October 2012

St. Louis Regional Health Commission
Healthcare Happenings
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In This Issue
Tune in Nov 12 @ 7PM! LIVE Town Hall
Join us for Health Status Report Community Events
Gateway to Better Health Serving Over 17,000 St. Louisans
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RHC in the News

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About the RHC
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 RHC has teamed 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. LouisRHC and Nine will collaborate and host town hall sessions over the next year on various health topics and connect viewers to available community resources. In May, the RHC and its Advisory Boards selected "heroin prevention" as the focus for the first Town Hall, which will air LIVE on Monday, November 12 at 7pm on the Nine Network


The town hall connects to the Regional Health Commission's larger investment in heroin prevention and treatment in the St. Louis community. 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 these trends and voiced concern with the lack of prevention and treatment services targeting heroin in the St. Louis region.


In April 2012, the RHC approved $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.  To date, this collaborative has raised over $800,000 to provide additional 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 this collaboration, please contact Rosie Stafford. And look for more to come on this exciting partnership with Nine later this year! 


We want you to join us. Here are a few ways you can do so: 


1. Want to participate in the studio audience? Register here!


2. Want to watch the event with other community members? Join us at the Nine Network to watch the town hall! The Watch Event begins at 6PM, and the Town Hall airs LIVE at 7PM.  Light refreshments will be served. Free parking. 3655 Olive Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108Email Rosie and let her know you'll be coming. 


3. Can't join us in person? Remember to tune in at home on November 12 at 7pm on Channel 9! 




Do you work at a community health organization? Are you a health care provider? Or do you have a vested interest in the health and well-being of St. Louis residents? We invite you to join us for a dynamic community conversation about trends in health status across the region.


The St. Louis Regional Health Commission will soon release a 2012 Health Status Report, which offers the most comprehensive and localized review of regional health status that has been produced in ten years. The report focuses on change in leading health status indicators and disparity metrics in St. Louis City and County over the past decade and features region-specific analysis of trends for the following topics:

  • Behavioral Health
  • Cancer
  • Childhood Asthma
  • COPD
  • Demographics & Social Determinants of Health
  • Diabetes
  • Early Childhood Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Heart Disease
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Medical Risk Factors
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Stroke
  • Violence & Injury

We'd like your input on the report before it goes to print. Will you join us for a community forum to share your thoughts on the report and its findings? Each event will consist of a variety of interactive activities designed to gather participant input.  Click here to register for one or more community forum events.


All forums will be held at the Forest Park Visitors Center (5595 Grand Drive in Forest Park St. Louis, MO 63112) at the following dates and times:


Wednesday, October 3: 8:00-10:00AM

Thursday, October 4: 2:00-4:00PM

Monday, October 8: 8:00-10:00AM


The events will be open house style, so feel free to come and go as you like. We hope you will be able to attend at least one of them - your input is vital to our final product.  For more information about this event please contact Ryan Sterling. And click here to register for the event. 




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The "Gateway to Better Health" pilot coverage model successfully launched on July 1, 2012 to enroll low-income, uninsured individuals in St. Louis City and County who are not currently eligible for Medicaid into a health care coverage model. This program provides access to critical ambulatory health care services at high quality community health centers and hospitals in the region.


Through this Demonstration, RHC has provided more than $60 million to-date ($105 million over 3 years) in funds otherwise not available to the region and helped preserve medical homes for the uninsured with otherwise limited access to care. Since July 2012 there have been more than 100,000 uninsured patient visits to community health centers, preventing tens of thousands unnecessary emergency room visits in the region.   In addition, through an unprecedented outreach effort by the area's community health centers and with tremendous support from the State of Missouri, the "Gateway to Better Health" program has provided over 17,000 individuals with access to primary care services and provided over 2,000 referrals to specialty care per month since July 2012. This includes critical services otherwise unavailable such as radiology services, specialty care consultations and outpatient surgeries.


Our continued thanks to 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. All materials concerning the Demonstration are available for review at www.stlrhc.org. For more information, contact Angela Brown.  




We are in what promises to be an exciting time for public policy in the region. For real-time updates on the work of the RHC, including findings from the 2012 Health Status report and analysis of the State's upcoming Medicaid expansion decision, follow our updates:   


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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