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Title
Peoples' Clinic for Better Health Announces New Call-In Appointment Process - Highlights Cover the Uninsured Week
Start Date
03/12/2010
Article
Port Huron, MI…As the nation’s health care providers prepare to raise awareness regarding the needs of the uninsured during national Cover the Uninsured Week March 14 – 20, 2010, the Peoples’ Clinic for Better Health announces a new call-in patient appointment process to enhance services for the county’s uninsured.

A project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the eighth annual Cover the Uninsured Week brings to attention the needs of the 46 million Americans who are uninsured. Locally, based on Urban Institute and Kaiser Commission on Medicaid data for 2005 – 2009, more than 1.1 million residents (or 16.3 percent) of Michigan’s adults, age 19 to 64, are uninsured.

“The issues of our community’s uninsured continue to skyrocket,” explains Linda Lalonde, RN, Director of the Peoples’ Clinic for Better Health. “Unfortunately, real-time data reflecting St. Clair County’s economic struggles affecting families is not available. We have seen an increase in those in need; and although our resources are limited, we’re hoping to do more.”

Beginning the week of March 14, 2010 the Peoples’ Clinic will offer a new daily call-in appointment service. Patients can now call the clinic from 6 to 7:30 a.m. each day the clinic is open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and make a same-day appointment by phone. “As the process evolves, it is our goal that this will eliminate the patient lines that often form in the early morning hours,” continues Lalonde. “We identified the need to address this issue and are now pleased to have found a solution that works to ensure the dignity of our patients while we continue to provide the most convenient and compassionate care to the community.”

Patients are now required to call the clinic daily at 810-985-1085 to make a same-day appointment. Those eligible patients seeking medication refills can visit the clinic beginning at 10 a.m. What’s more, the clinic hopes to announce the expansion of services to four days a week in the near future. “We’ve been working very hard on this addition,” explains Lalonde. “We hope we have the volunteer physician commitment to open on Mondays in the coming weeks.”

Offering free medical care and services to St. Clair County residents age 18 to 64 who are uninsured and have no financial resources to pay for their care, the Peoples’ Clinic for Better Health provides more than 3,200 patient care visits annually. The Peoples’ Clinic is cosponsored by the St. Clair County Medical Society and St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron. It is funded in part by the United Way of St. Clair County. Last year alone, the Peoples’ Clinic distributed more than $1.3 million in prescription medications. This year, the clinic is celebrating its Twentieth Anniversary of serving the needs of the uninsured throughout St. Clair County.

“Peoples’ Clinic is the centerpiece of St. Joseph Mercy’s mission to provide care to the poor and underserved,” comments Peter Karadjoff, President & CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron. “As a not-for-profit hospital, we work to improve the health of our communities by reinvesting our ‘profits’ back into the community through new technologies, vital health services and access for all. Peoples’ Clinic provides not only necessary health service to our community, but offers innovative ways in which to reach out to patients in real need. Delivering safe, high-quality and compassionate care is one of our core principals and is exemplified through the work of the dedicated team and physician volunteers at the Peoples’ Clinic.”

In the past three years, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital reported more than $14 million in Community Benefit Ministry, providing for programs such as the Peoples’ Clinic for Better Health. This includes Ministry to the Poor and Underserved, Ministry to the Broader Community and the Unpaid Cost of Public Programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

To find out more about the Peoples’ Clinic for Better Health or Community Benefit Ministry, visit St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron online at: mymercy.us; or call the clinic directly at 810-985-4747. To learn more about Cover the Uninsured Week, visit: covertheuninsured.org.
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