Gateways to Care

The caregivers in America's hospitals see that the absence of coverage can be a significant barrier to people getting the right care, at the right time, in the right setting. Knocking down those barriers to care and combining education, outreach and support to promote healthier lifestyles and improve health is a big part of the work hospitals do. Hospitals have made a strong commitment to ensure everyone gets the care they need, regardless of their ability to pay. 

Patients to St. Dominic's Community Health Clinic in Jackson, Miss., are welcomed with no appointment necessary. Primary health care services include routine checkups, treatment of acute illnesses, sports or employment physicals, eye exams by an opthalmologist, limited chronic care, nutrition counseling, waived lab testing, scheduling of lab, X-ray or other diagnostic services or referrals for specialty care and social services, plus assistance with prescriptions, supplies and equipment. The clinic also provides a variety of educational programs for children, adolescents and adults in an effort to promote disease prevention and safety among this segment of the population.

The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital takes primary care to children in its surrounding neighborhoods. Comer Children Hospital's Pediatric Mobile Medical Unit offers a unique service to Chicago's South Side. The "hospital on wheels" brings medical resources to the children's school so parents or guardians don't have to work through obstacles, such as transportation.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin supports the community through numerous programs and services that improve the health of children and strengthen families. In 2013, the hospital provided nearly $1.1 million in charity care to make sure kids got the treatment they needed.

The University of Nebraska SHARING clinics strive to enhance the well-being of the greater Omaha community by providing high-quality, low-cost health care and human services to those in need. As the only clinic in the nation run and staffed by students from every health professional college, the SHARING clinics incorporate a distinct educational dimension in addition to providing health care.

New Jersey hospitals’ Emergency Department Community Partnership helps ensure that patients receive care at the most appropriate, efficient and cost-effective site. The program provides alternate non-emergency services to patients who present with primary care needs in hospital EDs, patient education and support services to encourage the use of appropriate sites of care.

Woman’s Hospital’s mobile coach makes mammography more accessible than ever before. It travels to 15 parishes in Louisiana visiting churches, schools and community centers bringing breast imaging to wherever women need the service.

Every day, rural hospitals in the state of Washington provide access to essential health care services. Without these important community resources, many may not have access to health care at all. Located in remote areas of the state, these hospitals serve more than 70% of Washington’s area and only 15% of the population. Rural hospitals provide a community hub for local health care services and access to primary care and emergency services, and a bridge to specialized care outside the community.

The Samaritan Medication Assistance Program provides free prescription medications for qualified patients at all five Samaritan hospitals in Oregon. The program helps people who have no medication insurance; do not qualify for Medicaid, Medicare Part D or other government-sponsored program that provides outpatient prescription coverage; have limited resources; and are otherwise unable to afford the cost of their medications.

In Maryland, Anne Arundel Medical Center executives began examining data on high‐utilization patients and realized that a disproportionate number of them were coming from the same address in downtown Annapolis — an apartment building for low‐income seniors. To reduce residents’ medical 911 calls, emergency department visits and readmissions, the hospital now operates a clinic inside the apartment building. The clinic, which houses a single physician and a handful of medical staff, was created within a state Health Enterprise Zone, which is designed to provide additional resources to areas with health care shortages or glaring health disparities.

Speare Memorial Hospital, a critical access hospital in rural New Hampshire, provides hundreds of free screenings and clinical tests every year to patients who can’t afford them. Hundreds more community members in various outreach and education events while almost 1,500 school children, WIC participants and high-risk obstetric patients were able to access dental health services.

Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Dental Services has provided comprehensive dental care to patients for nearly 90 years and is one of the few sources of dental care in southern Connecticut for patients whose medical conditions or disabilities make treatment in a conventional dental practice impractical or difficult.

The Community Health Team at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in Vermont is made up of skilled health care professionals available to assist patients with the tools and support they need to reach personal health goals. In addition to overall health needs, the CHT can help in many other areas, including: financial, insurance, emotional, educational, substance abuse, transportation, and/or physical assistance.

For more than 30 years, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems’ Telecare program has been providing warm, friendly, daily check-in phone calls, free of charge, to seniors in greater Bangor. The check-ins can ensure the safety and well-being of those who receive them.

Sanford Health’s Community Care Program ensures that all people receive the care they need, regardless of their financial situation, by providing discounted or free care to patients who need it.

The Baptist Operation Outreach van is a mobile health care unit. Run by Baptist Memorial Health Care in Tennessee, it provides free acute and primary health care, information on disease prevention and guidance and a medical home to thousands of people without permanent housing. All services are free and are provided with respect and confidentiality. For many of the thousands of people without homes in Memphis, the Baptist Operation Outreach van is the only option for health care.

Since 2007, Providence Health and Services’ network of hospitals in Oregon has partnered with Project Access NOW, which coordinates volunteer physicians and other health care providers throughout the Portland metro area, making it easier for them to donate medically necessary care to the low-income uninsured in the community. 

No patient is turned away for emergency care because of his or her lack of ability to pay for care, and hospitals spend millions to open their doors to all. Copley Hospital in Vermont provided more than $1.1 million in charity care last year.

In 2011, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children became the “medical home” for primary care services for children in Delaware’s foster care system. Children in foster care often run the risk of having their health needs go unmet or unrecognized. Nemours developed the partnership with the state’s foster care program, which serves more than 1,200 children annually.

St. Joseph's Medical Center CareVan is a 48-foot mobile health clinic offering free health services to people in the Stockton, California, community who do not have health insurance and access to care. Staffed with a health care provider, a nurse and a clerk, the mobile health services are available to treat most minor, urgent health care needs.

As a full-service doctor’s office on wheels, the Saint Clare Medical Outreach Van operated by St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, travels the streets of the community delivering medical care to people who are homeless, poor and uninsured. Over the years, more than 80,000 patient visits have been conducted from the Van. Every day, the Van’s staff vaccinates children who are uninsured, dispenses medications for people with prescriptions they cannot afford to fill, and provides ongoing medications for people with chronic illnesses and acute medical problems.

At Baptist Health’s eight hospital locations in Arkansas, patients without insurance (who do not qualify for any third-party or government health benefits) receive an automatic discount of 70% off their billed charges. This discount will be taken before a patient’s billing statement is sent. Additional financial assistance discounts up to 100% of billed charges may be provided to insured or non-insured patients, based on completion and evaluation of an Application for Financial Assistance.

The New Hampshire Health Access Network is a voluntary effort by health care providers – including hospitals and their affiliated physician practices – to improve access to health care for low-income children and adults statewide. NHHAN is not an insurance program. It is a discount program for people in New Hampshire who do not have health insurance or do not have enough money to pay for hospital care, doctor visits or other medical care.

Legacy Health believes that in a health community, everyone has access to health care. To do its part, each Legacy hospital supports free safety-net clinics, care networks for the uninsured and recuperative centers for the homeless. In addition to financial and volunteer staff support, Legacy gives the clinics in-kind lab and imaging services.

As a not-for-profit organization, Crouse Hospital provides free health screenings for heart disease, diabetes and lung function to other not-for-profit organizations that primarily serve individuals who have no health insurance, costly insurance or limited access to health care.

Sponsored by Morton Hospital, the goal of the Dr. Anthony N. Elias clinic is to provide an alternative primary care setting for uninsured adults. Services like primary and preventative care, physicals, sick visits, follow-up management of ongoing health concerns, immunizations, dressing changes, office gynecology, chronic disease management and suture removal are all provided free of charge.

