CHEER and La Red Health Center (LRHC) have announced their collaboration to improve access to high quality adult and senior healthcare services throughout Sussex County Delaware (SCD), at a ribbon cutting ceremony held on Monday, Aug. 15 at the Coastal Leisure CHEER Activity Center located at 30637 Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.
According to CHEER Executive Director, Ken Bock, ” This is a fantastic opportunity to partner in a way that will allow CHEER to complement its current client health care offerings and improve access to health care for seniors throughout the county!”
To do this, LRHC will initially place medical providers at the CHEER Ocean View site and then eventually at the CHEER sites in Greenwood, Milton, and LongNeck. All four CHEER sites were selected because they are located in areas of high-unmet healthcare needs.
The official start of the CHEER/LRHC collaboration at the Ocean View site coincides with National Health Care Week, a time to recognize the contributions of community, migrant, homeless and public housing health centers in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost-effective health care to medically vulnerable and under-served people in the United States.
The need for improved access to health care services in SCD cannot be overstated as SCD is federally designated as a Medically Underserved Area, a low-income Health Professional Shortage Area, (HPSA), a Dental HPSA, and a Mental Health HPSA.
During an average month, 192 persons are born, 195 persons die and 327 persons move in to SCD from another area, Source: U.S Census Bureau (7/13 to 7/14).
The vast majority of the people moving in to SCD are senior citizens who are retiring and relocating to live here. Overall, in 2015, the SCD population was 212,900 and is expected to grow to 251,900 by 2035. Source: Delaware Population Consortium
Looking back, in 1990, 28% of the SCD population was 55 or older and by 2030, that number is expected to be 43%. The largest increase in our population will come from persons age 65+ as this age group is projected to grow from 51,000 in 2015 to 78,000 in 2035 (Source: Delaware Population Consortium).
In fact, the strongest growth since 2000 has been in the older populations: an increase of 45% in people 60-84 years old and 66% in people 85 or older. Several communities, such as Bridgeville and Milton experienced growth rates of over 100% in people 60 or older (Source: Delaware FOCUS.org).
Per Dr. Alarcon, LRHC’s Chief Medical Officer, “The services to be provided by LRHC will include, health education sessions, health screenings (vision, depression, diabetes, blood pressure), nutrition counseling – coordinated with CHEER’s nutrition program, acute illness treatment including but not limited to, episodic health care for fevers, asthmatic attacks, earaches, cold/fever, flu like symptoms as well as treatment for headaches and dizziness.”
In addition to the services listed above, for anyone that chooses LRHC as their Primary Care Provider, the following additional services will also be available: Physical examinations, as well as Vaccine Administration and/or Prescription for Tdap, Shingles, Flu, Pneumonia, MMR, Hep A, and Hep B.
As LRHC’s Chief Executive Officer, Brian S. Olson indicates, “Through the delivery these services at the various CHEER sites, we expect to enhance the quality of life for Sussex County seniors by increasing the percentage of patients 50 years and older that have received immunization for influenza, and by increasing the percentage of patients 65 years and older that have a documented assessment of fall risk and are evaluated for independence with activities of daily living.”
CHEER’s mission is to promote and maintain the highest quality of life and independence by developing and providing services that meet the continuing needs of senior citizens 50 and over.
As a Federally Qualified Health Center, LRHC provides bilingual, culturally appropriate, high-quality, cost-effective, primary and preventive medical care to residents of SCD with emphasis towards serving those with unmet health care needs who face significant barriers to quality medical care.
LRHC’s mission is to be a Center of Excellence, which provides quality patient centered care to the diverse members of our community including seniors and its medical services are available to all individuals regardless of gender, age, race, ethnic origin, religion, language, sexual orientation, or ability to pay.
Together, CHEER and LRHC will partner to ensure the effective delivery of on-site ambulatory health care services and health care education to CHEER members and guests as well as members of the general public allowed to use the CHEER facilities.
Initially, healthcare services at the Coastal Leisure CHEER Activity Center in Ocean View will be available on Thursdays from 10AM – 4PM. For more information call 302-855-1233 or visit www.laredhealthcenter.org.