Community-Wide Initiatives To Enhance Access for Vulnerable Populations

Community-Wide Initiatives To Enhance Access for Vulnerable Populations Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Low-income and other vulnerable populations often lack adequate medical insurance or have limited access to health services and may wait until a health crisis occurs to seek care in an emergency department. Community agencies and stakeholders are collaborating with clinical organizations to improve access to care for these populations.

The featured Innovations describe three community-wide initiatives that seek to increase access to health care for vulnerable populations. The programs include a community collaborative that opened a free clinic for uninsured children and implemented targeted interventions for patients with sickle cell anemia and substance abuse issues; a community-funded, nonprofit organization that matches eligible uninsured and underinsured patients with providers who agree to serve them at a discounted rate; and a school-based, collaborative, community-wide program that provides mental health and other support services to students and their families living in neighborhoods plagued by poverty and crime.

The featured QualityTools include a program to help dentists join with others in their community to provide dental services to underserved children; a community-funded, nonprofit organization that helps underserved children, adults, and families receive needed medical attention; and a Web site with tools and resources that can help clinicians and community health centers provide quality health care to underserved patients.

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