Capital Medical Society Celebrates 30 Years of Improving Access to Healthcare
The Capital Medical Society Foundation, Inc. is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its We Care Network program. The We Care Network is a safety net program for adults who need specialized medical or dental care and do not have health insurance.
Most patients in the We Care network are employed, but they do not have health insurance through their employer. They don’t earn much money, so they have low incomes. The deductibles for Affordable Care Act low-premium coverage simply don’t make sense for all low-income people. It’s about deciding whether to pay rent, buy food, and keep the lights on.
“In 1992, a group of physicians from the Capital Medical Society believed it was important that patients without health insurance in this community have the same experience as those who have. Therefore, we launched the program so that uninsured adults could participate in the program and have an experience in a doctor’s office like any paying patient,” says Dr. John P. Mahoney, president of the Capital Medical Society Foundation.
The program, established in 1992, has coordinated more than $124 million in specialty medical and dental grants for low-income, uninsured adults in Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson and Wakulla counties.
Bereavement service: The Capital Medical Society Foundation improves access to bereavement services
Donation of breast milk: New Breastmilk Donation Site Opens in Leon County in Partnership with Healthy Start
“I’m so proud of this program because it’s a physician-led initiative. Doctors are the ones who saw the need and said, if we’re going to provide care, let’s do it in an organized way. Physician volunteerism is the lifeblood of the program,” says Pam Irwin, CEO of the Capital Medical Society Foundation.
The Capital Medical Society is an association of physicians in the Four Counties area. Three hundred Capital Medical Society members donate health care through the program. Other members refer primary care physicians.
Physicians and dentists who hope to improve health outcomes and quality of life for at-risk adults appreciate the We Care Network for distributing charitable care fairly among their colleagues and simplifying the screening and referral process.
Eligible patients must have an income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level and have no other resources to pay for necessary health care.
Through a six-person case management team, the We Care Network partners with referral primary care providers from Bond Community Health Centre, Care Point Health and Wellness Centre, Department of Health Gadsden County, Jefferson County Health Department, Jessie Furlow Medical Center, Madison Medical Center, Neighborhood Medical Center, North Florida Medical Centers, the TMH Family Medicine Residency Program, Wakulla County Health Department, and Wakulla Medical Center to identify adult patients at risk, uninsured and in need of specialized health care.
The team works with volunteer physicians, dentists, donor hospitals, and ancillary providers to provide donated care. Last year, the We Care network received 2,908 inquiries from specialist medical or dental providers. The need is great.
“Doctor volunteering is not the answer to uninsured health care,” says Dr. Jim Stockwell, the local founder of the We Care network. The We Care Network is a band-aid on the healthcare system in a community that values access for all. THANK YOU to the doctors and dentists who have been part of the We Care network for the past 30 years.
Capital Medical Society Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation, dedicated to supporting the charitable efforts of physicians and others, improving access to health care, promoting education, and meeting the needs of community health through exemplary, affordable and dignified innovative projects. For more information, visit capmed.org.
Never miss a story: Subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat using the link at the top of the page.