Rockingham County Healthcare Alliance was formed 2011 by a group of stakeholders who were concerned about lack of access to primary health care for uninsured residents of Rockingham County. The mission of the Rockingham County Healthcare Alliance is to improve the health of the underserved in Rockingham County. Since inception, the Healthcare Alliance has formed a network of care called Care Connect. This network allows low income, uninsured residents to have access to primary care, specialty care and dental services as well as case management and medication assistance. In addition to our network, the Healthcare Alliance also operates the James Austin Health Center located on the campus of Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden. James Austin Health Center is a state-designated rural health center that primarily serves uninsured, Medicaid and dual eligible patients.
The work of the Healthcare Alliance would not be possible without partnerships in our community. I often tell people that one of the things that makes Rockingham County so unique and such a great place is to work is the collaboration that happens among our partners. There are many organizations that work with the underserved in our county and I have never felt a sense of completion or that partners were territorial. Our goal is serve those who most need our help and, for the most part, our count does a really good job of keeping our residents at the center of what drives the work.
We are proud of every patient that we help at the Healthcare Alliance, but we are particularly proud of our partnership with Cone Health. Through this partnership, we have been able to offer patients referrals to specialists right here in Rockingham County at no cost to the patient. We have also worked closely with Cone to align our eligibility and enrollment process with their patient charity care program, allowing the patient to receive ancillary services at low to no cost to the patient.
Amanda Bennett, Executive Director, has been selected to join the 2017-2019 Jim Bernstein Fellowship class! Amanda shared, “I’m honored to join colleagues across the state who share my passion for rural health in North Carolina.”
A 48-year-old woman presented at Rockingham Rescue Mission for food. Our congregation nurse program (PENN program) was announced during the welcome and patient was able to be seen by one of the nurses who was present that day. During their assessment, the nurse connected the patient to Rockingham County Healthcare Alliance. The nurse suggested to the patient that she goes to the ED for her complaint of chest pain. Before the patient left, she was connected to Rockingham County Health Department and an appointment was given to the patient. The patient presented at Annie Penn Hospital ED for chest pain. During her ED visit she met with the Healthcare Alliance case manager regarding medical home placement. The patient advised the case manager of her appointment and the case manager reiterated the importance of keeping that appointment and establishing herself with a doctor. The patient went to the Health Department appointment and was given prescriptions. Medications were costly, therefore, the patient was able to obtain medications through the MAP program at health department for no cost to patient. The patient reports she is sleeping much better now and is so thankful for the great care she received from everyone. The patient advised that because everyone was involved, she was able to connect with a doctor, get her medications and is on the road to good health.
Collaboration at its finest!!