“The biggest thing I hope that the community learns from the radiothon and the open house is that we are here to serve our community,” BHA Executive Director Roberta Green said. “That’s the whole thing about what Bartow Health Access is all about. We are here to serve the people who live in our community. Everybody knows someone who does not have insurance. Everybody knows someone who has insurance that may be a really high deductible so they’re considered underinsured. So I want people to have the opportunity to spread the word about what BHA does and that we’re here. I want them to see that it is a beautiful, inviting place where they will receive high quality health care.
“It’s really important because we see now more than ever that we have a very fractured health-care system. ... What’s happened is we’ve gotten away from primary care. We’ve gotten away from having a relationship with a physician who helps direct your care, who’s known you for a long time, who knows your family, who’s able to say ‘you do need to see a cardiologist’ or ‘you need to see a nephrologist’ or whatever. So it’s important to have moved from the referral system to moving to where we actually provide the care so that as we work with our community partners, other physicians, specialists and things like that in the community, they realize that this is being directed in relationship with the patient and a doctor.”
Located at 31 Pointe North Drive in Cartersville, BHA’s Louis B. Tonsmeire Clinic features a full-time family practice physician and two staff members from Highland Rivers, who will be providing behavioral health care for individuals and families. Serving the uninsured and underinsured, BHA is seeing patients by appointment from Monday through Thursday. The completion of the building’s unfinished portion in June is enabling the facility to offer 10 additional exam rooms, a medical dispensary, a nursing station, laboratory, a community health education space and behavioral health rooms.
Since 2008, the nonprofit has assisted more than 10,000 uninsured residents with health care referrals. Since the need for the nonprofit’s services are so widespread, patients now are not required to reside in Bartow to receive assistance.
Broadcasting at BHA from 7 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, WBHF listeners can place contributions, which will be matched, by calling 770-386-1450.
“We like to stay involved [in] the community [so] we have several annual radiothons — the one we’re doing for Bartow Health [Access] and then we do one for Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter in November. And we’ve done several others,” WBHF Program Director Lee Burger said. “... We do everything we can to help the nonprofits in this community and this is one way that we can do it.”
Through the public’s support, Burger said about $21,000 was raised for BHA at last year’s WBHF radiothon.
“The general operating budget is made up 75 percent through the generosity of donors,” Green said. “So that’s how we are able to provide affordable health care to those who are uninsured or underinsured. It’s because of donors. So patients pay a portion of their bill but then the other 75 percent is made up through donors.
“And that’s really important for our donors to understand and to know is that patients participate in their health care. So they’re partners in health care and donors like that. They like to be in partnership. So that’s one of the important things about what BHA does.”
Along with the radiothon, other features of the benefit include tours of the BHA facility and the Cartersville Medical Center is going to conduct free blood pressure screening and glucose level testing.
For more information, call the BHA at 678-535-7216 or visit its website, www.bartowhealthaccess.org.