Impact Partner Spotlight
Health Care Network
Nov. 16, 2021
Health Care Network provides free or low-cost health care to residents of Racine County who have no health insurance and are of limited financial means. This care is made possible through the volunteer efforts of over 380 physicians, dentists and other health care professionals. This includes 32 specialties of medicine, five specialties of dentistry, three area hospitals and 17 pharmacies that provide prescription assistance.
As the name implies, the agency has built a network of providers across the county who donate their time to provide care at no cost. While some of the services and appointments take place at the main location, two-thirds are offered in the individual offices of the volunteer providers in the community. Because of this, patients have access to care during regular office hours, just as the insured population does.
There are five components of the program. These include medical and dental care and diagnostic services, prescription assistance, information and referral services, counseling with the LCSW (licensed clinical social worker) and general social services and resource allocation.
Health Care Network prides itself on breaking down barriers to access. The agency is easily accessible with bilingual employees on staff. Services are provided across the county and a satellite clinic is located in Waterford.
What first drew you into the work of Health Care Network?
The mission of Health Care Network is what initially attracted me. After learning about the incredible numbers of volunteers dedicated to providing care as well as the depth of impact they had on community wellness, I was hooked!
How has Health Care Network adapted over time — whether that's in the last year due to the pandemic, or since its start as an organization?
Health Care Network is considered a community safety net. As such, agency leaders monitor community needs and are able to provide care based on the needs of the community members. The pandemic has surely had a great impact on the way care is provided. HCN implemented telemedicine services in an effort to keep volunteers, staff and patients as safe as possible. In addition, HCN has increased efforts to get community members vaccinated against COVID-19, arranging vehicles for both registered patients and general community members.
Can you share a story about a moment you saw your work leave a positive impact in someone's life?
We are focused on providing care to those most in need. Recently, one of HCN's health educators was able to speak with a community member who was hesitant to get the vaccine because of a fear of needles and other medical complications that made it hard for her to leave her home. After discussing some of her fears, she decided she wanted the vaccine but could not leave her home to go get the vaccine. HCN staff was able to arrange for the vaccine to be brought to her and administered in her home where she felt comfortable. After, she was thankful that we were able to take the time to talk to her about some of the things she was anxious about. HCN manages the care of more than 3,000 registered patients, who, without the medical and dental care and counseling services offered at HCN, would have few, if any, options for care.
What is some of the impact Health Care Network has brought to the community in its lifespan?
To date, HCN has provided over $50 million worth of care to Racine County since the agency's inception in 1987. The mission of HCN is truly a lifesaving one.
Alison Sergio is the executive director of Health Care Network.