(Bethesda, Md., August 12, 2008) Suburban Hospital and Proyecto Salud Clinic have expanded their five-year collaboration to increase access to primary healthcare for uninsured Montgomery County residents. Since 2004, Suburban Hospital has supported numerous initiatives targeted for Proyecto Salud patients, including diabetes education and prostate cancer screenings, and has provided a bilingual patient navigator to facilitate routine health screenings for Clinic patients.
The new, formal agreement between our two organizations will enable Suburban Hospital to assist Proyecto Salud in achieving Montgomery Cares’ goal of increasing access to primary care for uninsured adult patients. Specifically, Suburban Hospital’s financial support will enable the Clinic to employ additional healthcare providers, extend their hours, and provide approximately 1,680 additional patient appointments, of which an estimated 672 will be first-time patients of the Clinic. Uninsured adult patients who come to Suburban Hospital’s Emergency Department will be referred to the Clinic for primary care and follow up.
“Suburban Hospital feels a responsibility to help Montgomery County’s underserved residents access quality healthcare for their families,” said Brian Gragnolati, President and CEO of Suburban Hospital. “Our support will help Proyecto Salud provide a ‘medical home’ where patients can receive prompt clinical care.”
Proyecto Salud’s established patient population will benefit from the expansion of services at the Clinic’s existing site on Reedie Drive in Wheaton, given its convenient location and access to public transportation. The collaboration will also provide Proyecto Salud’s patients with access to needed cardiac specialty care through the MobileMed/NIH Heart Clinic at Suburban Hospital.
“Many working community members do not make their health a priority, and often face crises because they have gone too long without medical care,” said Cesar Palacios, Executive Director of Proyecto Salud Clinic. “Suburban Hospital’s strengthened commitment will provide the medically uninsured better access to our clinical services.”
To strengthen the collaboration, a representative designated by the hospital will be added to Proyecto Salud’s Board of Directors and a representative of Proyecto Salud will be appointed to serve on Suburban Hospital’s Community Advisory Committee.