For Release: February 18, 2010
Contact: Mary Bufwack 615-294-2923 (cell) Email: email@example.com CEO, United Neighborhood Health Services
One Year Later: United Neighborhood Health Services Cares for 3,000 More Uninsured & Underserved People Thanks to Economic Stimulus Funds
Nashville, TN -- Thanks to funding received as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) enacted one year ago, United Neighborhood Health Services (UNHS) was able to serve 3,000 more uninsured and underserved patients in its clinics located in neighborhoods throughout the city. The “economic stimulus” funds allowed UNHS to recruit additional staff and to offer primary health services through three new clinic sites in low-income neighborhoods, expand existing facilities, and improve care and access through an updated electronic medical records (EMR) system and new central call center. “The economic stimulus investment has made a substantial difference at our health centers and in our community,” said Mary Bufwack, CEO of UNHS. “The economic stimulus funding was the right medicine at the right time and one year later the investment is still delivering results.” Bufwack noted that people who are losing jobs are finding themselves without health care and UNHS is providing primary care to this new group of uninsured people. UNHS grew from 24,000 clients in 2008 to about 27,000 clients in 2009. And with funds for serving the homeless UNHS received, it added another 4,000 patients to those served, growing to over 31,000 patients served in 2009. UNHS is one of the first organizations in Tennessee to receive funds as a result of enactment ARRA, signed into law on February 17, 2009. In March 2009, UNHS received $973,593 from ARRA to support a two-year project to expand primary health services through three new clinic sites in Nashville. One of the clinics is located to serve residents of public housing in the Edgehill Homes. A second clinic is located on Dickerson Road and will serve the 37207 community, an area seriously lacking in primary health care. This clinic will open in March. A second round of funding brought $451,913 to UNHS to expand services. Approximately 15 new jobs were created as a result of funds for expanded services and the new clinics. Then in July 2009, UNHS received an additional $1,053,180 in economic stimulus funding. These funds will be used to renovate its Downtown Clinic that serves the homeless and expand its Main Street Clinic to include a women’s clinic and a teen clinic. These renovations will begin in March.
Funds also support updating UNHS’ electronic medical records (EMR) network. The updated network will help make electronic health records available at all sites, including the mobile medical clinics. Patients will be able to go to any UNHS site for care and the provider there will have access to their electronic records. Funds will also be used to establish a central call center for UNHS so that one number 620-UNHS (620-8647) can be called to make an appointment at any UNHS clinic. United Neighborhood Health Services Cares for 3,000 More People Thanks to Economic Stimulus Funds
Bufwack said, “The economic stimulus funds were very important. However, it is important to remember that this was one time funding. Our state and city continue to face enormous challenges that include proposed budget cuts by TennCare and by Metro.” Nationally uninsured patient visits are up by 21 percent and are likely to continue increasing as the economic recession lingers, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). To learn more abut how the economic stimulus funding is still making a difference in communities, visit the NACHC economic stimulus map at www.nachc.com United Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. (UNHS) is a private non-profit network of neighborhood health centers that have served Nashville for more than 30 years. Through its eight Nashville neighborhood clinics, four school-based clinics, the Downtown Homeless Clinic, the Charlotte Avenue Youth Clinic, two mobile health units, and a clinic in Hartsville, Tennessee, United Neighborhood Health Services annually serves approximately 31,000 medically underserved people of all ages; 16,000 have no health insurance. Visit http://www.unitedneighborhood.org/ for information about United Neighborhood Health Services’ other clinics and programs. For Additional Information: Deborah Varallo 615-367-5200, ext. 14 or 615-482-6444 (cell number) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Varallo Public Relations