Hertford Health Access (HHA) is known for providing uninsured and underinsured patients access to healthcare in conjunction with identified social needs. HHA leadership has recognized the impact that social determinants plays on one’s health and wellness. These factors include a person’s socioeconomic status, education level, physical environment, employment status, lack of or limited social support system, as well as ease to access health care.
A resident of Hertford County, NC and a patient of Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, Mr. Elvis Beacher was referred to the HHA program by his healthcare provider. Elvis presented with uncontrolled chronic diseases (i.e., Hypertension and Diabetes), which he’s been self-managing since 2010, along with cluster headaches that developed in the past few months.
Social determinants of health including lack of health insurance, unemployment resulting in a limited source of income, and lack of transportation has caused Elvis to have limited access to healthcare services, medications/treatments that he needs in order to improve his health condition and help him manage his symptoms over time. Last year, Elvis participated in a transportation summit as “Patient Champion”, advocating in support of an upcoming transportation pilot program initiative spearheaded by the HHA Program. Elvis shared how lack of transportation to his medical appointments caused him to utilize an ambulance service to receive medical care. “I got bills piling up now for using the ambulance and from the hospital that go from $400 on up to over $1,000. It’s (transportation pilot program) needed. It would be a blessing for me because I really need transportation. I would be able to go to the doctor when I need to.”
Since Elvis has been enrolled in HHA, he’s had access to patient navigation, advocacy, tobacco cessation, healthy foods and some transportation to his medical appointments through a partnership with the community connections program. Elvis has been connected with the in-house pharmacy at RCCHC to receive discounted medications as well as free medications at times. Elvis has received support from the local community college (Roanoke Chowan Community College) for additional training and employment assistance. Most importantly, Elvis has had a decrease in A1C levels and controlled blood pressure, and has also committed to no longer smoking tobacco products.