CVS Health Grant Makes Huge Impact

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We’re excited to share the news that Culmore Clinic received a $20,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation in partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics at the beginning of this year. The funding we received has helped us increase access to health care for under-served populations in Bailey’s Crossroads, VA specifically around the following objectives. Here are some impact numbers and success anecdotes attributed to the grant:

  • Objective 1: Reduce blood sugar and cholesterol 

    During the first half of 2019 an impressive 75% of patients have decreased their A1c levels. Of those, 10% decreased their levels by 1.0 or more (which is a significant decrease in sugar level overall). This level of improvement reduces patients’ risk of secondary complications such as retinopathy, kidney disease and neuropathy. It is worth noting that medications alone generally will reduce A1c by less than 1.0. This indicates that our multifaceted program is enhancing patient outcomes overall. 

    Lab results also show that 55% of patients lowered or maintained a healthy cholesterol level, also reflecting changes in diet and exercise. Additionally, 58% of patients have lowered their blood pressure and 54% have lost weight. Addressing all related chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia is the best way to reduce adverse cardiac events and complications. Our patients are empowered to improve all three major metabolic conditions. 

  • Objective 2:  Increase the completion rate of specialty care referrals

    Due to the diligent and compassionate work of our Patient Services Manager and the resource of a new Electronic Health Record, we have seen huge improvements in the amount of completed specialty care referrals. We are better able to track pending referrals and connect with specialists quickly. This year, we have seen a completion rate of 29%, an increase from 15% last year.  Specialty care still remains an area of need as we would prefer to connect all of our patients with the dedicated professionals they need. We will continue to recruit and cultivate new partners as the year progresses. 

  • Objective 3:  Gain access to recommended preventive screenings.

We are happy to report an average of 21 preventive care screening exams completed each month. Although there may be a short wait time, we have the resources to connect 100% of patients with the recommended screening services such as pap smear, mammogram, colonoscopy and DEXA scan. Over the past two years Culmore Clinic has moved from a triage model, operating one day a week, to a primary care home, able to provide the necessary preventive and chronic care services to this population in need. 

Success Story Because of Grant:

“Luis” arrived at Culmore Clinic feeling badly: tired, no strength, depressed and scared.  Unable to work because of his condition, he had neither income nor access to food and was desperately in need of medical attention.   Luis had recently been to the Inova emergency department where he was treated for diabetes, a first-time diagnosis for him. He was prescribed insulin (also for the first time) and released. By the time he arrived at The Clinic (one week later) his blood sugar was over 400 (normal is 70-150).  

Medical providers, nurses, an interpreter, our patient services manager, immediately began to work together to address his needs.  After the assessment of his condition he was instructed to go to a pharmacy to get the insulin he had been prescribed at the hospital several days prior. After searching on his behalf for a pharmacy with the lowest price on insulin, staff discovered Luis neither knew how to get there nor had the money to buy the medication.   The Clinic’s Breaking Barrier’s Fund provided the necessary funds and The Clinic’s Bi-lingual Patient Navigator drove Luis to the pharmacy located in downtown Washington DC, his most affordable option, interpreted for him throughout the process, then drove him home.

Today Luis is a familiar face at Culmore Clinic.  At a recent visit, his blood sugar was around 90, his general health had improved, his physical activity was normal and his demeanor was very positive. At the time of discharge from the hospital, Culmore Clinic served as Luis’ safety net, but without continued primary care, he would have fallen through the system again.  Today, Culmore Clinic is his medical home. We are charged with fulfilling that role for him and see the need to expand to meet his preventive needs as well.

We are so grateful to CVS Health Foundation and the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics for this grant!