Addressing COVID-19 Related Health Issues
In the wake of the pandemic, the HealthPath Foundation quickly allocated $200,000 in relief funding to help address community needs across our 36-county service area. Grants were awarded for up to $10,000 to organizations for food access, housing and shelter, caregiving services, and overall health care.
Over the coming months, we will spotlight these partners and share stories about how they helped their communities. Today, we feature five organizations that received COVID-19 funding to support health care needs in Troy, Barnesville and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Health Partners Free Clinic: In 2019, Health Partners Free Clinic (HPFC) provided the equivalent of over $2 million worth of health care to 926 Miami County residents – all at no cost to the patients. By leveraging its funds, the clinic can provide $5.00 of medical care for every one dollar spent. This efficiency allowed HPFC to provide individuals with 2,890 total clinic visits, 183 social service consults, 1,848 diagnostic/lab tests, and 8,945 prescriptions.
“During the pandemic, HPFC has provided the same level of care, remained fully operational, and observed a 25% increase in its services,” said Dr. Justin Coby, executive director, HPFC. “The cost of staffing, supplies, and utilities also increased with that need, and the funding we received from HealthPath will cover some of that cost.”
Miami County Dental Clinic: While the Miami County Dental Clinic remained open for emergency visits only during the pandemic, it did have to place some staff on paid leave because hygiene visits were not permitted. It was important to the clinic to avoid unemployment for their staff, so funding from HealthPath during this time allowed for the compensation of clinic staff.
“While we have been open for emergencies, we have not been bringing in the same amount of revenue,” said Stephanie Silk, executive director, Miami County Dental Clinic. “The generous funding provided by HealthPath has helped to supplement this difference and serve the dental and oral health needs of our community.”
Miami County Recovery Council: The organization used HealthPath funds to purchase reusable custom face masks for agencies in need, which provide the much-needed safety to ensure Miami County Recovery Council’s staff and clients are safe while receiving in-person services.
“This is the first time we have applied for funding from HealthPath,” said Thom Grim, executive director, Miami County Recovery Council. “We are grateful for the grant, which allows us to continue to serve a great need in our community.”
Ohio Hills Health Services: HealthPath funding provided Ohio Hills Health Services (OHHS) with personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to keep their frontline workers safe and their doors open. During the pandemic, OHHS accepted new patients who did not have a dentist or whose regular provider was unavailable. However, there was a decrease in “well” patient visits, which resulted in a decrease in revenue.
“We expect to spend $70,000 of unbudgeted funds on PPE by the end of the summer,” said Jan Chambers, director of outreach and development, OHHS. “Funding from HealthPath came at the perfect time when expenses were escalating, revenue was decreasing, and the future was uncertain.”
Women Helping Women: The Women Helping Women (WHW) 24/7 hotline for support and safety planning for domestic abuse survivors saw a 30% increase during Ohio’s shelter-in-place mandate. HealthPath funding supported the expansion of the hotline to include text messaging, which offers survivors a digital resource to access support. This new resource also connects rural and low-income survivors with advocates, additional resources, and safety options in real-time.
“The text message system was born out of an immediate need, identified by low-income survivors who use prepaid phones with limited/expensive monthly minutes,” said Kristin Smith Shrimplin, president and CEO, WHW. “This new service eliminates barriers faced by rural survivors who often do not have a reliable cell phone or internet service.”