Community Benefits are services, such as charity care, community outreach, health counseling, and transport, that are beyond the regular services provided for payment. They entail an approach to meeting identified community health needs and priorities in collaboration with the community to benefit its residents particularly the poor and minorities, and other underserved groups by improving health status and quality of life.
At the ETSU Department of Family Medicine, these community service initiatives target physical, mental, emotional or spiritual
health, as well as community well being, involving funding and / or in kind contributions,
including personnel, time, space, and other resources. The wide scope of Community
Benefit services provided by the ETSU Department of Family Medicine include:
These services include such activities as free clinics, patient education, screenings, immunizations, health promotions, support groups, and free outreach programs.
- Providing free medical care at our clinics for uninsured patients, such as to uninsured OB patients, and assisting them in requesting discounted services form other providers, such as laboratories; procedures that may include vasectomy, mole removal, toenail removal or any procedure that can be done in the office setting.
- Providing monthly medical home visits to patients who are either homebound, or have transportation problems and inadequate community supports.
- Faculty physicians regularly see patients at Healing Hands, a free clinic for uninsured patients in Bristol, and perform chart reviews for assisted living facilities.
- Full participation in a wide variety of Health Fairs, including those sponsored by ETSU Family Medicine, and other entities, such as the Sullivan County Health Department; the Bristol Health Initiative Project; Carver Recreation Center in Johnson City. These include six three-day rural health fairs each year.
- Performed medical evaluations for Hurricane Katrina evacuees at the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.
- Providing voluntary pre-participation sports physicals, including those for King University in Bristol and in Johnson City with Watauga Orthopedics; physicals for the Boy Scouts and Salvation Army; and serving as the Medical Director for the River Ways Camp, a camp for special needs children.
- Our Social Workers provide free counseling, support, and education to patients, including providing drug assistance at our clinics.
- The Family Medicine Interest Group, in cooperation with the Department of Family and Community Nursing has a long history of reaching underserved migrant farm workers in Northeast Tennessee with the mobile Migrant Camp Clinics. Quillen College of Medicine students participate in screening blood pressure, blood glucose, BMI, etc., delivery of primary care and outreach programs such as ESL instruction and health prevention education. Family Medicine faculty are actively involved in supporting the camp clinics and extending student opportunities.
Collaborating with other community entities and organizations in quality of life or healthy communities initiatives that create the conditions in which people can be healthy, such as:
- Serving as medical advisors / consultants for Adult Protective Services / Frontier Health; for both The TRAUMA and CART investigative teams for the Childrens Advocacy Center for Bristol / Washington County, Virginia, and the Childrens Advocacy Center of Sullivan County, serving Bristol and Kingsport; and for the Washington County Virginia Schools Student Health. Bristol Program Director Dr. Burton Banks was appointed by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to serve on the Virginia Forensic Medical Work Group.
- Participation on the Infant Mortality Committee of the Sullivan County Health Department; serving as Chair of the Bristol Regional Medical Centers Physician Wellness Committee and as a member of its Bylaws Committee; Participation in the Bristol Health Initiative Project; member of the Pregnancy Crisis Advisory Board; Members of the Advisory Board for the Comprehensive Health Investment Project (CHIP), organized by People, Inc.
Supporting, providing, and advocating for health education, health promotion, and disease prevention. Examples include:
- Conducting health presentations for such venues as at the Bristol Slater Senior Center; and the Bristol Wellness Center.
- Manning booths at the Women and Childrens Expo at Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center, as well as the Baby Fair at the Bristol YWCA.
- Guest appearances by various department faculty on regional television news shows; and Dr. Burton Banks of ETSU Family Physicians of Bristol co-hosted a weekly, one-hour medical talk show, Doctor in the House, on the BVU cable network (From July to October 2006).
- Our social workers provide patient education on such topics as domestic violence and mental illness.
- Pre-Med Education Programs directed by the Department of Family Medicine have included diabetes education and research, and have involved health education at the grade school, middle school, and high school levels.
- Our Rural High School Medical Camp, now in its sixth year, is an effort to increase the number of primary care physicians who choose to practice in rural areas, by encouraging students to consider a career path that previously may have appeared out of reach and gives them a set of experiences to guide them for preparation for entering medical school.
Providing Direct Assistance to Community Services and Facilitating Enrollment in Health Care Coverage for Vulnerable Populations
- Our social workers help patients with other community resources, educating them on what is available to them, and assisting them in accessing these resources, such as filing for disability.
- Residents work within the health department, do home visits with Hospice nurses, and have participated with the Meals on Wheels program.