In Pitt County, free clinics have played a vital role in addressing the medical needs of many of the most vulnerable and at-risk among us.
Through time, these clinics have become the main healthcare provider for local uninsured patients with unmet medical needs. Though highly successful in providing medical screenings and certain elements of routine care, these facilities have not, however, had a consistent process for providing emergency care, follow-up visits, or specialty care.
At least not until MEND was created.
A Safety Net Woven of Community Partnerships
Launched in 2012, MEND is a working partnership between the local free clinics, churches and other faith-based organizations, the Pitt County Health Department, the Brody School of Medicine (BSOM) at East Carolina University, the ECU College of Nursing, and Greene County Health Care, Inc. (GCHC) MEND is overseen by the 12-member volunteer board of the nonprofit Pitt County Health Education Foundation (PCHEF), with original seed funding from the Vidant Medical Center Foundation.
As the name MEND itself suggests, the primary goal of this innovative community program is to weave together the various strands of quality basic healthcare, ultimately creating a more effective safety net for a highly vulnerable patient population.
The MEND Model
MEND provides uninsured local residents with a consistent option other than hospital emergency departments for addressing non-emergent healthcare needs, and ultimately helping those patients establish a primary-care practice so they don’t frequent multiple clinics. The result is not only an improvement in patient health outcomes, but also a reduction in local healthcare costs.
Care-coordination is the heart of the MEND model, and effective case-management is fundamental to the program’s success. MEND’s staff social worker helps link qualifying patients to resources from healthcare institutions, community agencies, and the local faith community.
Free Clinics in Pitt County
MEND helps coordinate the operation of three free clinics in Pitt County that together offer several weekly opportunities for uninsured patients from not only Pitt County, but also Greene and Beaufort counties as well. To learn more about those clinics, go here.
Patients are typically referred to one of the Greene County Health Care regional reduced-fee clinics for more advanced healthcare concerns:
- James D. Bernstein Community Health Center, 261 Belvoir Highway, Greenville; (252) 695-6355
- Snow Hill Medical Center, 302 N. Greene St., Snow Hill; (252) 747-2921
- Kate B. Reynolds Medical Center, 205 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Snow Hill; (252) 747-4199
- Walstonburg Medical Center, 204 S. Main St., Walstonburg; (252) 753-3771
For More Information
Contact Shantell Cheek, HealthAssist Coordinator, at (252) 847-2224, or firstname.lastname@example.org.