, and for-profit agencies often purchase these debts from hospitals and other medical providers for far less than the owed amount. They then attempt to collect the full debt from the patients and their families, making a tidy profit when they succeed.

Charitable organizations have begun the practice of purchasing the medical debt of individuals and forgiving that debt, rather than trying to collect on it. In 2022, the leadership of Hope Episcopal Church in Manheim proposed a partnership with St. Luke’s for an ambitious goal: to wipe out a million dollars in medical debt. This program, called “Help, Healing, & Hope,” met and surpassed that goal in 2023, abolishing a staggering $1.6 million in debt for more than 1,000 people in Pennsylvania. Amazingly, this was achieved with funds of around $16,000–such is the nature of the medical debt market.

Medical expenses can destroy a family’s financial stability very quickly. Those of us who volunteered at the HOPES/Fresh Start shelter when we hosted it at St. Luke’s can remember meeting guests who had gotten sick or had an accident, lost their job because they were too ill to work, lost their health insurance when they lost their job, and wound up not being able to pay their rent or mortgage. It’s a tragic–and all too common–narrative.

Because of the overwhelming success of the first two phases of “Help, Healing, & Hope,” we are now launching Phase III. We hope to do even more to help our neighbors regain their financial stability and hope for the future.

If you can, please make a donation today. You can donate through St. Luke’s and we will forward your donation: Mail a check to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 22 S 6th Street, Lebanon, PA 17042 with “Med Debt III” in the subject line, or click on the “Donate” button and write “Med Debt III” in the notes section.

Hope Episcopal Church’s “Help, Healing, & Hope” Page

Fr. Bradley’s Sermon on Medical Debt

CBS News Coverage