People often associate the Greenville Health System (GHS) with innovative, technologically forward healthcare opportunities. As GHS continues to grow across South Carolina, it is easy to focus on the new buildings and high-tech equipment. However, while this growth and expansion is quite astounding, some of the system’s greatest accomplishments are being made on a different front.
GHS Accountable Communities initiative has become nationally recognized for their efforts to provide care to uninsured and underinsured people living the upstate. As a fellow with AccessHealth— a non-profit under the Accountable Communities umbrella– I have been able to see the impact this initiative is having on our community.
From home visits with social workers to walk-in appointments on the Mobile Health Clinic, GHS is providing healthcare not just for the community but in the community. I remember going out with a community paramedic during my first week with AccessHealth. As we got out of the car at each of our stops, we were continually greeted by smiling neighbors who all knew the paramedic by name and thanked her for coming out to their area.
While these encounters may seem small, they highlight the gratitude not only patients but also the surrounding community has for this new access to care. AccessHealth is providing these patients with affordable and sustainable healthcare. They link patients to more permanent medical homes and provide them with free transportation to medical visits and assistance with their medication.
In an ever-changing economic and healthcare environment, people face many difficulties and challenges at home. While there are many reasons for these challenges, it is remarkable to see Greenville Health System’s ability to address the needs of our community through a network where healthcare is placed back in the patient’s hands.
As a native of Greenville, I am happy to know that the staff at AccessHealth is changing the lives of members of our community one patient at a time. AccessHealth is showing the nation the benefits of providing personal and culturally relevant care to patients with a wide array of backgrounds and expectations.