Rogue Community Health has received a grant award of $7, 500 from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation (CCUIF) for its new health-legal partnership service. Grants were awarded by CCUIF on June 26th to 83 nonprofit organizations in southwestern Oregon.
Rogue Community Health is grateful for the funding support from CCUIF for its new health-legal partnership (HLP), which will focus on providing legal counsel to established patients whose well-being is being affected by health-harming factors such as denial of a health coverage claim, domestic violence, housing conditions, food insecurity and other situations. This service is also funded in part by Allcare Health Plan, the Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) and will begin providing services to patients in Fall 2019.
Bringing lawyers onto a healthcare team actually began in the 1960s with the founding of the community health center movement. There are now over 300 community health organizations nationwide with attorneys on staff. Attorneys in general – and poverty lawyers in particular – are uniquely qualified to help the healthcare system disrupt the cycle of returning people to unhealthy conditions that would otherwise bring them right back to the clinic or hospital.
“An important component of the services will be to cross–train medical providers and our attorney so that they better understand each other’s discipline,” says Ryan Bair, Chief Network Officer for Rogue Community Health. “Our attorney fits into the continuum of care by working with clinical staff to identify legal issues impacting patient health. It’s a big step in the right direction,” adds Bair.
For over 47 years, Rogue Community Health (RCH) has provided healthcare services to people of all ages and backgrounds in the southern Oregon, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. In 2018, RCH provided 11,690 patients with 40,082 health care visits and 20 percent of the patients seen were uninsured.