Home » Mobile clinic will improve its dental care, immunization access

Mobile clinic will improve its dental care, immunization access

$300,000 grant to bring better qualification, follow up on care

LEXINGTON, Ky.Kentucky Association of Health Plans (KAHP), the trade group representing the Commonwealth’s Medicaid managed care organizations and commercial health insurance providers and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass (RMHC) said Tuesday the organizations are launching a collaboration aimed at improving the social determinants of health for children in areas of Eastern Kentucky. The three-year $300,000 grant will be focused on pediatric dental care and immunization access and will focus on Letcher, Leslie, Knott, Perry and Pike counties.

Since 2005, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program has offered Eastern Kentucky’s children free professional dental services and education aboard a state-of-the-art mobile clinic. The program is based in Hazard and serves a region where many families lack transportation, a major barrier to care.  Each school year, the Care Mobile provides preventative dental services to over 2,000 children.

“The new funding will enable us to hire a case worker,” said Nate Graham, CEO of RHMC of the Bluegrass. “This is critical to our ability to help ensure appointment follow-ups and coordinate a more comprehensive care plan.  We know the need is particularly critical in Eastern Kentucky as the most recent statewide oral health study highlights the region has the greatest need for urgent care at nearly 20% compared to the state rate of 8%.”

A second part of the grant will focus on helping address the problem of low immunization rates as Kentucky currently does not meet the Community Immunity Threshold (CIT) for diptheria (DTaP vaccine) or measles (MMR).

RMHC of the Bluegrass will work with its Care Mobile team and medical professionals at the University of Pikeville (UPike) to provide opportunities for vaccinations at established community events including, but not limited to, back to school bashes, the UK North Fork Valley Community Health Center, and community health fairs.

Additionally, RMHC will partner with UPike to hold a series of immunization clinics in Pike County. These clinics will increase accessibility for people in the community as they will be able to come to a central location to receive immunizations, as well as receive vision and dental checkups.

“We are grateful to work with partners like RMHC of the Bluegrass and this grant reinforces our commitment to serving rural Kentucky,” said Tom Stephens, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Health Plans. “That is how we move the metrics and change lives.”

Kentucky Association of Health Plans is the trade organization representing the Kentucky health insurance community. KAHP is a leader on issues that strengthen the accessibility, value, and quality of health care in the Commonwealth. Members include Aetna, Anthem, CareSource, Humana, Passport Health Plan by Molina Healthcare, UnitedHealth Group and WellCare. For more information visit: www.kahp.org or follow @kyhealthplans on Twitter.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass creates and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children, strengthen families by keeping them together in times of medical need.  The organization seeks to create a world where all children have access to medical care and their families are supported and actively involved in their children’s care. For more information visit: rmhclexington.org or follow @RMHCLexington on Facebook and Instagram.

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