Do you know someone with a medical concern but no health insurance? Project H.E.A.L. can help From Spotlight on Health - Spring 2012
Project H.E.A.L. (Health, Education, Access, Link) provides free health screenings for people who have little or no insurance. The goal of Project H.E.A.L. is to overcome the barriers to health care for the under-served population of Central Minnesota. Barriers may include transportation, financial resources for co-payments and medications, and differences in language and culture.
For a person who cannot afford diabetic testing strips, having Project H.E.A.L. can mean the difference between maintaining health and an expensive emergency room visit.
“A young diabetic man, who wasn’t checking his blood sugars or taking his insulin because he couldn’t afford to, came in for a health screening,” said Shar Wallack, RN, Project H.E.A.L. volunteer. “We were able to give him a glucometer, test strips and insulin. We then referred him for follow-up care. He said this was the first time anyone took the time to help him get what he needed for his wellbeing. He couldn’t thank us enough.”
Project H.E.A.L. stemmed from Pastors Geary and Carol Jean Smith contacting St. Cloud Hospital in 1998 looking to provide free medical care to their clientele, many of whom were poor and homeless. Place of Hope Drop-in Outreach Center, St. Cloud, became the first site of these free health screenings with volunteers from Mid-Minnesota Family Medicine Center (MMFMC), a St. Cloud Hospital clinic.
As the word spread, the need in the community became apparent. Volunteers from MMFMC and local congregations created an outreach program to provide free health screenings at various sites. Now, more than 10 years later, nearly 3,000 people have been served in the St. Cloud area, Melrose and Long Prairie.
Learn more about Project H.E.A.L.