|NEWS: Kaiser Grant Expands Health Care Access to Low-Income Patients|
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) is pleased to announce a $20,000 grant award from the Kaiser Permanente Foundation Hospitals to support expanding health care access to low-income patients in the Portland metro area.
OCOM, a 28-year-old higher education institution that awards masters and doctoral degrees in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, operates two Portland-area teaching clinics: one near Mall 205 in southeast Portland and one in the Hollywood neighborhood of northeast Portland. OCOM’s Traditional Chinese Medicine clinics provide more than 24,000 patient visits each year – for the past three years, 65-68 percent of those patients identify as living at or below the poverty level, and are either underinsured or lack health insurance coverage of any kind.
A lack of health coverage is not unique to OCOM patients. According to the Coalition of Community Health Clinics’ most recently published website data, one in every six Portland metropolitan residents – more than 250,000 people – lack health insurance.
“It’s no secret,” says Dr. Charles Elder, Physician Lead for Integrative Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and OCOM Board member, “that individual health can plummet when stress increases, especially when access to jobs, insurance and services is limited or non-existent. Traditional Chinese Medicine is increasingly recognized in the biomedical community as an effective health care option for chronic pain and other health conditions. OCOM has a long history of providing health benefits through acupuncture and Oriental medicine – this grant will support them expanding that important health care benefit to our most vulnerable community members.”
Thanks to Kaiser Permanente’s support, OCOM will provide expanded health care access to low-income community members through $15 acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatments for qualifying individuals. Enrollment in the program, Expanding Health Care Access to Low-Income Patients, begins November 1. Participating individuals will be eligible for five $15 visits between November 2011 and October 2012.
Additional information about the program and a downloadable application are available on our website: www.ocom.edu, or by calling OCOM’s Patient Services Team: Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic, 503-253-3443 x149; or OCOM Hollywood Clinic at 503-281-1917.
Founded in 1983, OCOM is a single-purpose professional graduate school that offers two specialized degree programs: Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAcOM) and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM). OCOM’s mission is to transform health care by educating highly skilled and compassionate practitioners, providing exemplary patient care, and engaging in innovative research within a community of service and healing. Our 1,100 graduates practice, teach and research Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in 37 states and across the globe, and have provided an estimated 10 million treatments over the past 28 years. In Fall 2012, OCOM will move its campus and clinic to a state-of-the-art academic, clinic and research facility in Old Town Chinatown.