For Immediate Release
July 15, 2015

CONTACT: Susan Lamontagne at 631.899.3825 or

Reducing Diabetes-Related Emergencies in the Ozarks

ACCESS Family Care of Neosho, Missouri Receives $150,000 to Tackle Widespread Chronic Condition

NEW YORK, NY—Diabetes is particularly acute in the Ozarks section of Southwest Missouri where 14% of ACCESS Family Care’s 20,000 patients grapple with the chronic condition compared to 9% of people nationwide. To tackle this growing problem, the RCHN Community Health Foundation has awarded ACCESS Family Care $150,000 to support a project to help diabetic patients discharged from the hospital to better manage their condition.

“Rising numbers of people with diabetes is leading to higher rates of avoidable emergency department visits and hospital admissions,” said ACCESS Quality Assurance Manager Venice Green, RN. “This grant will help us to streamline patient care from hospital to home and community, lower ER visits and hospital admissions that can be avoided with preventive care, and improve our capacity to serve as a comprehensive health home for our patients.”

ACCESS Family Care is partnering with the Freeman Health System, Mercy Hospital, and Missouri Primary Care Association on the initiative. The new initiative, ACCESS Comprehensive PCMH Integration, will assign a community outreach worker to serve as a liaison with local hospitals to identify discharged patients with poorly controlled diabetes and connect them to services to better manage their condition.

Diabetes is particularly widespread among older adults and in low-income, minority, and other vulnerable communities, where access to healthy foods or an ability to afford on-going medications can be a challenge. This intervention program aims to improve patient education as well as to identify services to help diabetic patients overcome barriers to controlling their condition, while strengthening the health centers systems of care.

“A critical part of improving our nation’s health is to more effectively reach and care for those who face cultural or systemic barriers that limit their access to care and ability to lead healthier lives,” said Feygele Jacobs, president and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation (RCHN CHF). “Our foundation is pleased to support innovative projects to improve the health of vulnerable populations and share lessons learned on how to deliver health care that works better for our communities.”

ACCESS Family Care is one of six grantees in five states that will receive $150,000 each to develop and launch a population health focused program. Other projects include initiatives to improve pediatric care management and reduce child and teen ER visits by Hudson Headwaters Health Network, Queensbury, NY; reduce smoking among Asian Americans by the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY; improve colon cancer screening rates by Adelante Healthcare, Phoenix, AZ; improve cervical cancer screening rates in health center communities by Colorado Community Health Network, Denver, CO; and establish a medical home for the homeless by Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, Santa Rosa, CA.

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ACCESS Family Care (ACCESS) was founded in 1996 as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) for the purpose of increasing access to primary health care for those who lack medical insurance coverage. ACCESS provides quality medical, dental, and pediatric care on a sliding-scale fee at clinics in Anderson, Cassville, Joplin, Neosho, and Mount Vernon, Missouri.

The RCHN Community Health Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation established to support community health centers through strategic investment, outreach, education, and cutting-edge health policy research. The only foundation in the U.S. dedicated solely to community health centers, RCHN CHF builds on a long-standing commitment to providing accessible, high-quality, community-based healthcare services for underserved and medically vulnerable populations. For more information, visit