Stamford, Conn. – Jan. 15, 2019 – Americares has selected Good Samaritan Health Center of Atlanta, Ga., and Volunteers in Medicine of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., as recipients of $100,000 grants from BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) through the Americares/BD Advancing Community Health program. The program aims to help improve the quality of patient care at free and charitable clinics serving low-income and uninsured patients.
Americares launched the program last year with support from the global medical technology company BD, to help free and charitable clinics across the country achieve recognition as patient-centered medical homes. The program awards grants of $100,000 each, funded by BD, to two clinics per year, to support the recognition process through the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Clinics are trained to build strong relationships with patients, while also receiving technical support from the Americares in-house quality improvement team and industry experts.
“With the Americares/BD Advancing Community Health program, Good Samaritan Health Center and Volunteers in Medicine are better equipped with the resources they need to achieve the important milestone of NCQA recognition,” said Americares Director of Quality Improvement & Behavioral Health Christina Newport. “As designated patient-centered medical homes, both clinics will be better positioned to provide low-income patients with the quality care they deserve. Ultimately, it is the families they serve that will benefit.”
Dr. Scott examines a patient at the Volunteers in Medicine of Wilkes-Barre clinic. Photo courtesy of Volunteers in Medicine of Wilkes-Barre.
To qualify as a patient-centered medical home, clinics must actively engage patients in their care plans by connecting them to medical and social resources in their communities, offering easy access to care according to patient preferences and providing a comprehensive approach that addresses primary care and mental health needs. Becoming a patient-centered medical home also increases communication at the clinic level and allows providers to offer coordinated care to patients including prevention, wellness, acute and chronic care.
“We partnered with Americares to develop a program that furthers health care workers’ ability to improve quality of care in underserved communities,” said Jennifer Farrington, senior director of BD Social Investing and vice president of the BD Foundation. “With the program’s expansion to include two new sites, we are advancing our efforts to improve patient health outcomes and provide access to care to more patients. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Americares and clinics across the country.”
Good Samaritan Health Center and Volunteers in Medicine were selected from a competitive pool of applicants nationwide. The two clinics completed a rigorous screening process that included site visits and in-depth assessments by Americares and health experts.
“Our patients deserve the same quality care as patients with health insurance,” said Good Samaritan Health Center Chief Operating Officer Breanna Lathrop. “The PCMH process will help us ensure we are achieving the highest level of excellence in patient care and the Americares/BD Advancing Community Health program has made this possible.”
The Good Samaritan Health Center serves individuals and families who have the least access to health care and are at the highest risk of having serious health issues remain undiagnosed and untreated. The clinic, which serves 6,000 patients annually, offers medical, dental, health education, mental health and social services. Americares has supported the clinic since 2016, providing medicine and supplies valued at nearly $300,000 to support the underserved in Atlanta, Ga.
Founded in 2008, Volunteers in Medicine of Wilkes-Barre is a nonprofit, community-based organization developed to help meet the primary health care needs of the working uninsured and underinsured populations in Luzerne County, Pa. The clinic provides primary and preventative health care to financially eligible individuals and families who otherwise have no access to public or private health insurances. Volunteers in Medicine has worked with Americares to improve health outcomes for patients since 2012. During that time, Americares has donated more than $1 million in medicine and supplies to the organization.
In the U.S., Americares is the largest nonprofit provider of medical aid to organizations serving low-income and uninsured patients. Americares provides medicine, supplies, education and training annually to a network of more than 1,000 partner clinics nationwide. Americares U.S. Program helps partner clinics increase capacity, provide comprehensive care, improve health outcomes and reduce costs for patients.