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May 2011

St. Louis Regional Health Commission
Healthcare Happenings
In This Issue
RHC Supports Dental Expansion at Community Health Centers
"Gateway to Better Health" Demonstration Project Progressing
St. Louis Serves as Host to DC Contingent
RHC Welcomes New Commissioner
RHC 2010 Access to Care Report Available/ 2011 Health Status Reporting Task Force Kicks Off
St. Louis Community/University Health Research Partnerships Report Now Available
Save the Date- September 13, 2011- RHC 10th Anniversary Celebration
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The RHC is a collaborative effort of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, the state of Missouri, health providers, and community members to improve the health of uninsured and underinsured citizens in St. Louis City and County.

The Healthcare Happenings newsletter is our way of keeping you informed on our progress in these efforts.  Thank you for taking time to read this newsletter and thank you for your commitment to improving the health of those in our community with limited access to healthcare services.

RHC Supports Dental Expansion at Community Health Centers 
dental pic 

RHC is pleased to announce that it has awarded more than $800,000 to support the start-up costs for four (4) new dentists at community health centers in the St. Louis region. This investment is a result of extensive community input, which highlighted the need for increased dental services for low-income St. Louisans. It is expected that this investment will support more than 8,000 dental encounters each year. The RHC thanks the community health centers of the St. Louis Integrated Health Network for their partnership to meet the dental needs in the St. Louis region through this exciting new initiative. 

"Gateway to Better Health" Demonstration Project Progressing

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In July 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the "Gateway to Better Health" Demonstration for the St. Louis region.  Through this Demonstration, more than $18 million ─ that would not have been available otherwise ─ already has been invested to preserve and enhance primary and specialty care services for the uninsured in the St. Louis region.   Per the terms and conditions provided by CMS, the Demonstration will fund a Pilot Program that transitions the health care safety net to a "coverage model," beginning July 1, 2012. Extensive planning is now underway for implementation of the "coverage model." It is estimated that 16,000-20,000 uninsured individuals in our region will be served through this Pilot Program.  RHC serves as the fiscal agent and regional planning body for this Demonstration.   RHC would like to thank CMS, the State of Missouri, and all local partners that have provided support and input into this process to date. Look for more information soon as the July 1, 2012, date approaches!

St. Louis Serves as Host to DC Contingent


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George Washington University (GWU) and the Commonwealth Fund have selected St. Louis as one of a handful of communities to research as a national model for how community health services can be improved through collaborative efforts. In March, visitors from the two organizations visited St. Louis to learn about the "St. Louis model", and especially the great work implemented through the St. Louis Integrated Health Network (IHN).


The national report from GWU and the Commonwealth Fund will be available later this year.

RHC Welcomes New Commissioner


Cheryl Walker, Of Counsel at Bryan Cave LLP, has joined the board of the Comcommissioner reportmission as an "at-large" Commissioner.   In addition to her legal practice at Bryan Cave, Ms. Walker has served the St. Louis and Missouri community in a variety of ways, including as recent Chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, and as a board member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis.   Ms. Walker has been recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the "Top 40 Professionals under the age of 40", as well as one of the "Most Influential St. Louisans".    Please join us in welcoming Ms. Walker to the RHC!

RHC 2010 Access to Care Report Available/2011 Health Status Reporting Task Force Kicks Off

atc map 

RHC's 2010 "Access to Care" report - a comprehensive look at important access to care metrics for the St. Louis region, is now available at


Also, Dr. Dolores Gunn, Director of the St. Louis County Health Department, and Pam Walker, Acting Director of the Health Department for the City of St. Louis, have graciously agreed to co-chair a newly formed RHC Task Force to create a "St. Louis Region Health Status Indicator Report".   This report will complement the RHC's annual Access to Care report and will be the first comprehensive look at the health status of the St. Louis region since the RHC's 2003 "Building a Healthier St. Louis" report.   This initiative coincides with the 10th anniversary of RHC, as well as the release of detailed data from the 2010 U.S. Census.   We thank the members of the Task Force for their dedication to this important (and time-intensive) effort for the region! 


St. Louis Community/University Health Research Partnerships (CUHRP) Report

 Now Available


community partnership


In February, RHC hosted a team of Coro Fellows ( for a month-long "Group Project" rotation.  During their internship, the Fellows spoke with more than 100 community members and university researchers concerning the St. Louis Community/University Health Research Partnerships (CUHRP) initiative.  The overall goal of CUHRP is to help identify innovative models of care that have the potential to improve the health of the community and to foster long-term relationships between academic researchers and community organizations.  The RHC serves as the fiscal agent for the $1.5 million in program funds from BJC HealthCare, Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Washington University School of Medicine.   The Fellows found great enthusiasm for the CUHRP project to date from both community and university members. The Fellow's final report is available at

In addition, the creative team at BJC HealthCare graciously donated its services to create a "community-friendly" description of the CUHRP initiative and its progress to date.    This report will be available this summer.  RHC and its CUHRP partners especially thank the BJC team for their amazing work on this report.  

Save the Date- September 13, 2011-

RHC 10th Anniversary Celebration

 rhc logo 2011 

On September 13, the RHC will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a community-wide Summit.   We invite you to join us from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. on September 13 for an exciting conversation about the progress we've made to date as a region over the past 10 years, and the opportunities and challenges that remain for us to address.  More information to come!  


Your dedication and continued support are what make these efforts possible.  We look forward to continued partnership with you in the months ahead.
Robert Fruend
Chief Executive Officer
St. Louis Regional Health Commission