To the Editor:
Lorain County Health & Dentistry joins America’s Health Centers in supporting “Cover the Uninsured Week.” The national campaign runs April 23-29  to galvanize support and raise public awareness about the need for affordable and reliable health care coverage.
Lorain County Health & Dentistry (LCHD), an unfunded community health center, treats about 13,500 patients of all ages in its medical and dental clinics, totaling almost 40,000 visits each year. Of these patients, about 4,000 are completely uninsured and qualify for discounted care based on Federal Poverty Guidelines. The fee is $15 for a doctor or dentist visit for the patient who qualifies for a 100% discount (and most do).
While never easy, the Center’s mission to improve access to affordable health care is becoming increasingly more difficult. Last year, LCHD provided $603,000 of uncompensated medical and dental care to the uninsured in our community. That’s $2,500 each business day - and 2007 is shaping up similarly.
LCHD receives no federal, county or city money, and only $30,000 from the state. There is no local tax levy for this vital health service. LCHD is grateful to have received $72,500 from local foundations this year for uncompensated medical and dental care. And, the Center presently has a grant request pending with the federal government (the first opportunity in the past 2 ˝ years), for $650,000/year to expand uninsured health care.
However, if federal funding doesn’t come through in 2007, or without some other source of significant operating support, LCHD will be unable to maintain its current base and service offering. In that case, future campaigns for “Cover the Uninsured Week” will take on a whole new meaning in Lorain County.
President & CEO
Lorain County Health & Dentistry
1800 Livingston Avenue
Lorain, Ohio 44052
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