SwedishAmerican strikes primary care partnership

Rockford, Ill.-based SwedishAmerican Health System is partnering with Aunt Martha's Health & Wellness to increase access to primary care, mental health and obstetrics services in the Rockford area.

Olympia Fields, Ill.-based Aunt Martha's is one of the largest community health centers in the state. Under the agreement, the organizations plan to launch an on-site clinic at the hospital that would offer integrated, holistic and coordinated care. It would also serve as a medical home for the uninsured. The Illinois Department of Public Health determined the rate of emergency department visits for non-emergency healthcare needs is 15 percent higher than the rest of the state in Winnebago County, where SwedishAmerican is located.

"It's a fact that Winnebago County is battling to meet the healthcare needs of its residents," Bill Gorski, MD, president and CEO of SwedishAmerican Health System, said in a statement. "Too many of our neighbors, particularly those who are underserved and uninsured, struggle everyday with the challenge of gaining access to adequate medical and mental health services. Our partnership with Aunt Martha's marks a critical step toward ensuring that the needs of our community are met."

If approved by the Health Resources and Services Administration, Aunt Martha's clinic at SwedishAmerican would operate as a community-based Federally Qualified Health Center, serving uninsured patients in a lower-cost setting and potentially saving taxpayers millions.

Aunt Martha's currently operates 21 similar clinics throughout Illinois.


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