The Mercy Health-Anderson Clinic is the result of collaboration between Mercy Health-Anderson Hospital and the Cincinnati Chapter of the Muslim Clinic of Ohio. It is the first free clinic to be established in the Cincinnati area and provides comprehensive medical care to low-income and uninsured residents, at no cost. The clinic allows follow-up care for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, lung problems, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and also acute problems that are normally treated in a physician's office. Labs, EKG, X-rays and other tests are conducted at the Anderson Clinic. Although the clinic does not have a pharmacy, prescriptions are written for generic medications on the $4 plans offered at most retail pharmacies.

Community Memorial Hospital’s Community Outreach Health Clinic serves the uninsured and underinsured residents in the area. The clinic provides quality, limited medical care with dignity and confidentiality, using the services of volunteer professional staff. Services include non-emergent medical and dental care and pharmaceutical assistance, client referral to appropriate community resources, and education and counseling to promote a preventative wellness lifestyle. Oversight of the clinic is provided by a physician medical director and a clinical nurse practitioner. Although services at the clinic may be obtained without cost, a $10 donation is requested from each patient at each visit.

Through a collaboration of community partners, The Montgomery Area Wellness Coalition is able to serve uninsured and under-insured patients and increase quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health care services. Services include case management, women’s access services and chronic disease management

Legacy Health is doing its part to provide medical care for the uninsured and under-insured by taking a lead in both providing a charity care program for discounted hospital care, as well as partnering with community organizations to expand access to public health services. Each Legacy hospital supports safety-net clinics, care networks for the uninsured and recuperative centers for the homeless.

Eskenazi Health Center’s state-of-the-art mobile health clinic provides primary care for seniors, adults and children, including physical exams, pregnancy testing, family planning services, nutritional counseling, immunization and other social service needs. Additionally, the mobile clinic addresses the obstacle that lack of transportation presents for patients who need care. The 42-foot-long traveling clinic sees patients daily and primarily serves three public housing communities.

Lancaster General Health’s Nurse-Family Partnership is a free program that helps first-time, low-income mothers and their infants receive health care services, health education, emotional support and guidance. Patients who enroll are assigned a specially trained registered nurse who will do home visits throughout pregnancy and continue to visit mother and baby until the baby is two years old. The nurse will also help new moms with their educational and job goals. The program has 30 years of research proving that mothers who complete the program have healthier babies with better outcomes.

The Holy Cross Hospital Health Center is a primary care medical center serving uninsured adults at least 18 years of age in Silver Spring, Md., and the surrounding areas. The state-of-the-art clinic is a collaborative effort between Holy Cross Hospital and Montgomery College. The center was developed to provide better health care services for those in need and offer a learning opportunity for students of nursing and other allied health programs. The staff is bilingual in English and Spanish and translation services are available for other languages.

DMC Sinai-Grace diabetes educators offer a program for those with no insurance or whose insurance does not cover diabetes education. Classes meet twice each month for two hours. The Diabetes Education Program for the Underinsured covers all aspects of diabetes, including monitoring, complications, high and low blood sugar, medications, reducing risks, meal planning, portion control, foot care and suggestions for healthy behavior change.

The Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio provides free medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured Franklin County residents who cannot afford their medication. The pharmacy operates through the support of a number of donors, including all central Ohio hospital systems.

The San Antonio Community Hospital Dental Center is a partnership between the hospital and the Assistance League of the Foothill Communities. The Center provides free and low-cost dental care to underprivileged elementary and junior high school children. The goal is to educate low-income children about the importance of dental hygiene and to provide prophylactic and therapeutic dental services to this vulnerable population.

Angleton Danbury Medical Center recently launched Project Pink Warrior, a breast health initiative. The program brings breast cancer education, free clinical breast exams and free screening mammograms to those who may not otherwise be able to afford these services.

Baptist Health Community Wellness Center initiative began with the primary mission of providing health promotion and prevention activities to medically underserved, uninsured and underinsured individuals. The wellness centers are community-based partnerships with churches with the goal of creating a healthier community. The services the wellness centers offer include health education, care coordination, immunization, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar screenings and community referrals.

In caring for low-income, uninsured patients through their clinics and the We Care program, Floyd Medical Center became aware of a strong need for dental care for the low-income, uninsured families in Rome and Floyd County. To help meet this need, Floyd partnered with the District Public Health office to plan and fund the construction and operation of a comprehensive dental clinic for low-income residents of the region. In addition, Floyd makes its Outpatient Surgery Center facilities and staff available at no cost to dental clinic dentists to perform dental surgery on high-risk patients.

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital’s Learning Center touches the hearts and lives of hundreds of families and individuals as it strives to fulfill requests for assistance with basic needs from people living in poverty and/or crisis. As part of a values-driven organization, the Learning Center is committed to preserving the dignity of each person by treating all clients with respect, justice and compassion. The center seeks to provide quality services such as free health screenings, meals for the homeless, food baskets for those in need and bus passes to medical appointments to clients through positive collaborations with partners from other service agencies, businesses and community volunteers.

The Community Case Management Program at Hoag Hospital provides health care liaison services between Hoag and local community agencies for the low-income, uninsured and under-insured clients within the Hoag service area. The goal of the program is to provide access to needed education and resources in order to achieve optimum health and wellness. Many uninsured or under-insured residents may not access local services due to language and transportation barriers, lack of insurance and lack of awareness of existing programs and resources, to name a few. In order to assist this population, the Community Case Management Program has an established network of collaborators and always seeks to establish new linkages.

Jones Memorial Hospital’s Health Insurance Coverage for the Uninsured Population program identifies and reaches out to the uninsured population, encourages them to apply for public health insurance and assists in filling out applications. Staff go into the community and seek applicants instead of waiting for the uninsured to come to them. To address transportation obstacles in the rural community, HICUP makes home visits and meets with small employers who do not offer insurance coverage to set up “sign-up” sessions. Allegany County is one of the poorest counties in New York, and HICUP helps the uninsured and underinsured obtain coverage for comprehensive needs that may reach beyond JMH’s financial assistance. In 2012 alone, 336 people applied for public health insurance; 256 people were enrolled and are now covered.

St. Mary Medical Center’s Community Health Ministries provides free screenings, educational seminars and inclusive programs for people in the community of all ages, from children and youth, to adults and mature adults. Among its offerings, the St. Mary Family Resource Center addresses the needs of a diverse, low-income community by providing emergency housing, parenting skills training, nutrition counseling, exercise and fitness instruction, transportation for services, technology services, employment readiness and financial counseling... all under one roof. The FRC collaborates with several partnering agencies to eliminate the roadblocks that keep people in crisis from accessing the services they need. The goal is to strengthen vulnerable families and children through empowerment, education and self-direction so that they may achieve and maintain not just good health, but permanent self-sufficiency.

The mission of Novant Health’s hospitals is to provide remarkable health care, and that extends outside the walls of hospitals. The rising cost of health care impacts the lives of the patients they serve. Novant’s Community Care Cruiser, a 40-foot mobile clinic, provides immunizations to uninsured and underinsured children in the greater Charlotte area. The cruiser is led by a medical director, nursing staff and social worker and visits underserved areas to offer vaccines. Novant and the Community Care Cruiser work with interested groups including places of worship, schools and other support groups to promote the clinic and provide easy access for children to be immunized against preventable diseases. 

