(Lawrenceville, Ga., June 22, 2017) – Gwinnett commissioners on Tuesday renewed $400,000 in chronic care assistance grants to two nonprofit healthcare organizations operating in the county.
“These grants will provide resources to manage chronic diseases better and reduce calls for onsite emergency medical services, transport and hospital emergency room visits,” Chairman Charlotte Nash said. “The success of similar grants last year demonstrates that we can reduce costs and provide services more efficiently with this approach.”
Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett, at 5949 Buford Highway in Norcross, received a $200,000 award as did the Hope Clinic Inc., at 121 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville, for their chronic care management programs. Both nonprofits aim to keep chronically ill patients stable and reduce hospitalizations due to untreated illness.
In 2015, 23 percent of almost 150,000 patients at Gwinnett Medical Center’s emergency room had no insurance, causing a $48 million write-off, according to Good Samaritan’s grant application, which says the County saves more than $700 per patient by diverting care from emergency rooms. Gwinnett Medical reported last year that 23 percent of Gwinnett residents are uninsured and nearly 30 percent are obese.
Good Samaritan of Gwinnett, formed in 2004 as an expansion of a similar ministry in downtown Atlanta, offers uninsured and underinsured residents affordable well-child and adult exams, dental services, chronic disease management, preventive care and women’s health services. It relocated to a larger space last July where it is open more than 50 hours per week, serving about 175 people per day. Last year, 88 percent of its clients were Gwinnett residents. Executive Director Gregory E. Lang, PhD, says the funds will help pay seasonal, evening and weekend labor costs.
The Hope Clinic, a nonprofit, internal medicine clinic led by Pam Martin, has been providing an affordable primary care alternative to hospital emergency rooms for uninsured, underinsured and indigent Gwinnett residents since 2002. In 2013, the clinic began serving chronically ill patients with diabetes, heart and kidney diseases, high blood pressure and cholesterol, dementia and stroke. Last year, 80 percent of patients were from Gwinnett. Twelve staff members work on the chronic care project, which has also been supported by the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation and the Imlay Foundation.