From Mitch Schwartz, MD, Chief Medical Officer; Scott Eden, MD, Medical Director, AAMC Community Clinics
For almost 20 years, the Annapolis Outreach Center has served as the community’s “free clinic.” We’re thankful for the many physicians and health professionals who have volunteered their time to the underserved in the community. We’ve learned from this experience both as medical providers and as a health system providing the funding and infrastructure. What started in 1994 with 250 visits grew to in excess of 5,000 medical and specialist visits in FY’12.
The need for care for the uninsured and underserved has also continued to grow. To help, AAMC opened a community clinic on Forest Drive in 2011. In FY’12, the visits numbered almost 7,000.
In FY’14, AAMC will open another community clinic location just blocks away from the Stanton Center at the Morris Blum Senior Apartments off Glenwood Street. Like the Forest Drive location, this new site will be fully wired with electronic medical records and provide primary care medical home (PCMH) services. Funded in part by a Health Enterprise Zone (HEZ) grant, the new Morris Blum clinic will also geographically serve the neighborhood in proximity to the Stanton Center (Clay Street).
With the Forest Drive and Morris Blum clinics open, we believe we’ll provide more coordinated care and develop long-term relationships.
What does this mean for the Stanton Center clinic? Several changes are on the horizon. The City of Annapolis has started making necessary repairs to the building. As well, we are working toward phasing out the program where specialists come to the Stanton Center to volunteer. Instead, we’re asking physicians to continue to volunteer by seeing patients within their private practice locations and/or provide phone consultation on a regular basis for clinic providers to ensure appropriate referrals. (This model has worked successfully for a number of specialties already.)
The Stanton Center clinic will continue to operate. The mix of services will include behavioral health, dental and primary care.
The goal is to get as many of the existing Medicaid/Medicare patients as possible to transfer their primary care to the Morris Blum or Forest Drive clinics. The Blum site will be staffed with a full-time physician, case manager and medical assistants.
We appreciate your ongoing feedback as we make these transitions. To volunteer or learn more about the changes, please contact Scott Eden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-703-9456.