Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Underserved Communities Offered Free Health Screenings

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Throughout the summer, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), Office of Health Disparities (OHD) will partner with community groups and clinics to screen underserved Utahns for health risks. If problems are uncovered, volunteers will help participants find affordable primary care. 

The OHD Bridging Communities and Clinics (BCC) Outreach Team will offer screenings for blood glucose and cholesterol, hypertension, body mass index, and other health risk factors at several events hosted by multicultural, community-based organizations. In addition, local clinics that offer free, reduced-cost, or income-based primary care services partner with BCC to then address any health problems identified through the screenings. Eligibility workers will also be on hand to help qualified individuals apply for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) if needed.

The BCC model was launched last year as a pilot project that included 24 outreach events through a network of 12 referral clinics and 22 community partners, for a total of 883 screenings. Click here to see a complete report on the 2012 BCC pilot project.

Leaders of the underserved communities called the outreach effort a great success. "We are very thankful for the support of the Bridging Communities and Clinics program as we ensure that more members of the Latino community in Utah have access to appropriate health services." said Luis Garza, Director, Comunidades Unidas. 

Ivoni Nash of the National Tongan American Society agrees. "All the screenings that BCC offers are urgently needed by our people,” Nash said. “But many do not know where to go and this program gives them referrals to a clinic so they can get the help they need."

Interns studying in health sciences fields will conduct the screenings this summer. Many have multicultural backgrounds and speak more than one language. Dulce Lisle, a BCC intern, said, “I am thrilled to be a part of this program because it feels like we're really making a difference for these communities that need health care so badly."

The screening events begin this Thursday, June 13. Click here for a complete event schedule.

Media Contact:
Jake Fitisemanu
(o) 801-273-4136
(m) 801-259-8700