LITTLE INFORMATION ON PROJECT ACCESS
PATC is a breakthrough initiative
approved by the Tarrant County Medical Society (TCMS) Board of Directors to
provide healthcare access to the uninsured and working poor in Tarrant
County. TCMS has led the charge in the
life of PATC, and since September 2011, PATC volunteers have provided Tarrant
County’s in need with over $4.2 million in donated healthcare access.
Approximately 350 patients have been
approved for the program and have had surgical and/or other specialty
procedures completed by utilizing the charitable gifts of a network of existing
voluntary providers and collaborative partnerships. PATC’s mission is to expand health care
access and improve health outcomes for low-income, uninsured residents of
Tarrant County, utilizing the charitable gifts of a network of existing
voluntary providers and collaborative partnerships.
Project Access Provides the following services:
Donated Medical Services (Project Access
Coordination (In Partnership with Catholic Charities)
Available for PATC Patients
& Rectal Surgery
Med & Rehab
Med & Surgery
That Cannot Be Addressed
HOW TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER
Remember Why You
Became a Physician
Medical Association principles of medical ethics states:
physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities
contributing to an improved community."
finding viable outlets that serve the community effectively can be
difficult. This is why the concept of
PATC is so wonderful:
Access Tarrant County acknowledges, quantifies, and coordinates physician and
health care provider charity care, and spreads that care as equitably as
Access Tarrant County makes it easier for physicians who are already caring for
the uninsured to better manage and coordinate care.
can volunteer to see patients in their own practice or can be connected to an
area charitable clinic. Each physician
is in control of the number of patients s/he will see in a given year as
well. All commitments are appreciated;
no number is too small.
Paul Cho, MD,
Cho feels that “we are only as strong as the people and community that surround
us…Project Access is an exemplary means for the physicians of Tarrant County to
serve our fellow citizens and to contribute to the health and welfare of all
who surround us.”
Marcincuk, MD, Otolaryngologist
with Project Access has been very rewarding.
Over the years, providing charity care to those who need it has always
been something that makes me feel good about my work. However, as a surgeon, no
matter how much you want to care for uninsured patients, without the
cooperation of hospitals, labs, radiology facilities, and other doctors, it has
traditionally been a huge challenge to provide surgical care for these
patients. Now with Project Access, we have a network of willing individuals and
facilities that makes this process easy and seamless. In my experience alone, I
have been able to provide comprehensive care that substantially improves
patients' quality of life, and, in a few cases, has provided life-saving care
for uninsured patients. Multiply that by all the doctors and facilities in this
network, and this program has made a monumental contribution to this community.
I am proud to be a part of this effort.”
R. Todd Richwine,
DO, Family Medicine & Hospitalist
volunteered to become part of PATC to help patients who otherwise would not
have resources available for their health care.
With PATC’s coordination, my first patient referral to PATC is back
caring for her family, working toward her degree and a healthy member of
Tarrant County. PATC allowed me to be
part of a team of primary care, specialists, hospitals, labs and other health
care providers without any of the administrative burden to myself or my staff
that would come with trying to do this on our own. I have provided charity care, but was limited
on what I could do without the resources PATC has arranged.”
Shellenberger, MD, Otolaryngologist
thoroughly enjoyed being able to help provide necessary care for a PATC
patient. The patient was extremely
pleasant and she was excited and grateful to PATC. Working with PATC was seamless, and I will be
happy to continue to provide my services to those who need it in Tarrant
County. I know that I cannot make a
massive change locally or internationally, but to the person that I help, it is
Jim Norman, MD,
process was easy especially since PATC had already arranged for the hospital
and anesthesia services to be donated to the patient. Scheduling the hernia case was like
scheduling a patient with insurance. I
did not have to coordinate with the hospital and anesthesia to donate their
services as PATC had already made those arrangements.”
you wish to volunteer with Project Access, please click on the link below. The volunteer sign up form can be filled out
online and will be sent directly to Project Access.
VOLUNTEER WITH PATC!
you can’t participate, please donate!
would like to recognize the organizations responsible for funding PATC,
partnering with PATC, and those physician groups whose practices have 100%
OUR PHYSICIAN VOLUNTEERS
Our volunteer physicians and their office staff are the reason that Project Access is able to help the patients who have nowhere else to turn. We recognize them to show how grateful and appreciative we all are of their generosity.
PATC e-newsletter Monday, March 16, 2015
PROJECT ACCESS NIGHT AT COWBOY CHICKEN!
When: Thursday, March 26,
Time: 5:00PM - 9:00PM
Where: 4972 Overton Ridge
Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76132 or THEY
WILL DELIVER TO YOU! Call 817-346-7822 for delivery and make sure to
mention you are with PATC!
Why: When you eat at Cowboy
Chicken on March 26th, a percentage of total sales for that night will be donated
to PATC! Make sure to
mention that you are with PATC!
Motivation: The higher the sales,
the larger the percentage donated to PATC! Not to mention that Cowboy
Chicken has been making deliciously healthy rotisserie chicken and sides made
from scratch daily, since 1981!
IN THIS NEW YEAR, YOU CAN HELP
PROJECT ACCESS TARRANT COUNTY IN ONE OF
Your REMARKABLE/REWARD CARD to Support
Access Tarrant County
for PATC under Tarrant County Academy of Medicine)
If you shop at Tom Thumb and have a rewards
card, you can link that Rewards card to our number and Project Access Tarrant
County will receive 1% of your total purchases every quarter. You don't
have to do anything differently, just shop!
