Cascades Medicine Volunteer Clinic Receives $30,000 Grant from CO Health Quality Alliance

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Central Oregon Health Quality Alliance has awarded a $30,000 Health Within Reach grant to volunteers at the Cascades Medicine Clinic. The grant will sponsor a new pilot diabetes education program with oral health and healthy eating support for economically disadvantaged Latino/a/x patients in central Oregon.

VIM serves more than 900 economically disadvantaged and working adults each year. None of VIM’s patients are eligible for Affordable Care Act coverage, so they rely on the clinic’s services, which are always free. Patients usually have several underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and hypertension. They face language and cultural barriers to obtaining health care, and VIM puts these needs at the forefront.

For VIM patients, oral health is essentially untreated. Indeed, individual interviews with 150 VIM patients showed that 40% had difficulty eating or sleeping due to dental pain. The problem is more pronounced for diabetic patients. VIM has implemented an integrated, multi-specialty, bilingual and culturally competent diabetes management program that includes RN case management, pharmacy, behavioral health, certified educators, primary care and specialty care at no cost to the patient and all in one place.

About the Central Oregon Health Quality Alliance

Our mission is to cultivate an environment where independent practices thrive and share ideas to improve patient care. We do this through: fundraising ideas, facilitating conversations, building community partnerships, promoting health care.

Over the past 8 years, COHQA has awarded over $1.5 million in grants to 56 projects spanning specialties, issues and patient demographics in our 40,000 square mile service area from North Klamath to across the gorge and into eastern Oregon.

About the medical volunteers Clinique des Cascades

Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of the Cascades (VIM) is a nonprofit clinic in Bend that provides free medical care to low-income, uninsured adults from working families in central Oregon. Our mission is “to improve the health and well-being of the medically uninsured or severely underserved through the commitment of dedicated professionals, community partners and volunteers”. VIM is the only clinic in central Oregon that treats the uninsured for free. Patients receive primary and specialty medical care, medications, mental health care, surgery, physiotherapy, laboratory work, medical testing, and education programs. All care is provided by medical and support volunteers.

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