The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3178.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 12:54 PM

Abstract #59843

Hall County Medical Society's Health Access Initiative: A physician-led initiative providing health care access to a community's low-income uninsured through collaboration of community partners and coordination of resources

Olivia A. Erbele, RN, MS, Office of Nursing, Ga Dept of Human Resources, Division of Public Health, 2 Peachtree St, NW, Suite 15-273, Atlanta, GA 30303, 404/657-2700, and Christina D. Moore, Director, Community Benefit, The Medical Center Foundation, Inc., 2150 Limestone Pkwy, Suite 115, Gainesville, GA 30501.

The Health Access Initiative (HAI) originated in Hall County, Georgia in 1998 with the Healthy Hall Partnership, a group of citizens convened to oversee a community needs assessment process. A focus area resulting from the assessment was the county’s uninsured population. Results showed that, of the county’s population, 17% were uninsured, 20% were Hispanic, and 56% of Hispanics surveyed had no insurance. Additionally, it was discovered that 22% of local emergency room visits were by persons having no insurance; one-third of the top diagnoses among these patients were appropriate for a primary care setting. After a subcommittee investigated access models across the nation, surveyed the county’s uninsured, identified existing community resources for the uninsured, and collected additional community data, a task force was assembled in 2001 that led to the creation of the Hall County Medical Society’s Health Access Initiative. The project is striving to create a seamless linking of existing public and philanthropic primary care centers with private physicians, the local medical center and emergency department, United Way and community agencies to provide access to a full continuum of health care services for low-income uninsured adults. A project coordinator has been hired, application has been made for 501(c)(3) designation, initial start-up funds have been secured, additional funding applications have been submitted, office space and furnishings have been provided, and project development activities are underway. Because of commitment, collaboration, and coordination, prospects are bright for the uninsured residents of Hall County to soon have improved access and better health.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Northeast Georgia Health System, Inc.
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Uninsured: Reaching, Enrolling and Serving Them

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA