(Chicago, IL) – In November, healthcare teams from Heartland Health Outreach visited the Vital Bridges Center on Chronic Health north, south and west side program sites to provide health services to grocery and nutrition program participants.
Nurse practitioners, medical case managers, physician assistants, and a dentist gave flu shots, checked blood pressure, completed medical history and carried out brief dental exams.
“The first step in the integration of healthcare services into our programming was a success,” said Vital Bridges Chief Healthcare Strategist Deborah Hinde. “Grocery participants were thrilled to be able to get care at the same time that they picked up their weekly groceries.”
During the visits, the team gave flu shots to 28 clients, provided dental consultations, scheduled 36 for dental appointments, and linked five to primary care at Heartland Health Outreach.
“They were most excited about seeing the dentist and gaining access, as ‘preferred customers’ to Heartland Health Outreach’s dental services,” said Hinde.
Hinde says this first step in integration clearly reflects the biggest reason for the merger between Vital Bridges and Heartland Alliance.
“It is now easier for participants to access health care, health education and other health related services,” said Hinde. “Integrating these services with our programs helps our participants improve their health and sustain it.”