Advocacy

BU Photo Project -2nd set Cotter June 2012 021Patient advocacy is not new to us. HCWW nurses have for years arranged for Medicaid coverage, T-passes, shelter referrals, and transportation. They frequently accompany women with particularly complex health issues to appointments. In recent years, however, our advocacy efforts have grown.

Community Health Workers

Our Bridges programs and our Community Health Workers have grealty increased our advocacy potential. Staff provides new levels of support. As culturally and linguistically competent outreach workers, they can help women and families not only locate effective housing, but they can provide in-home care coordination. They provide medical assistance by not only accompanying patients to appointments but by coordinating medication and medical care. They are able to focus on patients’ barriers to care and ensure they get the health care they need.

Patient Education

Our clinical teams also provide one-on-one educational sessions and interactive group programs on such topics as nutrition, heart health and smoking cessation. Health Care Without Walls administers a free prescription eye-wear program in collaboration with Gentex Optical of Dudley, MA. Under this program HCWW clinicians fit the women for eye-wear, and the frames and finished glasses are provided by Gentex.

Academic and Policy Advocacy

We also track and evaluate clinical data. Our research studies examine how free care for the under-served can be financially advantageous to our communities, and we present at national and international conferences. We hope the results can inform health care policy at institutional, local, and national levels. Please visit our research page for a selection of our studies.