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Rye Non-Profit Continues Impact Removing Medical Debt

RIP medical debt

A Rye non-profit is continuing its good work of retiring medical debt belonging to people that earn less than 2x the federal poverty level.

R.I.P. Medical Debt, founded by Craig Antico and Jerry Ashton, is housed at Serendipity Labs on Theodore Fremd.

A recent report says the group is working with 18 churches across the country to raise money and eliminate medical debt: 


The leaders of Pathway Church on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas, had no clue that the $US22,000 they already had on hand for Easter would have such impact.

The non-denominational suburban congregation of about 3,800 had set out only to help people nearby pay off some medical debt, recalled Larry Wren, Pathway’s executive pastor. After all, the core membership at Pathway’s three sites consists of middle-income families with school-age kids, not high-dollar philanthropists.

But then they learned that, like a modern-day loaves-and-fishes story, that smaller amount could wipe out $US2.2 million in debt not only for the Wichita area but all available debt for every Kansan facing imminent insolvency because of medical expenses they couldn’t afford to pay – 1,600 people in all.

As Wren thought about the message of Easter, things clicked.

“Being able to do this provides an opportunity to illustrate what it means to have a debt paid that they could never pay themselves,” he said. “It just was a great fit.”

Churches in Maryland, Illinois, Virginia, Texas and elsewhere have been reaching the same conclusion. RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit organisation based in Rye, New York, that arranges such debt payoffs, reports a recent surge in participation from primarily Christian places of worship.

Eighteen have worked with RIP in the past year and a half, said Scott Patton, the non-profit’s director of development. More churches are joining in as word spreads."

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