Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic (CEHC) has received $50,000 in grant funding from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) to support their CHEER walk-in clinic, which makes healthcare more accessible for Rhode Island’s uninsured. CHEER, the clinic-within-a-clinic located in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence, opened in 2012 with pilot funding from BCBSRI, and has received grant funding from BCBSRI each of the three years since.
“I continue to be amazed by the need for this clinic”, says Annie De Groot MD, one of several health care providers and founders. “Every day, three or four people walk in for health care issues like numbness in their feet, or headache, that may not seem serious and we discover underlying chronic diseases such as diabetes, or hypertension as the cause of their problem. We have a great crew of volunteers who work hard to take care of each and every patient need.
The CHEER walk-in clinic provides a cost-effective alternative to emergency room visits for the uninsured. Patients who may otherwise have visited the emergency room for care can receive treatment for non-emergent healthcare needs—including access to health screens (glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure), vaccinations, and pre-employment physicals—on a walk-in basis.
A study conducted by Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic suggests that its nurse-run, walk-in CHEER Clinic will save an estimated $1.28 million in future healthcare costs. The grant from BCBSRI will help CEHC continue to serve their continuing care (medical clinic) patients while also funding:
“At Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, we believe all Rhode Islanders should have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare,” said Bobby Rodriguez, Vice President of Organization Development and Chief Diversity Officer at BCBSRI. “We are proud to support the great work Clínica Esperanza and the CHEER Clinic are doing to combat health disparities in our state by providing important care to the uninsured.”
In addition to the CHEER clinic that focuses on emergency room diversion, CEHC also provides preventive care to approximately 1,500 patients. The clinic relies on the support of over 200 volunteers and multiple community partners. CEHC promotes culturally sensitive, inclusive and personalized care to the individuals they serve, and the team includes volunteers who speak multiple languages, including Spanish, French, Arabic and Creole. The CHEER clinic is located at 60 Valley Street, suite 104 in Providence. Residents of Rhode Island who are uninsured are eligible to be seen at the clinic, which takes non-urgent walk in cases only.
Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic (CEHC) was founded in August 2007 by a group of medical volunteers based in Providence. The goal of the founders was to provide a place where volunteers and community members could come together, creating a: “a place to be healthy”. CEHC provides free, high quality medical care and preventive health services to adults living in Rhode Island who don’t have health insurance or cannot afford to purchase health care.