Calvert Community Dental Care provided basic dental care to 771 adults and children, a 37 percent increase over the prior year. The program was formed to improve access to dental care for low-income families and those who are uninsured or underinsured. Services include exams, cleaning, fluoride and sealants as well as basic restorative care and extraction. In 2012, through a partnership with the American Legion, the clinic found a permanent home in Lusby on the public bus route that makes it easier for those without transportation to reach the clinic.

Bryan Health and Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center established the Lincoln E.D. Connections program for the uninsured and underinsured in the Lincoln community who were lacking a connection to health care and may have been using the emergency department (ED) inappropriately for primary care needs. The Lincoln E.D. Connections program assists these individuals with access to more appropriate care by helping them seek out and connect with community resources. Case managers also help individuals by providing education, health care support and navigation/coordination assistance.

Baptist Health Corbin’s outreach department partnered with Community Health Services to create the FOCUS Prescription Program to assist with the rising costs of prescribed medication. CHS helps eligible patients obtain their prescribed medication, and through referral services to other community resources, FOCUS helps patients of any age who cannot afford their prescribed medications maintain medication compliance.

Hallmark Health System collaborates with community partners to bring the Mobile Food Market to low-income residents. The Market addresses the persistent lack of access to healthy food for low-income families, serves fresh produce and frozen food free of charge and offers health education, screenings and other essential community wellness resources.

Saint Anthony Hospital provides free counseling to uninsured Spanish-speaking adults in their community. Therapy and counseling is available members of underserved populations who may be suffering from anxiety, depression, trauma or have experienced a difficult change in their lives. Therapy is available to individuals, couples and groups and is provided through culturally sensitive services geared to the Latino immigrant community.

It is the mission of Rex Healthcare to make a positive impact on health through wellness initiatives in their community. This is why they have formed partnerships with community groups like the Open Door Clinic of Wake County. These collaborative efforts aim to benefit all in the Wake County area by providing both education and preventative care to promote a healthful lifestyle. In partnering with the Open Door Clinic, Rex Health works together to provide high-quality care services, education and medications to all patients in the community. It is a joint mission to provide these services to adults in Wake County who lack adequate income, insurance coverage or other means to obtain access to health care.

In recognition of the lack of access to health care that affects so many, East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership is a clinic operated by the students of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The clinic provides primary care to patients regardless of ability to pay or lack of health insurance, with the specific objective of reaching out to uninsured residents of East Harlem. The mission of the clinic is to offer confidential, compassionate care in a safe, respectful environment. Additionally, EHHOP looks to establish a positive approach to medicine by creating shared goals with patients, empowering them to participate actively in their physical and emotional well-being in order to enhance the effectiveness of EHHOP services.

The Mount Sinai Queens Breast Health Partnership Program is part of the New York State Healthy Women Partnership. The program facilitates breast and cervical cancer prevention and early diagnosis for women who are 40 years and over or who are at risk, and who are underinsured with limited income or uninsured. The program provides an annual comprehensive clinical breast examination, breast health education, mammogram, other necessary diagnostic services and a pap/pelvic examination at no cost. The monthly screenings are conducted at Mount Sinai Queens’ Senior Health Center by a surgical oncologist and an adult nurse practitioner. A nurse and a team of community volunteers provide health education and outreach services.

The Women Caring for Women program was developed as a direct result of a community need identified by San Antonio Community Hospital’s staff. This program is designed to bring the services offered by the hospital’s Women’s Breast & Imaging Center to low-income uninsured or underinsured women. The program bridges a critical gap in services by removing traditional barriers that prevent women from accessing critically important breast care. In addition to diagnostic testing, the program provides a personal nurse navigator to assist individuals in moving from suspicion of breast cancer to diagnosis to treatment and to survivorship.

St. Elizabeth Hospital, in partnership with the Ascension Parish government, opened the St. Elizabeth Community Clinic to provide acute care such as treatment for illness and preventative care. Care is provided by a nurse practitioner in family medicine and overseen by a doctor specializing in family medicine. The program is for residents who are unable to access other health care because of being uninsured or underinsured.

Boston Children’s Hospital’s Young Parents Program is a special clinic dedicated to working with teen mothers and fathers from low-income and at-risk environments with the highest rates of pregnancies and the greatest risk of poor birth outcomes.

St. John Medical Center’s prescription assistance program recognizes the need to assist patients of limited means who cannot afford necessary medications. The program supplies patients with a two-week supply of medication when discharged and then assists in referring patients to a health care access social worker who can then further help patients enroll in prescription drug programs for longer-term needs.

Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital’s Baby Bootique encourages expectant parents to seek early prenatal care, participate in prenatal and parenting education and adopt healthy lifestyle changes. The program focuses on low-income parents from the Hospital’s two clinics offering obstetrical services, the Seton Women’s Center and the Family Medicine Center. The goal is to encourage healthy behaviors and healthy babies. Participants receive coupons that they can exchange for clothing, diapers, car seats and other necessities. Among babies born to participants in the program, only 6.1% of babies were low birth weight (less than 5 pounds, 9 ounces). Among clinic non-participating patients, 10.2% of babies were low birth weight. The Colorado average for low birth weight is 9%. Low birth weight infants are at greater risk for health problems than their normal birth weight peers.

Meridian Health recognizes that the care they provide reaches far beyond the boundaries of their facilities. With early detection being critical to successfully managing many health issues, coupled with the growing number of uninsured, Meridian is committed to providing free and low-cost screenings for a variety of conditions, including blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index, bone density, stroke risk assessment, diabetic retinopathy, cancer and more.

Holy Cross Hospital’s three Health Centers serve as primary care medical centers, providing affordably priced health care services to uninsured adults at least 18 years of age. The centers were developed to provide better health care services for those in need and to offer a unique learning opportunity for students of nursing and other allied health programs. Highly skilled medical professionals, including physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses, staff the Holy Cross Hospital Health Center. Additionally the staff is bilingual in English and Spanish, and translation services are available for other languages.

St. Francis Hospital and Foundation are committed to caring for those in the community who need it most, the uninsured. One of the many ways they do so is through the Saint Clare Medical Outreach Van. The van is a full-service doctor’s office on wheels and travels the streets of Wilmington delivering medical care to people who are homeless, poor and uninsured. Every day the van’s staff vaccinate children, dispense medication for people with prescriptions they can not afford to fill and provide ongoing medications for people with chronic illnesses and acute medical problems.

Moffitt Cancer Center’s Men’s Health Forum is an annual community health promotion event that provides health screenings, health education and resources to participants in both English and Spanish. The Forum reaches medically underserved men (those who are uninsured, underinsured or do not have a regular health care provider) in Tampa Bay with the goal of addressing health disparities in the community due to lack of awareness and education about certain diseases, lack of information regarding methods of prevention and early detection and less access to quality health care opportunities. In the past 11 years, more than 10,000 men have participated in the health screenings and men identified with adverse outcomes were navigated to the appropriate health care facility.

Through a community partnership, Marin General Hospital participated in and helped support Binational Health Week. The recognition week targeted the low-income Latino population and included 10 different health events and fairs throughout Marin county. It was estimated that 10,000 people in the at-risk community were reached and provided no-cost influenza vaccinations along with other helpful health, legal and immigration resources.

The Baptist Health Community Wellness Center initiative began with the primary mission of providing health promotion and prevention activities to medically underserved, uninsured and underinsured individuals. The wellness centers are community-based partnerships with churches. The services the wellness centers offer include health education, care coordination, immunization, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar screenings and community referrals.

