By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – Clinic Esperanza/Hope Clinic was awarded $25,000 by the American Medical Association Foundation, one of 15 physician-led free clinics nationwide to receive an award.
The awards, announced by the foundation on July 19, seek to support efforts to increase access to health care for the nation’s underserved population.
Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic offers free, high-quality medical care and preventive health services to adults living in Rhode Island who don’t have health insurance or cannot afford to purchase health care.
The $25,000 will be used to further the efforts of the clinic’s health literacy program, Vida Sana/Healthy Life, and the creation of healthy living clubs, according to Dr. Anne S. De Groot, the clinic’s volunteer medical director.
As part of this program, health care “navigators” help patients with their referrals for specialty care and also connect patients to a wide range of social programs that are available in the Providence community.
The goal of the “navigators” is to serve as an advocate for the patients, to help them learn more about their health problems and improve their adherence to their medications, and to improve their ability to engage in a healthier lifestyle, according to De Groot.
“These free clinics and their grant projects provide a unique and critical pathway to assist the most vulnerable populations, targeting low-income individuals, patients affected by racial and ethnic disparities, or those living in geographic isolation,” said Dr. Clarence Chou, AMA Foundation president.