DuPage Health Coalition Programs Address Health Disparities

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The DuPage Health Coalition (DHC) believes that communities thrive when ALL residents are healthy enough to work and care for their families, DHC’s programs address health disparities, keeping people healthy regardless of their income. Since 2001, DHC’s Access DuPage program has cared for 65,000+ uninsured individuals through an expansive volunteer network. Thousands of physicians and every County hospital participates, with every dollar in direct cost matched by more than ten dollars in donated services. Members pay low copayments for services including primary care, specialty care, hospital services and medications. Enrollees are DuPage residents with an income below 2X the Federal Poverty Level, ineligible for any other program.

Despite the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, many remain underinsured. To respond, DHC offers Silver Access ACA Premium Assistance. With premium assistance, members gain access to a high-quality, lower cost plan. DuPage Dispensary of Hope, a free pharmacy, is the only resource of its kind in DuPage. Most uninsured pay the full cost of medications, often going without or taking it differently than prescribed to reduce costs. This leads to unnecessary hospital admissions, illness, and even deaths. DDOH addresses this problem by offering low-income, uninsured individuals 350+ medications.

COVID-19 highlights what we have always known. Affordable access to healthcare is essential. As families and health providers struggle under the dual burden of economic catastrophe and epidemic illness, DHC continues to seek ways to ensure that EVERYONE has access to the resources they need to stay healthy.

DHC is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of leaders from all major health service providers in DuPage, social service agencies, as well as the community at large. Heavily dependent on outside funding, DHC has a diversified network of partners, many committing substantial funds annually. Careful stewards of their resources, as reflected by a 3rd consecutive platinum Guide Star rating, 95% of revenue goes directly to patient care. Driven by a shared belief that income should not be a barrier to good health, DHC’s collaborations ensure that in DuPage, it is not. If you are troubled by health disparities and/or would like to support DHC’s work, visit their website.

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Annette Kenney, Chief Strategy Officer, NorthShore Edward-Elmhurst Health

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