Initiative 1 – Access to Care
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! – Benjamin Franklin
Envisioned Goal: Trinity seeks proposed projects that will address the needs for access to care in our region. A range of needs have been identified including preventive indigent care, dental care, eye care, transportation for care, prenatal training, assistance with medication access, rural care access and care access for the homeless. Trinity seeks projects that allow the needed infrastructure to be put in place and an ongoing viable operating structure to be established after the Trinity funds end.
Background: Access to qualified healthcare is not available to many in our region, particularly preventive general, dental care and eye care. Often the underserved will avoid medical attention until a crisis grows or they will access expensive emergency room attention due to lack of knowledge or availability of other options. Likewise, those in the rural counties of our region may not have the ability to get to a clinic in Knoxville due to limited transportation availability.
Examples of Specific Initiatives:
- Medical Referral Network: Establishment of a referral infrastructure matching the medical/dental checkups/needs of underserved residents throughout the 9-county region with medical practitioners in their community who donate a portion of their patient access time in their offices would be beneficial to our region. Ideally, the partner would establish a hotline/website and network of gateway administrators in each county to qualify the status of applicants and refer them to appropriate medical volunteers locally providing care to the patient and documentation for donated services for the volunteer network.
- Enhancing Medical Access Through Community Clinics: Partners are sought to consider opening community clinics in underserved areas as a means to reduce Emergency Room use as a first provider for preventive care.
- Preventive Access Through the Affordable Care Act: Partners are sought to help our community’s population understand and efficiently access care via the National Affordable Care Act. With the systemic changes to healthcare access, the need to help our region’s needy citizens gain access through healthcare channels other than emergency rooms will increase as access procedures are revised.
- Other Projects Related to Preventive Care Access: Partners with innovative ideas and/or successful projects from other regions related to preventive care access are encouraged.