Botsford Hospital’s School-Based Health Clinic provides access to health care and wellness programs to hundreds of students ages 10-21. Clinic staff offer a range of care, such as treating minor ailments and injuries, controlling asthma symptoms, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and providing dental and mental health services. A registered dietitian provides one-on-one nutrition counseling to students. The goal is to provide a safe and comfortable place for children to receive health care services. For many of these children, this is the only place to access health care. To better meet these needs, the clinic was upgraded to a full-time clinic in fall 2011 and is open 30 hours a week year-round, seeing at least 500 patients annually. Since its opening, the clinic has helped 43 families get approved for Medicaid health benefits.

Aria Health is an active partner in the Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership, a not-for-profit organization providing health care services to the uninsured in Bucks County. The collaborative program addresses gaps in health services and works to improve the health status of the community. It provides access to care to uninsured Bucks County residents and access to dental care for low-income, uninsured children. Additionally BCHIP runs a cardiovascular risk reduction program, tobacco control program, domestic violence taskforce and the Bucks County Wellness Partnership. 

The Baptist Health Community Wellness Center initiative began with the primary mission of providing health promotion and prevention activities to medically underserved, uninsured and underinsured individuals. The wellness centers are community-based partnerships with churches with the goal of creating a healthier community. The services offered include health education, care coordination, immunizations, and blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar screenings and community referrals.

To address critical health challenges in the community, Garden City Hospital has created an innovative community mobile health program, LinkUP with a Health Coach, to provide free prevention and coordinated services to help reduce heart disease and diabetes. This outreach program utilizes a 40 foot motor coach/bus, to provide services to low income and uninsured (or underinsured) populations in need of health care providing intake, health screenings/assessments, health coaching, diabetes case management, community health resource referrals, health information and patient care follow up.

Each year, St. Vincent’s HealthCare matches more than 5,000 uninsured patients with coverage through their Hospital Outreach Patient Eligibility Program, which aims to improve access to medical care for individuals who are experiencing financial hardship by enrolling those that qualify into financial assistance programs. St. Vincent’s HealthCare financial counselors work diligently to make the process as seamless as possible and offer financial assistance services at both St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside and St. Vincent's Medical Center Southside, formerly St. Luke's Hospital. The HOPE Program provides services that meet the needs of patients who are unable to pay for their care.

Lincoln Hospital is getting a little “creative” with health care. Uninsured artists can exchange their talents for medical care through a new program dubbed the Lincoln Art Exchange. The hospital had a large artist community in the Bronx and northern Manhattan community who often go without care. Eligible artists do a brief interview then meet a financial counselor to enroll in a financial aid program that allows patients to pay for medical care on a sliding scale. Once enrolled, artists will be scheduled to work with patients or at hospital events. Artists earn 40 credits equivalent to $40 for each hour worked. These credits can be used toward a host of services, from doctor visits to prescriptions to surgical procedures. The possibilities for artists are virtually endless, organizers said. For example, musicians can work with seniors, yoga instructors can train expectant moms, dancers can help adolescents tackle obesity.

The St. Joseph's Hospital Community Health team partners with local organizations on the "Be Wise Immunize" program to increase the immunization rate of Hillsborough County children. The program primarily serves neighborhoods with low immunization rates, as calculated by the Hillsborough County Health Department. The program allows underserved families and children (infants to age 18) to receive convenient, free physicals and immunizations. Two mobile units are used to provide services. The "Back to School Bash" at Blake High School served more than 200 children; 83 of those children received immunizations and 168 received physicals.

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, part of the Seton Family of Hospitals, provides health care for approximately 80,000 public school students through a unique partnership with the Austin Independent School District. The program covers prevention, wellness services, in-school medication, injured child care and management of chronic health conditions. It utilizes a unique software program that facilitates communication and collects data to improve services. The program identifies uninsured children who need additional medical care and connects them with care providers. The Student Health Services program was the first of its kind and has been replicated in schools throughout the nation.

As a full-service doctor’s office on wheels, Saint Francis Healthcare’s Saint Clare Medical Outreach Van travels the streets of Wilmington delivering medical care to people who are homeless, poor and uninsured. Over the years, more than 80,000 patient visits have been conducted from the van. Every day, the van’s staff vaccinate children who are uninsured, dispense medications for people with prescriptions they cannot afford to fill, and provide ongoing medications for people with chronic illnesses and acute medical problems.

Broward General Medical Center’s Medicaid Out-Patient Eligibility Department program has helped thousands of the county’s uninsured patients obtain government-supported health care. MOPED, created in May 2009, proactively helps patients qualify for Medicaid, charity and financial assistance, as needed. Since the program’s inception, more than 23,000 patients have visited the MOPED office. MOPED helps people successfully navigate through the paperwork and application forms needed to obtain financial assistance for health care. It’s a full-service program that goes further to help people in need apply for food stamps, discounted phone service and even temporary cash.

Frederick Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary Prenatal Center combines clinical care with education, counseling and evidence-based assessment guidelines that improve prenatal outcomes for under-insured and uninsured women in Frederick County, MD. Patients at the Prenatal Center receive screenings for health problems such as gestational diabetes, are taught what to expect during pregnancy and are referred to services such as WIC and childbirth classes regardless of their ability to pay.

Providence Milwaukie Hospital and its partners in the Community Health In Motion program have provided thousands of free immunizations and hundreds of sports physicals to area children, health screenings for adults, fall prevention clinics for seniors, free monthly dental services to emergency department patients, free mammograms to uninsured women and many other services to the county’s poorest and most vulnerable residents.

Halifax Regional Health System’s MedAssist program provides life-sustaining and preventive medications to low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents who could not otherwise obtain them. One full-time and one part-time medication assistance caseworker staff the program and all medications are dispensed from physicians’ offices. Patients are charged an annual application fee of $10, which may cover all medications for some patients. With approximately 20 percent of area residents living below the poverty line and with high incidences of diabetes, heart disease and cancer – as well as high blood pressure and high cholesterol – Halifax Regional Health System was able to serve 1,408 patients last year and provided medications valued at $4,793,479.

Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital provides support to the Wyandotte Clinic for the Working Uninsured in a variety of ways, including staff volunteers and fundraising support. The clinic provides a range of services such as primary care office visits, including diabetes and hypertension management; Well Woman checkups, including Pap tests and breast exams/mammograms; podiatric services; nutrition counseling for diabetes, hypertension and weight loss; and work physicals and referrals. This clinic is designed to help working people without medical insurance get healthy and stay healthy.

The Healthcare Access Program at St. John Medical Center is designed as a resource for the uninsured and underinsured in meeting their health care needs. A licensed social worker serves as the Healthcare Access Case Manager by evaluating clients’ needs and assisting them with long-term resources, physician services, laboratory and radiology access and indigent drug programs. The case manager is also available to assess needs of those who are having a difficult time in paying for medications, transportation, home health services, or who are seeking alternatives to a nursing home placement.

Duke Medicine has devoted itself to making sure that people across the region are able to get the medical care they need, regardless of their ability to pay. Duke works with many community partners to improve health care and one example of local outreach includes the Local Access to Coordinated Healthcare, providing bilingual in-home health education on chronic disease, patient support and advocacy for uninsured Durham residents. Since 2002, more than 18,000 uninsured residents have enrolled in LATCH.

Providence Milwaukie Hospital joined with community partners to develop Community Health in Motion, an outreach program for the area’s poorest and most vulnerable residents. Through CHIM, Providence Milwaukie Hospital and its partners are able to provide thousands of free immunizations and hundreds of sports physicals to area children, health screenings for adults, fall prevention clinics for seniors, free monthly dental services to emergency department patients, free mammograms to uninsured women and more.

