On March 6, 2014, members of Fourth Street Clinic's Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) handed Governor Herbert a letter of support for his plan to expand health insurance coverage to them. 78% of Fourth Street Clinic patients remain uninsured and ineligible for the state's Medicaid program. Governor Herbert was at Fourth Street Clinic for a tour and to hear patient stories about their stuggles with accessing health insurance. CAB is a group of current Fourth Street Clinic patients who are in various stages of transitioning out of homelessness. The group advises Fourth Street Clinic's Senior Management Team and Board of Directors.
Most Utahns who live in poverty and have lost their homes do not qualify for Utah’s Medicaid insurance program. This is because to qualify, one must be both poor and have dependents or be disabled. Our board of directors recently delivered a letter to Governor Herbert endorsing a full Medicaid expansion. Read the full letter here.
A visit—any day—to the Fourth Street Clinic’s waiting room quickly reveals that for those living in poverty, dental care is both a top priority and virtually nonexistent. Dani’s mom lost her teeth by the time she was 40 years old, so Dani just expects it to happen to her. Behind her sits Sam who is leaning against the wall with ice to his face as he waits for a follow up medical appointment for a recent tooth extraction. In front of Sam is Sidney who hasn’t had teeth in five years and looks forward to the day that he can eat solid food and smile again. When asked who else in the waiting room has trouble with their teeth, 80 percent raise their hands*.
Utah Business Magazine has just featured Dr. Robert Rolfs as one of the few Health Care Heroes. Dr. Robert Rolfs is a longtime volunteer physician here in Fourth Street Clinic, who also is the Deputy Director at the Utah Department of Health.
You can find the entry of the magazine here.
At Fourth Street Clinic colder days and longer nights signal the need to vaccinate homeless Utahns against flu, pneumonia and pertussis (whopping cough). "Several government, health care agencies and pharmacies donate vaccines," says Fourth Street Clinic Medical Director Christina Gallop, MD, "but donated supplies are limited and often don't come in until late into the winter season. The best (and cheapest) defense is to inoculate at the beginning of winter.