This release has been sent at the request of the Alachua County Health Department.
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Health Department (ACHD) will receive Low Income Pool (LIP) funds from the Florida Department of Health to develop an Emergency Room Diversion Program. The award is $750,000 a year for three years. The total award includes local first year matching funds of $242,700 that will be split evenly between Shands Healthcare and the ACHD. The expansion of primary care services will begin with in September 2009.
The funds for the project will be used to decrease the inappropriate use of local emergency rooms by providing better alternatives for after-hours care.
Planned uses of the LIP funds include:
- expanding the ACHD's Primary Care services to seven days per week and evenings;
- developing an outreach program that:
- increases third party coverage for low-income residents;
- provides uninsured residents with a medical home; and
- offers an alternative for after-hours, urgent, primary care services; and
- a program to improve the clinical care and self-management of adults with diabetes.
The ACHD has a robust primary care clinic, which serves children and adults who are uninsured as well as insured patients such as Medicaid and Medicare enrollees. The clinic is staffed by physicians and nurse practitioners and provides primary care, including urgent care, and 24/7 consultation. The expanded hours in Gainesville will be from 8:00 am until 9:00 pm Monday through Friday, from 12:00 am to 8:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The largest rural clinic in the ACHD system, located in the City of Alachua, is currently open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The hours for this clinic will be expanded on Mondays and Thursdays to 8:00 am until 8:00 pm.
The program will be a collaborative arrangement among community partners and include the ACHD, CHOICES Health Services, Shands at UF, North Florida Regional Medical Center, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the WeCare Program, and community providers, many of which will be represented by the Alachua County Medical Society. These partners already have several program components that will serve as a foundation upon which the proposed program will be built. The key stakeholders also have a history of effective working relationships which will facilitate the expansion and linkage of program components into an operating system that will better serve the health needs of our community.
For more information, contact Diane Dimperio at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-334-8814 or Jean Munden at Jean_Munden@doh.state.fl.us or 352-337-7903.