Monday, May 23, 2011

Affordable Healthcare in your neighborhood

Previous issues of Richard's Report (PDF) have included information about free Health Clinics all over our service area, using volunteers and donations to provide medical and dental, prescriptions, respite, and information services. But with small budgets, they can’t do much advertising, so how’s anybody to know where they’re located, what they do, and who can use them?With a 3-year grant from the Duke Endowment, AccessHealth Tricounty Network has an office at Trident United Way to inventory and coordinate all the health-related services available. Twenty-seven partner agencies serving people with low incomes and no insurance have come to the table to work together to (1) decrease use of the emergency room as a primary health provider, (2) change how uninsured patients access health care, and (3) improve health outcomes and quality of life for those patients. Rosalia Velazquez moved to Charleston from California to become Executive Director, with years of experience with this kind of work. Additional dollars are needed to hire three more Patient Navigators, each of whom would help 400 patients per year to navigate their way to health care services that are available, but not always known or accessible.

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