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has two mobile clinics to provide primary care to residents of Prince William County. The mobile clinics, Family Health Connection I and II, are staffed by nurse practitioners from the medical center who provide physical examinations, vision and hearing screenings, growth assessments, blood pressure checks, immunizations, basic medical care and health information for uninsured residents. The scope of services is gradually increasing so that illnesses can be detected before they become serious health problems. Screening for high blood pressure and diabetes, providing breast exams and teaching women how to perform breast self-exams are some of the ways that they are able to accomplish this.

Beginning in March 2010, Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s Community Mobile Health Unit expanded its existing outreach program by offering preventive health care services for men, women and children at faith-based community organizations. Working with faith-based leaders, the CMHU staff tailored health summits to meet the medical needs of the participants at each site. Faith-based organizations have deep roots in the communities they serve and are influential in their service areas. They can point out the importance of accessing medical services early on and help their members overcome their apprehension with knowledge and information.

Research revealed that approximately 10% of Montgomery County, MD, residents and 15% of Prince George's County residents do not have health insurance. A lack of health insurance combined with the high cost of medical care and transportation challenges can decrease access to care and can lead to unmet health needs. The Transitional Care Program at Holy Cross Health aims to link uninsured patients discharged from the hospital to a primary care provider at one of Holy Cross Hospital's three health centers, by providing coordination of care, ensuring health center follow-up, patient education, medication management, transportation assistance and links to self-care management programs.

The Bread of Healing Clinic is a free clinic whose mission is to provide basic medical care to the uninsured. With the support of Aurora Sinai Medical Center and other grants, the clinic is open four half days each week at Cross Lutheran in Milwaukee, where an average of 300-350 patient visits are completed monthly. Two additional Bread of Healing Clinic sites are opened to accommodate an additional 50 patient visits monthly. In total, the Bread of Healing clinic provides medical care to more than 1,500 people annually who do not have medical insurance.

Bodegueros, small grocery store owners/workers, are a population of people who commit long work hours, leaving little time to meet health needs, and often are uninsured. Maintaining long hours leaves little time for physical activity. Many have no insurance or are underinsured; therefore, health care is not attained on a consistent basis. New York-Presbyterian's ACN-Outreach Program and Health Plus Medicaid Managed Care Plan partnered with Jetro's Bronx Food Market to offer general health screenings to the bodegueros as an opportunity to bring awareness to health-related problems that could be addressed with education and referrals. Health insurance eligibility screening and enrollment services were also offered

In September 2010, Swedish Medical Center opened the Swedish Community Specialty Clinic to expand specialty care services to the uninsured in the community. The clinic partnered with King County Project Access and provides a workable solution to one of the most pressing health care problems facing low-income and uninsured people in the community - access to specialty care services. This program builds on the safety net of primary care provided by the community health and public health clinics in King County. Through KCPA and a volunteer staff of more than 180 Swedish specialty physicians, low-income uninsured patients have access to needed specialty health care and donated ancillary, in- and out-patient hospital services.

Like many organizations in the community, Anne Arundel Medical Center regularly donates bag lunches, winter coats and accessories to its local homeless shelter. But AAMC's commitment to helping end homelessness doesn't end there. Through an ongoing partnership with the Annapolis Light House Shelter - AAMC nurses provide Light House patients with free health screenings and health and prevention classes on everything from cardiovascular health and nutrition to tobacco cessation and anger management. A nurse-led clinic, founded in 2011, allows nurses to review Light House patients' health needs and connect them to the appropriate care. Additionally, AAMC staff participated in Anne Arundel County's 4th Annual Homeless Resource Day, a one-day, one-stop event where homeless individuals and families can access benefits, medical and dental care, substance abuse resources, mental health counseling, haircuts and a variety of social services that can ultimately lead to housing and self-sufficiency.

The RotaCare Clinic on the campus of El Camino Hospital provides primary care and specialty services to area residents in need, such as families of the working poor, individuals who are temporarily out of work and uninsured, as well as individuals who cannot afford health insurance. A dedicated staff and volunteer physicians, nurses, pharmacists and interpreters provide medical services and the clinic provides health screenings and chronic disease management

Every year, Hartford Hospital's Brownstone Clinics provide free, quality health care to thousands of people in the community who have nowhere else to turn. The Brownstone Clinics meet a critical need in the community and, in fiscal 2011 alone, the clinics had more than 53,000 patient visits. The Brownstone Clinics are staffed by Hartford Hospital residents and by attending physicians, many of whom are retired and serve at the clinics part-time.

The Mobile Health program at Holy Cross Hospital was created to bring access to primary and preventive health care to community members, especially those who are homeless, undocumented, migrant workers and those who are working but ineligible for health benefits. The 33-foot vehicle is outfitted with two patient interview and screening rooms, one exam room and a client waiting area with a monitor to deliver educational messages. In addition, there is accommodation for on-board laboratory services. The vehicle also allows for on-board screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, HIV rapid testing and physical exams.

For several years, Mercy General Hospital has been a strong supporter of SPIRIT, an outreach program that engages physicians in the delivery of medical care to county indigent patients through volunteerism. As a partner, they make annual financial contributions, donate surgeries and provide in-kind support to assist in surgeries. SPIRIT recruits physicians to volunteer in county and community clinics in an effort to enhance primary care medical services available to Sacramento's uninsured. The project also offers a specialty service network comprised of office referrals to participating physicians, "specialty sub" clinics located within existing county clinics and hernia and cataract repair surgeries done at no charge at local hospitals. Specialists provide medical care that uninsured patients have difficulty accessing through the county clinic system. SPIRIT medical services are completely free of charge to the patient.

St John Providence Health System provides a wide range of primary care services to its community, regardless of patients' ability to pay. It does so through the St. John Health Community Health Centers, where patients receive preventive care, health education and treatment of long-term (chronic) diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes. It also includes care for acute (sudden) problems like cold, flu, gastritis and bronchitis. Additionally, it partners with others in the community to provide health care services to all those in need.

St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is located in an area where 26.7% of families reside in poverty and 49.6% of people experience food insecurity. The hospital is well-situated to screen for and address issues around hunger and nutrition, which directly affect children's health. St. Christopher's Hospital has developed several initiatives designed to help the children of Philadelphia break the cycles of food insecurity, violence and childhood illness. One example is a strong outpatient screening program that refer patients to emergency or long-term food resources, including information about food stamps and WIC benefits. The outpatient clinic also has a pro-bono lawyer on site who can address benefit access issues for families.

Mercy's primary care clinics are at the heart of their community benefit program, providing free and low-cost primary care to the uninsured, underinsured and undocumented immigrant populations across the Sacramento region. The clinics are strategically located in areas where the need for care is greatest. They are staffed by nurse practitioners and nurses, and Mercy-affiliated physicians volunteer their time and expertise. Interpreter services also are available. Each provides primary and preventive health care, including adult and child physicals, immunizations, chronic disease management and lab services. Many times the hospitals donate imaging, diagnostic and other specialty medical services when treatment is needed that goes beyond the scope of the clinic.

Through Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Health Care's Jewish Diabetes Care Education and Screenings program, they provide free nutrition and diabetes care weekly to patients at the Mercy Medical Clinic, a rural clinic that serves the uninsured - including a growing number of Hispanic migrant workers and their families. With the help of an interpreter, clinicians are able to connect with families in a non-threatening environment through health providers they can trust.

