What is MATCH?
The McDowell Access to Care and Health (MATCH) Program is a streamlined system of health that improves access to care, engages clients in their physical, behavioral and social health, and utilizes community resources in the best way possible. Our strategy is to provide “holistic” community-based care coordination by addressing the physical, social, behavioral, and environmental needs of those we serve. We use what already exists in the community both efficiently and effectively by “matching” the needs of those we serve with resources already available in the community and providing one-on-one assistance helping people access those resources. We use the data gathered from MATCH to identify gaps in services, demonstrate resource needs, and bring about positive change and additional services to our community.
Our work is made possible through our valuable partnerships with social service, behavioral health, and clinical service providers in our community. In our first year, we created partnerships with over 20 agencies through business and data sharing agreements. Our staff co-locates at 8 non-traditional community access points throughout the week, including our health department, hospital, DSS, Career Center, homeless shelter, 3 key food pantries, and our local tailgate market. These community-based access points facilitate non-traditional partnerships and act as a way for us to be a resource for social service agencies to integrate health care services into their work process and vice versa.
Through our valuable partnerships, we served 590 individuals in our first year, of which 376 qualified and were enrolled into the MATCH Program. We provided 3,816 individual instances of community navigation which resulted in 533 completed referrals and 251 of our clients connecting to at least one additional service like transportation, dental care, education resources, job training, emergency assistance, smoking cessation, medication assistance, and behavioral or mental health resources. Through donated care agreements with the McDowell Hospital and Carolinas Health Care System, our clients also accessed $101,000 cost-free primary care in order to gain access to preventative care and chronic disease management. As a result of this work, our clients have experienced improved health outcomes, increased management of chronic diseases, decreased unnecessary emergency service utilization, and overall better quality of life.
“A client of ours came to her enrollment appointment with duct tape holding one of her eyeglass lens in place, leaving only one lens open to see out of. I learned during her enrollment appointment that she was also an uncontrolled diabetic that had not had an eye exam for many years. Our first priority was to get her established with a family care doctor for diabetes management. We established her with a practice and also connected her to medication assistance. She was able to access a family physician and get medication assistance so that she could begin controlling her diabetes and lowering her A1C.
We also connected her to Services for the Blind where they provide her with a free eye exam. It was first discovered during this exam that the patient also had cataracts. With the help of Services for the Blind, she was able to have her cataracts surgically removed. After her surgery, we connected her with The Lions Club who provided the client with a pair of free eyeglasses. She was able to finally able to see and throw away her duct tape eyeglasses.
This client also had severe dental issue that was preventing her from eating various foods and causing excruciating pain. Many of her teeth were also infected, but with no way to get them removed, it was hard for the client to function normally. We were able to get her dental assistance through Rutherford Health Center. This client had no car or transportation. Through our partnership with the McDowell Department of Social Services she was provided transport to the clinic to complete her dental procedures. She is now able to eat and function without dental pain.
Recently this client lost a loved one very close to her. We have been able to connect her with RHA and Care Net Counseling to help her with the grieving process. The client is excited to start soon.
We are happy to report that this client has now managed to lower her A1C to 6.1 with the help of her family physician and MATCH. She has called our office several times just to thank us for all that we do for her.” -Haley Suskauer, MATCH Case Manager