February 20th, 2009
As increasing health care costs and a growing number of uninsured Americans puts financial pressure on both individuals and businesses, we’ll return to our ongoing look at the landscape of health care reform. As the Obama administration prepares to address health care, we’ll look for ways that walk-in clinics and primary health care providers can help solve the nation’s health care crisis on this week’s Business Matters.
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Take Care Health Systems is a part of Walgreens Health and Wellness division, and it includes both “Take Care Consumer Solutions”, at some Walgreens drug stores and “Take Care Employer Solutions,” which handles work-based health services. Take Care Health is expanding access to care to the medically underservered, s it attempts to provide access to high-quality, affordable and convenient health care to all individuals able to visit a Walgreens drug store. Currently, there are more than 250 Take Care Clinics around the country, each of which is managed by Take Care Health Services, while Take Care Employer Solutions manages primary care and occupational health centers at over 360 different workplaces in the United States.
Sandy Ryan has over 24 years of nursing experience in various settings, from charge nurse to director of ambulatory services to pediatric nurse practitioner. She served 16 years as a nurse corps officer in the United States Air Force. She’s also the winner of the 2007 Nancy Sharp Cutting Edge Award from the American College of Nurse Practitioners for her contributions to the profession of Nurse Practioners. As Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer for Take Care Health Systems, Ryan is one of six founding officers and she’s the first Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer in the convenient care industry.
Kelly Carter is the Chief Operating Officer of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA,) a nonprofit trade association that serves as Illinois’ sole primary care association and a member of the National Association of Community Health Centers. IPHCA represents the community health centers (CHCs) that were created by Congress in the 1960′s to provide health care to under-served communities and high-risk patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
The IPHCA is taking part in the Access for All Americans plan to raise–from 18 to 30 million–the number of Americans served by community health centers. As this plan, the IPHCA launched Access Illinois, which aims to provide a medical home to 2.1 million Illinoisans by the year 2015.
Jay Parkinson is a doctor at Hello Health, a clinic in New York City that’s using information technology to increase doctor-patient contact and provide affordable health care and medical services to more patients on a flexible schedule. For example, Hello Health uses e-mail, instant messaging and video chat to handle simple questions and follow-ups and allow patients to maintain a relationship with a team of doctors.
Jay Parkinson has done two residencies, one as pediatrician at St. Vincent’s in the West Village and one at Johns Hopkins in preventive medicine. He’s also worked as an FDA watchdog for the group Public Citizen. His medical practice is now based in Brooklyn and combines digital technology with traditional house calls. We spoke to Jay about ways that technology can be used to help solve the crisis of access to health care and a lack of primary care physicians.
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