Abington Memorial Hospital is fully committed to ensuring that all members of its communities have access to the care they need. As such, it provides a full range of programs and services for anyone who may not have the financial means to obtain care through Abington's numerous community health clinics.

The Hope Medical Outreach Coalition - a partnership between Hope, Omaha metropolitan hospitals (Alegent Health System, Creighton University Medical Center, Methodist Health System and The Nebraska Medical Center) and volunteer physicians - serves the growing medical needs for patients who are either uninsured or unable to pay for critical health care and who would otherwise go without health care for often serious illness or disease. Services include medication assistance, dental care, vision exams and glasses, diagnostic and laboratory exams, and hospital and surgical care.

The Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital "Yes Ma'am" program provides free mammograms to working uninsured women in the Downriver region on an annual basis. The program, started over 10 years ago as a partnership with Zonta Downriver, hosts a free mammogram day every in October in observation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital "Yes Ma'am" program provides free mammograms to working uninsured women in the Downriver region on an annual basis. The program, started over 10 years ago as a partnership with Zonta Downriver, hosts a free mammogram day every October in observation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Mercy, ProMedica and University of Toledo Medical Center have partnered to form the Lucas County Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes. The partnership has been able to integrate local service providers and create systemic changes in how services are organized, delivered and financed for pregnant women with multiple documented risk factors, women who would not otherwise receive appropriate prenatal care and support. The Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio serves as the project's hub, working with care coordinators to track clients' progress and outcomes, as well as prevent duplication of services.

Hispanic residents comprise more than 29% of the Clark County population; due to language barriers and lack of medical insurance, they experience difficulty accessing medical information and health care. St. Rose Dominican Hospitals/Caesars Foundation Hispanic Communication and Outreach Initiative focuses on providing health information and education services to the Hispanic community via programs and outreach at community health fairs. Efforts also include the Spanish-language WomensCare magazine, which provides articles on topics of particular concern to the Hispanic population, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

Fairview Health Services’ Fairview Pond Center Clinic is a partnership between the health system and the Bloomington Public Schools. Low-cost medical services are provided to area children by Fairview physicians and staff; Washburn Center for Children offers mental health care, and Children’s Dental Services provides dental care. The goal is to improve community health for low-income families.

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene's 100% Schools Project is a program designed to give all students the opportunity to have health insurance. The program connects children with low-cost or free health care coverage through the state Children's Health Insurance Program. The medical center's family resource counselor provides technical guidance to aid families in accessing coverage and other services. They also participate in school functions, such as parent open houses and PTA meetings, and provide community workshops. In the past five years, every school district in the hospital's service area has become a "100%" school.

To promote healthy living in low-income neighborhoods, UMass Memorial brings a number of programs directly to where people live and conducts focused outreach in Worcester's Bell Hill and Plumley Village neighborhoods. These programs include onsite medical and dental services in 10 low-income neighborhoods serving as an entry-point into the health care system for medically underserved families and individuals. The Care Mobile additionally offers dental services to school age children grades K-6 who have a high incidence of tooth decay due to lack of fluoridation in the city water supply

Bay Area Hospital’s Management of Maternity Services (MOMS) program partners an experienced obstetrical nurse with pregnant women and their families to provide free personalized guidance throughout the maternity experience. The nurse acts as a support and liaison between the family, community agencies and medical providers throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period. MOMS also offers an after-baby follow-up home visit, support for postpartum depression, connection to parenting programs and free lactation support.

Memorial Healthcare System's Health Intervention with Targeted Services program aims to reduce avoidable hospital admissions and emergency department visits.  Working with community organizations and agencies, HITS teams make door-to-door visits in targeted neighborhoods-those with a large percentage of uninsured patients with chronic conditions or high ED usage. HITS helps uninsured and underinsured residents find a medical home and enroll in Medicaid or Medicare, if they are eligible, and encourages those with chronic conditions to participate in Memorial's disease management program.

The Bon Secours CARE-A-Van is a mobile health clinic that has become a vital resource in providing access to health care services to those most in need - the uninsured. Services include health screenings, immunizations for children, flu shots for adults, school physicals for children and examination and treatment of sick patients. Services are provided by clinical staff, registrars, interpreters and van drivers. In addition to the faith communities that are host sites, Bon Secours also partners with area free clinics, local health agencies and organizations. Getting to a doctor isn't easy for everyone and this service helps to meet health needs of the community and promote quality of life.

Saint Luke's Health System joined with Kar Woo and Artists Helping the Homeless to address the increasing number of homeless using area emergency departments for basic needs. Through a $300,000 grant, a van program was launched that operates seven days a week from 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., to take homeless individuals from streets, stores and hospitals to a safe place. A large proportion of Kansas City's homeless population was not obtaining the services they needed. In 2010, the van logged 3,799 trips to transport 821 individuals from every segment of the local homeless population, including 14 chronic homeless individuals that realized transitional or full reintegration.

Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s community outreach services and programs help address the needs of people in our community who may otherwise not receive help.  They are designed to improve health status and quality of life, address health problems of the poor and other vulnerable populations and contain community health care costs. Glendale Adventist Children's Health Outreach Initiative assists children and families with free or low-cost health insurance. Since 2003, CHOI has helped enroll nearly 10,000 individuals. Also, Glendale Adventist hosts nearly 6,000 people every year at one or more of the over 40 heath education classes and support groups.

St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Bridgeport Hospital were presented with the Connecticut’s Hospital Community Service Award for the Hope Dispensary of Greater Bridgeport project. They joined with Primary Care Action Group, Connecticut state agencies and the City of Bridgeport to create the program, which provides prescription medicines at no cost to uninsured, low-income residents of Greater Bridgeport. It is Connecticut’s first Dispensary of Hope site. Medications for treatment of cardiac, pulmonary, mental health diseases and diabetes are provided. An innovative system was developed to collect still-viable prescription medicines donated by physicians’ offices and local pharmacies delighted to recycle their unused medicines and contribute to public health.

Indiana University Health is working to increase access to affordable fruits and vegetables in low-income populations because these patients face challenges in acquiring healthy foods doctors prescribe. They are improving access through “Garden on the Go,” a truck has 16 weekly stops delivering fresh, local, organic produce to community centers, libraries, neighborhood health centers and senior centers.

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has developed an outreach program that addresses the prevalence and disparities of prostate cancer among men who are uninsured or underinsured, particularly African-American men. Partnering with 30 faith-based and community organizations, Saint Francis launched the Curtis D. Robinson Men's Health Institute. The institute provides educational presentations and free, private screenings through its network of partners - making services available to underserved men who otherwise would not be tested when prostate cancer is in its earliest stages.

The Albemarle Hospital Foundation, which was created in 2003, developed Community Care Clinics to offer free primary care, prescriptions, and prescription assistance to the region’s growing indigent, uninsured, and underinsured population. The Foundation has created Community Care Clinics in each of the six counties within its service area.

Carthage Area Hospital’s Community Partners - Primary Care Network is a collaborative infrastructure of health care providers, schools, local government, civic organizations and others to develop, implement and maintain opportunities to ensure needed access to basic primary health care and related education.

Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center partners with Park Place Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Clinic in Norfolk, to provide uninsured and underinsured individuals with a medical home that can provide them with a full range of primary care services. BSDMC makes financial and/or in-kind donations to Park Place that include equipment, services and cash assistance for patient administration support, clinical staffing, case management and patient outreach.

