NEW: RI Blue Cross Blue Shield Awards Clinica Esperanza $50,000

Monday, September 30, 2013


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Volunteer members of Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic celebrate the clinic's one year birthday in 2012.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island has awarded the Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic (CEHC) a $50,000 grant to support their CHEER walk-in clinic, a cost effective alternative to emergency room visits for uninsured Rhode Islanders. This is the second year in a row that BCBSRI has provided a grant to support the CHEER clinic, which is located in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence.

“In a recent survey, more than half of our patients who visited the clinic for medical problems said they would have gone to the emergency room for their chief complaint if the CHEER clinic had not been available,” said Dr. Annie De Groot, one of the physician founders of CEHC and co-organizer of the CHEER clinic. “We’re grateful for BCBSRI’s support, which helps us increase access to care for a population of Rhode Islanders that is affected by significant health disparities, and at the same time decrease unnecessary ER visits.”

“Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is a proud supporter of Clinica Esperanza and the work they do to improve access to high-quality and culturally competent healthcare services for the uninsured,” said Bobby Rodriguez, chief diversity officer for BCBSRI. “Clinica Esperanza and the CHEER Clinic play an invaluable role in our community and we applaud them for their dedication toward eliminating health disparities and improving the health of our community.”

CHEER Walk-In Clinic

The CHEER walk-in clinic treats patients with non-emergent healthcare needs, —such as stomach problems, headaches, pain and rashes— who otherwise would have visited the emergency room for care. The clinic also provides TB testing, Flu shots, and testing for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease to walk in patients. CEHC estimates that in 2012, they helped save the Rhode Island healthcare system over $120,000 in avoided emergency room costs, and this year, they expect to save the system between $200,000 and $350,000 in emergency room costs. The grant from BCBSRI will help CEHC continue to serve their continuing care (medical clinic) patients while also funding:

Walk in clinic for non-urgent care hours from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. weekdays, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday
A part-time nurse responsible for managing walk-in patients and supervising volunteer physician extenders
Community health workers known as Navegantes, who provide health education, medication reinforcement, and connect patients to free care opportunities
Materials for on-site blood and urine screens

About Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic

Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic (CEHC) was founded in August 2007 by a group of medical volunteers based in Providence. The goal of the founders was to provide a place where volunteers and community members could come together, creating a: “a place to be healthy”. CEHC provides free,, high quality medical care and preventive health services to adults living in Rhode Island who don’t have health insurance or cannot afford to purchase health care.

In addition to the CHEER clinic that focuses on emergency room diversion, CEHC also provides preventive care to approximately 1,500 patients. The clinic relies on the support of over 175 volunteers and multiple community partners. CEHC promotes culturally sensitive, inclusive and personalized care to the individuals they serve, and the team includes volunteers who speak multiple languages, including Spanish, French, Arabic and Creole. The CHEER clinic is located at 60 Valley Street in Providence.


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