Augusta Health Partners with Organizations to Provide Health Care to Homeless People
Augusta Health is working to better serve everyone in the community, and some people who need it the most are now getting the care they deserve.
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Augusta Health is working to better serve everyone in the community, and some people who need it the most are now getting the care they deserve.
Fifty-nine-year-old Eric Vaughan is receiving some follow-up screenings.
“Taking high blood pressure and sugar diabetes test to see where I'm at,” Vaughan said.
He lives at Valley Mission and is taking advantage of the Healthcare for the Homeless program.
“They hooked me up with a primary care doctor because my doctor had retired and I wasn't able to get my medication,” Vaughan said.
Access to resources for the area's homeless can be life-saving.
“We've had clients with really high blood pressure that have had to have emergency intervention,” Susan Richardson, Valley Mission's executive director, said. “We've had clients that with diabetes who've also had to have emergency intervention.”
Now, they're getting vaccinations and screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, and mental health.
“Some are coming back each time we're here and some we see once and are able then to hook them up with a primary care provider or the specialist that they need,” Krystal Moyers, Augusta Health's community outreach director, said.
Since the program started in the fall, nearly 100 people have come in for care that they may not have had the means to get otherwise.
“A lot of our clients don't always have an established medical home,” Richardson said. “They don't always perceive their health care as a priority. Certainly with preventative services, these aren't happening with a lot of our clients.”
“This is exactly the mission of Augusta Health as a community hospital - to be community-centered and be able to focus on the needs of all of our community members,” Moyers said.
Vaughan says the services have left a big impact on his life.
“No question,” Vaughan said. “It makes you feel like a human being again, ’cause you get to feel somewhat less than because of your circumstances and situation.”
Moyers says she hopes to see the program grow. Right now, the program is held at Valley Mission and WARM every other month.