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Intermountain Healthcare is on a mission to find ways to create healthier communities and improve access for all who need it.
Here are four ways Intermountain is working to make this happen:
1. Increase access for vulnerable patients and communities
Through a community health needs assessment program, Intermountain Healthcare has identified “access to health care” as one of the top community needs.
Intermountain works to meet this community need by improving patient access to health services for low-income and uninsured populations in the communities served by Intermountain, often in collaboration with various community partners and programs.
“I grew up without regular access to health care,” said Shireen Ghorbani, director of community health for Intermountain. “I remember conversations we had about earaches or sore throats, I don’t know if we should go to the walk-in clinic or if we should wait and see. It’s not the kind of conversations we want to have in our community, so we have invested in improving access to care for anyone in need of care.”
2. Medical vouchers available for patients in need
Medical vouchers can help those who may face barriers to accessing health services. This may be due to the availability of clinics, poverty or other social determinants that get in the way. Medical voucher programs allow families to get the care they need right away and help with long-term care, if needed.
Intermountain joins forces with dozens of community health clinics across the state where people can go for basic checkups and see a doctor. If further diagnostic testing, preventive care or other services are recommended, Intermountain provides vouchers to help people overcome financial barriers to the care they need.
Last year, 19,633 medical vouchers were provided by Intermountain to 59 low-income clinics in Utah to help patients access imaging services, mammograms and other care at Intermountain facilities, d worth $16 million in care.
These vouchers to federally licensed health centers are intended for low-income and underserved families who are more than 200% of the federal poverty level.
You can find more information about locating a federally licensed health center that offers information about free or low-cost visits. here.
3. Mobile schools and clinics funded to improve patient access
Intermountain also provides funds and operations for several mobile screening, diagnostic and primary care units. In addition, Intermountain operates a mobile mammography unit and a mobile primary care clinic.
Intermountain also funds and operates two school clinics with the Salt Lake City School District that provide children, as well as anyone in the surrounding community, the opportunity to use the clinic’s services.
“The school and mobile clinics are able to reach vulnerable and underrepresented communities and groups,” Ghorbani explained. “Meeting health needs, especially in a preventative and primary setting, creates healthier communities for all Utahns.”
4. The Behavioral Health Navigation Hotline Serves Everyone
Additionally, Intermountain Healthcare’s Behavioral Health Navigation Line is available free to all Utahns.
The Intermountain Navigation Hotline was originally developed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as an emotional support line for caregivers and the public. Today, the established and growing Behavioral Health Network offers free mental health visits to underrepresented communities.
Over the past few years, Intermountain has provided nearly 11,000 free mental health visits through the shipping line. Anyone can call the Intermountain Behavioral Health Navigation Line at (833) 442-2211, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Telehealth visits and additional resources can also be provided through Navigation Services here .
For more information on community health vouchers and initiatives, please visit intermountainhealthcare.org/communityhealth.