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Helping Kath Get to Peru

Kath Connolly had her 11-day trip to Peru all planned. “I was so excited,” she said. “I was going to see Machu Picchu and travel down the Amazon on a boat.”

But when Kath went to her primary care practice, she learned the yellow fever vaccine she needed was in short supply. “The pharmacist told me there was a national shortage and gave me a list of clinics to try.”

Running out of time

Kath started making calls. Her trip was in two weeks and she needed the vaccine 10 days before she left. 

The clinics she called didn’t have the vaccine or were booking appointments months ahead. So Kath called BCBSRI.

“I grew up in New Jersey, so I was ready to be cranky," she said. “But Stephen was so smart, so warm, and on my side. And he even knew the clinics because he was in Rhode Island too.”

Kath was talking with BCBSRI customer service rep Stephen Azulay. He said, “I wanted to solve Kath’s problem right away. I assured her that the vaccine was covered and researched clinics while she was on the phone. I didn’t have much luck at first, but then I found a possibility.”

Kath said Stephen put her on hold, talked with the travel clinic, and booked an appointment for her. “It was unbelievable. I never expected that kind of help,” she said. “He saved my trip!”

“I’m so glad Kath was able to go to Peru,” said Stephen. “The members I talk with every day are my neighbors, and I’m here to assist any way I can.”

Petting a tarantula

Kath said it’s difficult to pick a favorite part of her trip. “I loved seeing sloths in their natural habitat, and I got to pet a tarantula. It was velvety soft. And kayaking in the rain in a rainforest is pretty amazing.”

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