Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Makes HOPE Possible
Poor access to care, limited health education and overutilization of the emergency room are all too commonplace among the underserved and often lead to dismal health outcomes.
The University Hospital Healthcare Outreach, Prevention and Education Center: The HOPE Center, committed to providing comprehensive health care outreach, prevention and education, will be one solution to this problem in the Newark area. Presently in the planning stage, thanks to a $150,000 grant from The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, the program will focus primarily on enhancing primary care delivery to patients with multiple chronic conditions who frequently use the Emergency Room (ER).
"The HOPE Center speaks to what we care very much about, that is strengthening primary care, reducing unnecessary use of the ER and improving outcomes," said Marsha Atkind, The Healthcare Foundation's executive director. "It will also educate the doctors of tomorrow in how to better communicate with patients and be culturally sensitive."
Building upon the current outpatient navigation model at UH's Ambulatory Care Center (ACC), the HOPE Center will hire a dedicated health educator to work closely with patients and the clinical teams assigned to them. The program aims to enroll 250 patients over the one year of funding—transitioning 100 who frequent the ER into the ACC and engaging 150 in health education sessions through a partnership with Student Health Advocacy for Resources and Education, a New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) organization for community service.
"We are hopeful that this comprehensive approach to care delivery, which is modeled after the patient centered medical home and extended to include the medical neighborhood, will serve as a model for other institutions where medical education is a significant contributor to patient care," said HOPE Center Director Dr. Ana Natale-Pereira, associate professor of medicine at NJMS.