In 2010, New Jersey hospitals provided nearly $2.7 billion in community health programs, other community support, education and free or discounted health care services for the needy and uninsured. These activities totaled more than 8.6 million individual "encounters" between hospitals and members of their communities.

MidState Medical Center’s Geriatric Outreach Program, held in collaboration with four area senior centers, provides accessible health monitoring services to seniors via regularly scheduled clinics and other initiatives. Local seniors have inadequate resources available for health needs and are often challenged accessing needed services. The senior centers provide the critical physical space necessary to see patients, as well as a communications outlet to let seniors know that these services are available to them in an accessible and targeted location. Seniors are able to get basic health screenings and appropriate consultation on health issues.

Cheyenne Regional Medical Center partnered with the Wyoming Department of Health to create the Southeast Wyoming Cancer Resource Collaborative, designed to work to eliminate health disparities in medically underserved patients with cancer through early detection, screening and cancer education. Along with the American Cancer Society, the hospital offers free wigs, hats and scarves for chemotherapy patients and free prostheses and mastectomy bras for the uninsured.

Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare and University Medical Center of El Paso have developed El Paso Healthcare Heroes. The program provides a coordinated community care delivery system for the uninsured ensuring access to primary and specialty care, regardless of ability to pay.

An Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association community benefits study revealed that Arizona's hospitals together reached more than 1.5 million of the state's residents, approximately 25 percent of the population, with programs for underserved and uninsured Arizonans as well as other residents.

Memorial Health University Medical Center’s Medical Respite Care Program was created in collaboration with the JC Lewis Health Center, a local federally qualified health center, to provide acute and post-acute medical care for homeless individuals presenting at the emergency department. The program was designed to assist homeless individuals who are too ill or frail to be on the streets, but are not ill enough to require hospitalization. Beds are available at all times, with care and oversight provided by a nurse practitioner and physician.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Diabetes Collaborative is a partnership among the hospital, medical school and two federally qualified health centers.  It grew out of a critical need for assistance to combat the health problems associated with diabetes in two underserved Chicago neighborhoods.  The collaborative helps identify and teach adult patients with Type 2 diabetes how to manage their chronic condition. The program uses culturally sensitive bilingual videos and print materials to help patients of all education levels self-manage their diabetes.

Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center’s Hope Clinic and Pharmacy is a collaborative that provides free medical services to uninsured, medically underserved residents with pre-determined chronic conditions. The medical center provides administrative oversight, outpatient pharmaceutical support and volunteers.

Working in partnership with MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Shepherd's Clinic provides quality, comprehensive health care to uninsured and low-income residents in northeast Baltimore. The clinic relies on 350 volunteer physicians, nurses, students and community members. While patients are asked to donate the equivalent of one hour's wage for an office visit-nine dollars-no one is ever turned away because they cannot pay. In 2011, the clinic cared for more than 2,300 patients and had almost 6,500 visits. Additionally, the clinic recently opened the Joy Wellness Center with the goal of empowering patients to take better care of themselves and to make healthy, life-affirming changes. The center offers nutrition education, healing arts, stress reduction and movement education.

Riverside Health System supports Project CARE, a special program for uninsured, low-income residents in the Greater Virginia Peninsula region. Project CARE addresses the need for a regional system of care for uninsured patients utilizing the emergency department as their medical home.  The program pools specialty providers to provide care to the uninsured and to reduce problems associated with chronic disease.

Aurora Medical Center provides support to the only local free clinic in Washington County, the James E. Albrecht Free Clinic. The medical center provides in-kind donations of laboratory tests and X-rays for patients who are referred by the clinic. Additionally, Aurora Health Care employees donate their time to the free clinic, helping ensure that patients have access to care outside the hospital for follow-up, medications, screenings and other preventive services.

Suburban Hospital is committed to assuring access to care for all and does so through a number of programs including its support of the Clinica Proyecto Salud and the Holy Cross Clinic.  Support from Suburban Hospital has allowed these safety net clinics to extend their hours of operations and supplement additional health care providers. In fiscal year 2011, 1,308 under/uninsured patients were provided with $4,000,231 in medical care at Suburban Hospital.

Berkshire Health Systems’ “Get Cuffed Berkshires” is a community-based hypertension program that brings existing outreach and public health services together to organize evidence-based initiatives, including free blood pressure screenings and targeted educational programs, to county residents, especially those at risk. Populations with limited access to care, seniors, the homeless and those with mental illness or disability have an even greater risk. In the first few months of the program, more than 2,500 individuals have been screened.

Saint Francis Health System operates the Xavier Medical Clinic to extend access to physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other health care professionals to those in the community who are uninsured or do not have access to health care services.  During 2011 alone, Xavier Medical Clinic cared for more than 5,000 patients.

Through the “Mammogram 500” program Dixie Regional Medical Center plans to provide 500 free mammograms to screen uninsured women in need.  The goal is to save lives through early detection and routine screening for breast cancer – the leading cause of cancer death amongin Utah women. Southern Utah ranks among the lowest in the nation for eligible women receiving mammograms.

Beebe Medical Center offers free screenings, disease prevention and early diagnosis outreach programs for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Specialized nurses encourage people to have regular screenings and help people access financial, transportation, translation and other related resources. The nurses have also initiated an “Early Detection Connection” campaign, which reaches out to physicians and offers case management services to their patients who are in need of screenings they cannot afford. Much of their outreach is targeted to minorities, high--risk groups and underserved populations.

Christiana Care Health System sponsors Community Link Health Day in an effort to eliminate disparities in access to health care. Residents and neighbors were LINKed to free and easy access to health screenings and information, including on-site screenings such as HIV and chronic disease screenings that included cholesterol, sugar, and blood pressure. In addition, cancer awareness education and information was made available to attendees.

Baptist Memorial Health Care's Mammography for the Underserved  uses a mobile mammography unit to provide free digital screening mammograms and additional diagnostics as needed, to women from lower socioeconomic neighborhoods who have no other means to receive screenings or breast health care and education.

InovaCares Clinic for Women and Children was established to address specific health care access issues for the uninsured and Medicaid populations in Northern Virginia.

Cook Children's Health Care System began an initiative to address the health needs of more than 1,000 homeless children in Tarrant County. The Cook Children's neighborhood clinics serve as a medical home for underserved and homeless children.

In 2010, Upland Hills Health provided 1,408 people with reduced or entirely forgiven bills, based on their financial situations through the Community Care program. Recipients came from a variety of situations.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital's Children's Village is a model of collaborative care with multiple partners providing more than 30 types of health, therapeutic intervention and support services that positively impact outcomes for children with special health or developmental needs and their families regardless of a family's ability to pay. Area children with special needs now have access to high-quality, coordinated services.

Memorial Health University Medical Center's Medical Respite Care Program was created in collaboration with a local federally qualified health center, to provide acute and post-acute medical care for homeless individuals presenting at the emergency department. Beds are available at all times for homeless individuals who are too ill or frail to be on the streets, but are not ill enough to require hospitalization. They receive care and oversight provided by a nurse practitioner and physician.

The Altoona Regional Partnership for Health Services is a free medical clinic to address the primary care needs of the working underinsured or uninsured. In summer 2010, the partnership created a low-cost, hospital-only insurance plan designed to give patients access to surgery, anesthesia and all related inpatient care.

Lourdes Health Network's PATH program (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) provides outreach to homeless men and women and connects them with community services such as crisis mental health units and food banks.

