Today, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners join their counterparts from the across the country in celebrating County Health Day. An initiative of the National Association of Counties (NACo), County Health Day celebrates counties working to build a culture of health. Throughout the day on social media, NACo will highlight innovative county health programming and share best practices from communities across the U.S. using the hashtag #CountyHealth.
County Health Day occurs during National County Government Month, another of NACo’s initiatives, which seeks to raise awareness of all the ways that county governments positively impact the lives of their residents every day. This year, the theme for National County Government Month is “Serving the Underserved”.
“The health of our community is related the health of our community members,” said Board of Commissioners President, Kevin L. Boyce. “Many of the people with the highest healthcare needs also don’t have insurance, so it is important that we continue to focus our efforts on making sure that this basic need is met for all of our residents.”
Approximately 105,000 of Franklin County’s residents are under- or uninsured, causing lost productivity at work and in school, and critical delays in receiving vital medical treatment. Franklin County partners with local nonprofits to serve this vulnerable population.
“We are so fortunate to have such high-caliber nonprofit partners to help us to reach into the community to serve our residents with high-quality healthcare, from expecting mothers to seniors and veterans,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown.
One county partner is PrimaryOne Health, which seeks to increase patient access to obstetrical care, decrease the number of babies born with a low birth weight, screen women for cervical cancer, and provide appropriate follow up for women with abnormal test results. In 2018, approximately 500 women will receive case management services including intensive nurse follow-up and clinical intervention with educational or social services to ensure full-term healthy babies.
Physicians CareConnection is another of the commissioners’ community partners providing services to underserved residents. In 2018, it is estimated that Physicians CareConnection will coordinate at least 3,500 patient referrals for primary care, specialty care, and diagnostic services, as well as coordinate at least 400 referrals for dental services, of which 50 will be for dentures. In addition, Physicians CareConnection will coordinate 1,000 one-way trips for transportation, 4,000 prescriptions, and 2,000 interpreter-hours for patients served.
“While unemployment may be low, many of our residents are struggling to get the healthcare and prescriptions they need,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “Through our community partnerships, we are able to leverage our investments with those of other individuals and entities to maximize impact for those that need a little help.”
The commissioners partner with the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio to improve access to prescriptions for the uninsured and underinsured. The Charitable Pharmacy assists clients in identifying alternative medications and/or working with drug manufacturers if the pharmacy does not stock a particular drug, and provides counseling and education by licensed professionals to ensure that clients take the medications properly and are aware of clinics and programs that can help them access continuing medical care or a “medical home.” In 2018, it is estimated that the Charitable Pharmacy will provide 1,750 low-income county residents with a total of 54,000 prescriptions with a market value of $4,320,000.
For more information about the commissioners’ Community Partnership program, visit https://budget.franklincountyohio.gov/grants/community-partnership-program