New Danville health care program looking to connect people to care

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DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - For about four months, Danville Regional Medical Center has been working with numerous organizations in Danville to identify people who frequently seek care at the hospital when the hospital may not be the most appropriate place for them to get the care they need.

Alan Larson, the hospital's CEO, said a list has been created and it already has hundreds of names.

"These are the patients in our community that we know either through EMS or they regularly seek other services," Larson explained. "They're not getting a comprehensive care and many of the needs that they have kind of fall through the cracks."

Within the next few months, 11 volunteers will begin reaching out to the people on the list to try to help them figure out the best way to address their specific health care needs and ultimately help them get that care.

If successful, the program could potentially save the hospital millions of dollars.

"Danville Regional Medical Center provided over $44 million in uncompensated care in 2015. To the extent that we can use this process to help get the patients to the right level of care, that means there is more of that money that can go to take care of other services," said Larson.

The Danville Redevelopment Housing Authority is one organization the hospital is working with to develop the list.

"We have low-income housing and we know that a lot of our residents are not able to utilize medical facilities as much as a lot of people. So we saw this as a great chance for them to maybe get access to medical care besides going to the emergency room," said Gary Wasson, DRHA Executive Director.

The housing authority has also agreed to let the community volunteers setup in the various housing communities as needed.

All of this is being paid for by a grant from a donor who Larson says wishes to remain anonymous and wishes the amount to remain undisclosed.

Applications for volunteers are still being accepted. Contact the Institute for Advanced Research and Learning in Danville if you would like to apply.

You do not have to have any medical experience to apply. Volunteers will not be administering any care.

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