March 6, 2009
Expanding access to care and calling attention to the plight of the uninsured in Buffalo and Western New York is the focus of Catholic Health’s participation in the national observance of Cover the Uninsured Week, March 23–27. Throughout the week, several of Catholic Health’s Primary Care centers will be offering free basic health checkups to area residents who do not have health insurance or a primary care provider.
“As a Catholic-sponsored health provider, part of our mission calls us to serve the poor and disadvantaged throughout our community,” said Mike Reilly, Vice President of Primary Care Services for the Catholic Health System. “Cover the Uninsured Week is a wonderful opportunity to put our mission into action by offering free health screenings to those most in need.”
Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Cover the Uninsured Week is a national effort designed to raise public awareness of the more than 47 million Americans who do not have health insurance. During the week, hundreds of organizations throughout the country will be sponsoring events to provide free care to those in need and to spotlight the fact that too many Americans are not receiving medical care because they lack health insurance.
As part of the week’s activities, Catholic Health Primary Care providers will be offering free basic health check-ups including: height, weight and BMI checks; vital sign checks; health and chronic disease education; and cholesterol and diabetes screenings. Partners for Prevention Cancer Screening Services of Erie County will offer referrals for free mammograms, clinical breast exams, PAP tests, and colon cancer screenings. Fidelis Care New York, a Catholic-sponsored health insurance provider, will also be offering information on low-cost or no-cost health insurance plan options, including Family Health Plus, Child Health Plus, and Medicaid, to decrease the number of area residents who lack healthcare coverage.
“Through our combined resources, we hope to remove some of the barriers that prevent people from visiting a doctor regularly,” Reilly continued. “We also hope that this is an important first step in helping many families and individuals in our community receive the healthcare services they need to live healthier lives.”
Interested individuals are asked to register for the free Cover the Uninsured Week health check-ups by March 13. Eligibility verification and appointments are required and can be made by calling Catholic Health’s HealthConnection at (716) 706-2112.