вторник, 18 сентября 2012 г.

EVJUE CLINIC TO BOOST ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE.(FRONT) - The Capital Times

Byline: Pat Schneider The Capital Times

There's a newly refurbished medical building, a new dental clinic and two -- count them, two -- new names.

But the William T. Evjue Clinic of Access Community Health Centers is really all about people.

Scores of people gathered this morning for an official ribbon cutting and dedication of the new clinic at 3434 E. Washington Ave. and to mark the adoption of a new name, Access Community Health Centers, for the Madison Community Health Center.

John H. 'Jack' Lussier, president of the Evjue Foundation, told the crowd how pleased his uncle, William T. Evjue, founder of The Capital Times, would have been to see his name on a clinic serving a community he believed in so strongly.

'Here it is, Uncle Bill,' Lussier said.

A founding gift of $500,000 from the Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of The Capital Times, started off the corporate campaign that financed the $2.5 million purchase and renovation of the former Dean Health System Arcand Park Clinic.

The clinic's mission is to serve low-income and uninsured people.

Gov. Jim Doyle told those gathered today that with the nation's bureaucratic health care system, 'people fall through the cracks. With this clinic, those needs will be recognized and met,' he said.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, said in an interview that places like the Evjue Clinic are critical in filling gaps in health care access as she and others fight President Bush's proposal to cut billions of dollars from the Medicaid program.

Baldwin and U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., helped secure $200,000 for the clinic.

Between the Evjue Clinic, with its nine dental suites, newly refurbished medical examination rooms and expanded staff, and the south side clinic at 2202 S. Park St., Access will increase its capacity over the next couple of years to 18,000 medical and 12,000 dental visits a year.

The organization has provided health care services in Dane County for more than 20 years, but its designation as a federally qualified health center a few years ago opened the doors to additional funding and growth.

To better serve their patients, the clinics' staff are participating in programs geared to their specific needs, said medical director Dr. Ken Loving.

One example is the Centers for Disease Control's Diabetes Collaborative, a national registry and treatment model which aims to improve care and reduce complications of the disease.

That's important for Access's diverse patients, because diabetes disproportionately affects Latinos and African-Americans, Loving said.

Not only is the incidence of diabetes higher among those groups, for reasons not yet fully understood, Loving said, but they also have worse outcomes.

'Basically, they die earlier,' Loving said.

Changing the outcome involves 'micromanaging' the illness with the patient, he said.

'Every time someone with diabetes comes in, we address their diabetes,' he said.

That means referrals to specialists for screening and treatment of common diabetes complications -- like eye problems and periodontal disease, he said. It also means education about nutrition and living with diabetes.

The evolution of clinic services has been considerable, Loving said.

'Four or five years ago, we opened the doors and tried to get through the day. Now we can identify groups that need us and take care of their health care needs,' he said.

Another area where services reflect patient needs is obstetrics, which uses University of Wisconsin Hospital midwives.

'A lot of our patients are from other countries, and they are very comfortable with midwives,' Loving said.

And Access is seeking grant funding for an adolescent care program -- in partnership with East High School, and eventually all city high schools -- to address the gamut of teen health issues from diet to substance abuse to pregnancy.

'We want to get outside the four walls of the clinic,' Loving said. 'If we can address these health care issues at the adolescent level, we'll have more success in the long term.

'We get great support from the community -- and the medical community -- they see what we do for the community is important.

'Bottom line, we want to be the place where people -- no matter what language they speak or where they live -- feel comfortable going for their health care,' Loving said.

E-mail: pschneider@madison.com

CAPTION(S):

DAVID SANDELL/THE CAPITAL TIMES

Evjue Foundation President John H. 'Jack' Lussier examines the plaque honoring the late William T. Evjue at this morning's dedication for the Evjue Clinic.

Mike DeVries/The Capital Times

A dedication took place this morning for the new William T. Evjue Clinic of Access Community Health Centers. The clinic is at 3434 E. Washington Ave.

Dr. Ken Loving is medical director at the clinic, which serves low-income and uninsured residents.