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July 2012

St. Louis Regional Health Commission
Healthcare Happenings
In This Issue
St. Louis "Gateway to Better Health" Launches July 1, 2012
RHC Approves up to $50k for Regional Heroin Response Collaborative
RHC to Host Two Town Halls with 9 Network
St. Louis IHN Celebrates 10 Years
Welcome New Staff, Preethi Kembaiyan
RHC in the News
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The St. Louis Regional Health Commission (RHC) is a collaborative effort of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, the state of Missouri, health providers, and community members with a mission 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 for your commitment to improving the health of those in our community with limited access to healthcare services.  

 

ST. LOUIS "GATEWAY TO BETTER HEALTH" DEMONSTRATION COVERAGE MODEL LAUNCHES JULY 1, 2012

  

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In July 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the "Gateway to Better Health" Demonstration Project.  CMS outlined several objectives of the Demonstration Project, including:

  

Preserving the safety net of health care services in St. Louis City and St. Louis County for the uninsured until a transition to health care coverage is available under the Affordable Care Act; and

Implementing a pilot program to transition the "St. Louis model" to a defined health coverage benefit model as opposed to a direct payment model by July 1, 2012.

 

The RHC serves as the fiscal agent for the region for this Demonstration. Visit www.stlrhc.org for more information.

 

Through this Demonstration, RHC has provided more than $60 million in St. Louis to date - funds otherwise not available to the region. This support has made possible more than 100,000 uninsured patient visits to community health centers in St. Louis since July 2010, preventing tens of thousands unnecessary emergency room visits in the region.   

 

In addition to this success to date, hundreds of individuals have been diligently working to prepare for the July 1, 2012 "go live" of the pilot coverage model portion of the "Gateway" Demonstration.  Since enrollment began in November, over 19,000 individuals have applied at qualifying community health centers. All materials concerning the Demonstration are available for review at www.stlrhc.org. For more information, contact Angela Brown

 

The Commission would especially like to thank the team at the State of Missouri, especially our friends at the MO HeathNet and Family Support divisions, for all their extra efforts to make this model such a success for the region.

RHC APPROVES UP TO $50,000 FOR REGIONAL HEROIN RESPONSE COLLABORATIVE 

 

In April, the Regional Health Commission approved up to $50,000 in one-time funding to the United Way of Greater St. Louis support a Regional Heroin Response Collaborative to address the substantial rise in heroin usage in St. Louis. Recent "advances" in the production of heroin have made the drug more potent, more addictive, able to be ingested without the use of needles, and cheap ($10-$20 per capsule). Consequently, the number of deaths in Missouri due to heroin overdose has increased from 69 in 2007 to more than 230 in 2011, with 90% of total statewide deaths occurring in the St. Louis metro region.

 

In early 2011, the RHC's Community Advisory Board (CAB) recognized this trend and voiced concern with the lack of prevention and treatment services targeting heroin in the St. Louis region. This Regional Collaborative hopes to secure $1.5 million in funds increase prevention, intervention, and treatment services re: heroin use in partnership with National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA), Bridgeway Behavioral Health, and Preferred Family Healthcare. If you have any questions about the initiative, please contact Rosie Stafford. 

 

RHC TO HOST TWO TOWN HALLS WITH NINE NETWORK OF PUBLIC MEDIA

 

 NineThe RHC is teaming up with the Nine Network of Public Media to increase the St. Louis community's knowledge on key health issues and drive those in need to access available health resources. Inspired by the St. Louis County Children's Service Fund and Nine's partnership on Youth at Risk St. Louis, RHC and Nine will collaborate and host 2 on-air town hall sessions and create a website linking visitors to local health resources. If you have any questions about this collaboration, please contact Rosie Stafford Look for more to come on this exciting initiative later this year!

ST. LOUIS INTEGRATED HEALTH NETWORK CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF SERVICE 

 

 This summer, the St. Louis Integrated Health Network will celebrate 10 Years of impacting the health of the St. Louis community. Since its inception, the RHC has provided over $3 million to support the growth and success of the IHN. 

The IHN and the health centers in the Network are opening their doors to the community to share their vision for quality, accessible and affordable community-based healthcare that benefit over 173,000 individuals in the region. If you are interested in learning more about these "Open House Exchanges," please visit the IHN website or contact Monique Gilliam.

Photo courtesy of St. Louis American 

WELCOME NEW RHC STAFF: PREETHI KEMBAIYAN  

Preethi Kembaiyan joins the RHC as the Communications Associate for the Gateway Demonstration. Preethi is a recent graduate from Washington University in St. Louis where she received a B.A. in Anthropology and Public Health. During her time at Washington University, Preethi worked on microfinance and income-generation initiatives in Uganda.

Your dedication and continued support are what make these efforts possible.  We look forward to continued partnership with you in the months ahead. To find out more about RHC and regional health care happenings, please visit our Twitter and Facebook pages for daily updates.

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Sincerely,
 
Robert Fruend
Chief Executive Officer
St. Louis Regional Health Commission