Mercy Hospital of Portland established the McAuley Residence to provide a safe environment and comprehensive transitional housing and support program for homeless, at-risk women and children. Services include access to health and dental care; life skills counseling; education about resources available from other community based agencies; and connections to partner organizations with expertise in career exploration, parenting, and childcare issues.

Saint Agnes Medical Center joined the Sisters of the Holy Cross to create Holy Cross Clinic at Poverello House in downtown Fresno to meet the medical needs of the area homeless individuals. The clinic is staffed by a full-time nurse practitioner and medical team composed of volunteers - physicians, dentists, nurses and allied health practitioners, who provide free medical and dental services to the community's uninsured and underinsured.

The clinic provides needed health care to those who would otherwise go without and last year, the clinic received more than 7,900 medical visits and 660 dental visits.

Froedtert Hospital collaborates with a local public school and a federally qualified health center to meet the needs of children living in an underserved neighborhood. The hospital sponsors a school nurse who is able to work with school leadership and community health center staff to meet the basic health needs for 700 students and their families.

Catholic Medical Center's Health Care for the Homeless  (HCH) program is a “clinic without walls” that provides primary medical care, mental health care, nursing case management, addiction counseling, social services and health education to homeless individuals and families on-site at clinics located in shelters and transitional housing programs. The HCH team collaborates with many local health care providers and human service agencies to increase access to health care for more than 1,000 people struggling with homelessness.

Day Kimball Healthcare provides preventive services and cancer treatments such as mammograms, ultrasounds, medications, surgical procedures as well as travel assistance to community residents who need financial assistance. The goal is to provide residents in need with access to appropriate preventive care and/or necessary cancer-related treatment or services.

The newly opened Cleveland Clinic Stephanie Tubb Jones Health Center reaches beyond traditional healthcare services to link with community resources in one location to make it easier for patients and families access the healthcare, social and financial services they need.

Baton Rouge-based Woman's Hospital operates a Mobile Mammography Coach that provides screening for women at 105 locations throughout a 15-parish area. At least 40% of the patients using this coach have no insurance, and in the rural parishes this is as high as 90%. The Woman's Mobile Mammography Coach has been successful in reaching underserved women and collaborating with community-based organizations to reduce geographic and financial barriers to cancer care.

Baptist Health Medical Center developed the Heaven's Loft program to help ensure that low-income expectant mothers and parents of young children received prenatal and well-baby care and attended classes on childbirth, breastfeeding, infant/child care and parenting. For their participation, parents earn vouchers that can be used for needed baby supplies, including cribs, car seats, diapers and other necessities.

Penobscot Bay Medical Center has partnered with a local dentist to help MaineCare patients with acute dental pain access to care and connect with a dentist. Patients with no access to dental care were arriving in the emergency department in pain and often with infections. When discharged, they had temporary solutions with antibiotics and pain medication, but there was no treatment plan or provider with whom to follow up. Now the medical center staff will either make dental appointments or give patients contact information for where they can access follow-up dental care.

Berkshire Medical Center created the Community Outreach Van program as a way to reach communities where large numbers of individuals were thought to be uninsured. The outreach van is equipped with two state-of-the-art treatment and exam rooms that also provide a confidential space for visitors to discuss insurance eligibility, be screened for health risk factors or referred for other social services.

Froedtert Hospital's Neighborhood School Nurse Initiative is a collaboration among the hospital, a K-8 public school and a federally qualified health center. A hospital-sponsored school nurse works with school leadership and community health center staff to meet basic health needs for 700 students and their families in a medically underserved neighborhood. During the 2008-2009 school year, the school nurse provided 1,285 health visits to students, a series of health education sessions and a health fair.

Catholic Medical Center provides primary medical care, mental health care, nursing case management, addiction counseling, social services and health education to homeless individuals and families on-site at clinics located in shelters and transitional housing programs through their Health Care for the Homeless Program (HCH). The HCH team collaborates with many local health care providers and human service agencies to increase access to health care for more than 1,000 people struggling with homelessness.

Banner Health Sterling Regional MedCenter provides mammograms and screening tests at no cost for uninsured and underinsured women so that cancer can be detected early when it is most treatable. Getting screened regularly for breast cancer is the best way for women to lower their risk of dying from breast cancer. But for many women with limited or no health insurance, regular mammograms are out of reach.

Inova Health System developed the Inova Juniper Program (IJP) to help uninsured and under-insured people living with HIV/AIDS to have access to a full complement of comprehensive health services. IJP staff manage clients through the complete life cycle of their disease, with the goal of enhancing quality of life by helping them to maintain health and delay the onset of disease and disability.

Blue Ridge Regional Hospital (BRRH) in Spruce Pine, N. C. launched the Toe River Project Access (TRPA) to help low-income and uninsured residents gain access to comprehensive health care. TRPA operates in partnership with area physicians, dentists, optometrists and BRRH and has provided 795 uninsured residents with more than $3.5 million in free medical care.

Providence Health & Services in Hawthorne, CA created the Vasek Polak Health Clinic to meet the primary care needs of uninsured and underinsured adults living in the community. The Health Clinic is a direct extension of the organization's mission, providing much-needed care to the poor and vulnerable.

Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage provides primary and specialty care clinics in 14 communities across the state, as well as tele-medicine services to 273 sites across six states and three tribal nations. Without this outreach, medical services would not otherwise be available in remote communities throughout the state.

Fairview Health Services based in Minneapolis, partnered with the Bloomington public schools to open the Fairview Pond Center Clinic. The clinic provides low-cost medical, mental health and dental services to area children.

AtalntiCare Regional Medical Center's Special Care Center (SCC) is a primary care medical home practice designed exclusively for low-income patients with chronic conditions and the SCC charges payers or employers a flat monthly fee or a share of the operating cost in order to remove barriers to care for low-income, at-risk individuals.

During the 2009 fiscal year, Mile Bluff Medical Center in Wisconsin was able to help nearly 600 individuals who were unable to pay some or all of their medical bills, about seven of every ten dollars applied for was granted, and over $900,000 of debt was forgiven though the Community Care Program.

Saint Joseph's Mercy Care is one of Atlanta's oldest and largest community outreach programs serving the homeless, uninsured, and underinsured and immigrant populations by "taking health care where it is needed most." Mercy Care provides a system of primary health care, dental care, education, and social services reaching thousands of persons in need throughout Atlanta.

Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center first began using a mobile approach to health care in 1994 when the organization established its first mobile dental program. Since that time, Saint Mary's mobile care has expanded to four robust programs, with four vans serving those most in need of care.

Mercy Iowa City Healthy Kids Community offers free health services to children.

Berkshire Medical Center in Massachusetts community outreach van hits the road every week to provide free health screenings.

Providence Little Company of Mary's Mary Potter Program for Human Dignity was established to help make health care available for the sick within the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys and South Bay regardless of their ability to pay. 

Providence St. Peter Hospital in Washington created CHOICE in 1995, which stands for Consortium of Healthsystems Organized in Collaborative Effort, and was the result of rural hospitals working together to understand state-passed health reform. CHOICE has helped more than 30,000 individuals secure and retain health insurance.

Case Study: Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center - Mobile Health Outreach Programs, Reno, NV

Case Study: Mercy Iowa City - Healthy Kids Community Care, Iowa City, IA

Case Study: Mercy Health System - Community Health Center at Mercy Clinic South, Janesville, WI

Case Study: Altoona Regional Health System - Free Clinic/Hospital-Based Insurance, Altoona, PA

"Caring for Communities" website: More Access & Coverage Case Examples

Uncompensated Care Fact Sheet, December 7, 2010



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