EYE ON HEALTH: "Lifting Our Members" Program - WSMV Channel 4

EYE ON HEALTH: "Lifting Our Members" Program

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Rafielle Freeman, Director of Quality Improvement, BlueCare TN says "We find that there are health care disparities within African American Communities, Hispanic, and rural poor communities."

So that's whey this is now the front line in the fight to close the health care gap.
 
Scott Pierce says "People inherently trust their faith leaders whether it's their pastors, minister or rabbi."
 
Scott Pierce is the President and CEO of BlueCare TN, and he says that's why they've kicked off a new initiative "Lifting Our Members"  
 
Volunteers have been busy attending sessions, studying, and preparing to go out into the community.
 
Rafielle Freeman says "These employees will actually go into the churches, they will educate the pastor on the toolkit."
 
Then the pastor distributes the information to the congregation or the health minister, who often holds events or participates in health fairs where their members will often attend.        
 
The toolkit they receive contains important information about preventive care, a monthly calendar about check-ups, and certain diseases or conditions that are more prevalent in some communities than others, and where to turn for help.  
 
More than 100 BlueCare workers have joined in this effort to close the gap in health care disparities. So far they've distributed kits to more than 200 churches, with a goal to reach out to more than 1000 across the state.
 
And statistics show they have their work cut out for them:

  • African Americans are 10x more likely to be admitted to the ER for asthma complications
  • Hispanics have difficulty getting their immunizations  and those in rural areas have problems when it comes to access to health care

 
Freeman says their goal is to make a difference for as many as they can, and they hope as people in certain communities turn to their faith for healing, they will also be guided to good medical care.

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