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Jefferson Township Community Care Team

Jefferson Township Trustees approached Wright State University (WSU), Boonshoft School of Medicine (BSOM) in November 2014 to assist with the development of a medical facility within their community in an effort to address access issues voiced by their residents. They noted a gap in local healthcare services such as an urgent care, primary care, and or pharmacies in their immediate township area. This critical access to frontline services limits residents in their selection to timely and appropriate medical treatment, and often defaults the selection to a more expensive choice, such as the hospital emergency room visits.

The Plan

WSU, BSOM, and the Department of Community Health offered to assist the Jefferson Township Trustees through their exploration of options for healthcare delivery models that might positively impact their population and reduce access barriers to medical care in their community. WSU-BSOM solicited the assistance from Sharon Sherlock, DHA-RN to lead this project. Employed by the Department of Community Health at BSOM, Sharon directs a volunteer based program called Reach Out of Montgomery County (ROMC). ROMC’s medical mission is to provide access to medical care services for the underserved population in Montgomery County. The goal will be to perform a health needs assessment utilizing local resident input and to evaluate the impact the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had on residents in this rural area, west of Montgomery County.

The Results

The Jefferson Township community health assessment revealed a population disconnected from Dayton area health facilities. Reasons vary from person to person, however the following findings should be considered when developing solutions. 1) Over utilization of 911 services 2) Insufficient access to prompt non-emergency medical treatment 3) Limited residential access to the Internet to search for medical resources 4) Transportation barriers, reliance on “others,” limited access to RTA and travel time, road condition 5) Unfamiliarity and unaffordability with individual health plans 6) Historically underserved minority population

Recommendations

Recommendation for solutions surround the development of a rural based health clinic with an emphasis on utilizing the integrated mobile health unit model of care and realignment of health system partners such as Jefferson Township fire-department, hospitals, public health for preventative initiatives and managed care organizations. This innovative model will complete the feedback loop for healthcare conversation and priority setting to allow for better health outcomes for the patient, avoiding unnecessary visits to the hospital and centered or customizing care around the patient’s needs.

—From the Executive Summary of the Jefferson Township Community health Assessment