2019 Capital Campaign
It all started with Lou Ortenzio
In 1992, Dr. Lou Ortenzio saw first hand the plight of the uninsured in our community and the disparities they endured as a result of their lack of access to basic healthcare. As a result, Lou and several other community leaders came together to establish, Health Access, a free and charitable clinic dedicated to fighting against inequality in healthcare and providing access to healthcare for our community’s most vulnerable residents.
Since 1992, Health Access has provided medical care to over 5,000 residents and provided more than 300,000 prescription medications to patients who otherwise could never afford them while Lou has continued to be a significant voice in our community and an honorary lifetime member of the Health Access Board of Directors.
Just Do the Next Right Thing
One of the things you’ll often hear Lou say is to “Just Do the Next Right Thing.” While Health Access has served the community well over the past 27 years, the reality is that the need for a safety net clinic providing health services in our community is not diminishing but increasing.
Uncertainty with healthcare reform, continuing growth of uninsured patients, and coverage gaps in Medicaid and Medicare have further increased the demand for Health Access’ services in recent years.
For those reasons, the Health Access Board of Directors believes that the next best thing for the community and the clinic is to expand our services to meet other significant gaps in care.
The Dental Gap
One of the largest drivers of disparities and poor outcomes in our community is the lack of dental care available to our uninsured and under insured. Poor dental health leads to increased incidents of heart disease and complicates the management of many chronic diseases and can lead to premature death. For most, access to preventative and restorative dental care is simply out of reach leaving many to endure these poor health outcomes, and the pain and suffering that results from frequent oral infections and abscesses with no hope for extraction. The only option then is the cyclical and perpetual overuse of antibiotics, which puts not only patients in danger but the community at large as a result of newly emerging, antibiotic resistant infections.
Over the past few years, Health Access has sought ways to expand access to dental care and improve overall health care and medical outcomes. In June of 2017, Health Access entered into a collaborative partnership with West Virginia Health Right and Marshall University to provide dental care through their mobile dental unit which would come to Health Access clinic twice each month. However, it quickly became apparent that there was enough capacity to meet the dental needs. In the end, the mobile dental unit was merely a band-aid on the dental health needs in our community.
Creating a Dental Health Home for the uninsured and under-insured of Harrison and Doddridge Counties
Realizing the gravity of the situation and the need for a permanent and lasting solution to the dental health crisis plaguing our community, the Health Access Board of Directors decided to embark on this ambitious capital campaign and do “the Next Right Thing” by adding two state-of-the-art dental operatories, so that the clinic could begin offering comprehensive dental services on-site. Below is an architect’s rendering of the new clinic space which will contain:
Two State-of-the-Art Dental Operatories
A Dental Lab
Digital X-Ray Room
With this additional space, Health Access will be able to expand services to meet one of the most pressing needs in our community- the need for dental care. With your help, that can change.
The Next Right Thing for You
As a clinic, we are certain that finding ways to bridge these existing gaps in care that impacts our community is “the Next Right Thing” for us. By creating additional physical capacity and expanding services, our clinic will be able to provide access to dental care for more than 2000 patients from our communities. It is our hope that you will join us and decide that caring for those in need is “the Next Right Thing” for you. So far many have already joined the cause, but we still need you for this vision to become a reality.
For more information about how you can do the next right thing and support our clinic capital campaign, please contact our clinic at (304) 622-2708 or fill out either the digital or paper form below.
Thanks for your support!