By Eric Moon SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Saturday’s Good Samaritan Run 5K and 10K is a huge benefit for low-income patients at Christian Health Service of Syracuse. Organized by co-chairs Roxanne Carrier and Deb Cirelli, the fundraiser helps fund the Christian Health Service and provide low-cost healthcare to patients. Around 60% of patients at the Health Service are on Medicare, Medicaid or are uninsured compared to five to 10% of patients at bigger hospitals, according to Christian Health Service of Syracuse Director Garry Maderi.
The Health Service also remains operational in huge part to the fundraiser, according to Maderi.
“Typically, it just helps us to operate and just keep going,” said Maderi. “It enables us to take $13 for an office visit.”
$13 office visits offered at the Health Service are much cheaper than office visits for healthcare that typically cost around $80-$90, according to Maderi. He also said the money raised at each event keeps costs low.
“When we have infusions of money from, for example, the 5K race, that comes in and helps us to augment that patient’s $13 which probably should be $80 or $90,” said Maderi.
All raised money goes towards the Health Service, but most of it isn’t spent right away. Of the approximately $24,000 raised each year, around $15,000-$20,000 each year from the event goes into a fund utilized for cases such as a sudden need for equipment, according to Maderi.
The race also increases the number of patients at the Health Service afterwards thanks to the visibility provided by the event, according to Good Samaritan Run Co-Chair Roxanne Carrier.
“I think it brings a huge sense of community to the area,” said Carrier. “It also has brought people to Christian Health.”
Saturday’s event kicks off with the Kid’s Samaritan Sprint at 9:30 a.m. followed by the 5K and 10K at 10:00 a.m. As of now, 474 runners have registered for the race, according to Carrier. She expects somewhere between 500 and 600 runners at the starting line Saturday morning.