Nurse Practitioner Sue McGinnes examines a patient at Community Health Care Clinic in Normal, Ill. Photo by Jake Rauscher/Americares.
Stamford, Conn. – Jan. 22, 2018 – Americares has selected CommunityHealth of Chicago and the Community Health Care Clinic of Normal, Ill., to participate in a new program that aims to improve the quality of patient care at free and charitable clinics serving low-income and uninsured patients.
The Illinois clinics will be the first in the country to participate in the Americares/BD Advancing Community Health Program, a two-year initiative that helps clinics achieve recognition as patient-centered medical homes. Each clinic will receive a $100,000 award from BD to support the accreditation process.
“Free and charitable clinics that meet the patient-centered medical home standards learn to continuously improve patient care and are often better positioned to advocate for funding and community support,” said Americares Senior Director of U.S. Programs and Partnerships Lindsay O’Brien. “This program is one more way we are ensuring low-income patients receive the quality care everyone deserves.”
Under the Americares/BD Advancing Community Health Program, clinic staff will be trained to build even stronger relationships with patients as they work to obtain accreditation from the National Committee of Quality Assurance as a patient-centered medical home. The clinics will receive technical support from Americares in-house quality improvement team and industry experts.
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.
“At BD, we’re focused on helping the people who help the patients, and that’s why we have chosen to support this important program,” said BD Chairman and CEO Vincent A. Forlenza. “Free clinics are on the front lines every day, serving some of the most vulnerable patients who wouldn’t receive care any other way. By strengthening their capacity to provide quality, evidence-based care at the community level, this program has the power to drive real, positive outcomes for patients.”
CommunityHealth and Community Health Care Clinic 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.
“The PCMH recognition process provides us with a roadmap that will help transform our current operations so that we can make an even greater impact on improving the health of our patients and the neighborhoods in which they live,” said CommunityHealth Executive Director Judy Haasis.
Founded in 1993, CommunityHealth is the largest volunteer-based free medical facility in the nation dedicated to serving the uninsured and underserved in Chicago and surrounding communities. CommunityHealth and Americares have worked together to improve health outcomes for patients and communities since 2006. During that time, Americares has provided more than $1 million in donated medicine and supplies to the organization.
Community Health Care Clinic serves more than 1,000 patients each year, mostly low-income residents who have no affordable access to health care. Americares has supported the clinic since 2011, providing more than $500,000 in aid to support the medically underserved of McLean County.
Americares saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster worldwide so they can reach their full potential. In the U.S., Americares is the largest nonprofit provider of medical aid to organizations serving low-income and uninsured patients. Americares provides more than $200 million in 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.