If you are interested in linking your
Remarkable/Reward Card to PATC's Good Neighbor Account Number (13306), let us
know and we will fill out the required forms for you. If you wish to do
it yourself, fill out a Charity Addition/Deletion form found at www.randalls.com
and turn it into the courtesy booth at any Randall's or Tom Thumb store.
James S. Cox, MD:
PATC Medical Director
James S. Cox, MD, FAAFP, FACEP wears many
hats throughout the week. He was an emergency department physician
for over 30 years at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort
Worth. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the
Tarrant County Medical Society; on the Board of Directors of the Tarrant
County Medical Society; a Delegate to the TMA; Executive Vice President of
Governmental Affairs at Emergency Medicine Consultants, Ltd.; and for the
past four years, has been volunteering his time as the Medical Director for
Project Access Tarrant County.
Dr. Cox is from a little town in Northern
Louisiana called Homer. He is a self-proclaimed Texan and has been
for the past 40 years, but you can still hear the charming Louisiana drawl,
when he speaks. From a young age, he was very interested in science
and at the ripe age of 15 decided that he was going to be a doctor.
In fact, several neighborhood kids that he grew up with, also became
doctors. He says that growing up next door to a physician, Thomas
Deas Sr., MD, a family practitioner in Homer, had a great influence on him
and the other kids.
He began his freshman year at Louisiana
State University, majoring in premed (Zoology). Coming from a town of
4,500 to being surrounded by 25,000 students was a big change. They
told the freshman premed students that most of them would not make it
through the program and into medical school. Dr. Cox had entered the
program with an open-mind, curious to see if anything else would sway his
decision to become a physician. Nothing else did, and he rose to the
challenge by staying the course and being accepted into the Tulane
University School of Medicine after three years. After medical school, he
decided that he wanted a change from life in Louisiana by doing a residency
out of the state. That's how he became a Texan. He bought his
first pair of cowboy boots as soon as he got here.
Like many other doctors that I have
interviewed for PATC, Dr. Cox began his career on one path, Family Medicine
in this case, and quickly realized that Emergency Medicine was a better
fit. As a fixer, his personality fit better with the flow of the
Emergency Department, and he says, "That's the only place you can be
at that time. You are there for a scheduled time, with nothing else
to do, 100% on point with what is going on. And I like that. Anything
can come in the door, from an ingrown toenail to a spear in the
chest. I don't know what's coming, but I know that I am responsible
for taking care of things in the ED only. And when my time is done,
It was here where the seed was planted for
the need of a program like Project Access. Patients would come in to
the ED with a need that could be diagnosed in the emergency department, but
not fixed there, such as a hernia or sick gall bladder. Dr. Cox would
diagnose the problem and have no way of knowing if the patient had been
able to obtain specialty care.
In 2010, Dr. Cox became the President of
the Tarrant County Medical Society and Brian Swift replaced Robin Sloane,
who retired, as CEO and Executive Vice President of TCMS. Together,
they began to brainstorm the idea of providing charity care for the working
poor who were slipping through the cracks of healthcare in Tarrant
County. They received invaluable help, support, and information from
the Dallas County Project Access, particularly Michael Darrouzet and Dr.
Jim Walton. Mr. Swift says of Dr. Cox, "Project Access Tarrant
County would simply not exist without the determination and dedication of
Dr. Jim Cox. His commitment to the program cannot be overstated, and he
works hard every day to make sure it will continue into the future."
A year before, TCMS was awarded a grant
that allowed them to hire a Charitable Clinic Community Coordinator who
would reach out to the clinics in Tarrant County, to begin working on
coordination of charitable care. It became quite apparent "that
the clinics were desperate for specialty care." Once all of the
pieces were in place, including approval of the program by the TCMS Board
of Directors, Dr. Cox and Mr. Swift were ready to start! They visited
hospitals and doctors to discuss volunteering with PATC and visited
different foundations, seeking funding. Katie Dyslin, former
Community Coordinator, recognized Catholic Charities as a big player in the
community and with this information, they decided to build a business model
and partner with Catholic Charities for services like translation, Case
Management, and transportation that could otherwise not be
The first patients treated through PATC
were a husband, needing hernia surgery, and his wife, who needed a
tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in September of 2011. Whereas, Dr.
Cox and Brian believed that they would be opening a clinic and providing
primary care, Dr. Cox says, "We went with the flow. We realized
from day one that we did not need another clinic, we did not need more
bricks and mortar. What was needed in Tarrant County was specialty
care. We were inundated with patients diagnosed by the Charitable
Clinics with a backlog of issues, cataracts, gallbladders, hernias,
etc. Clinics could diagnose them and get them to a certain point, but
they couldn't go any further with them. Now Project Access was there
to fix the problem." I asked him about the clinics' partnership
with PATC, and he responded by saying, "We could not exist without the
clinics; our relationship is interdependent. The clinics are
key. We have 12 charitable clinics or so in Tarrant County, and they
do a superb job of taking care of their patients. When the patients
are identified who are in need of specialty care, they can then be sent to
Project Access. This is where we found our niche. We are happy
to do that."
"Project Access is unique in that
every patient has a verified diagnosis and is then matched with the appropriate
specialty doctor, if one is available. We don't have an
ophthalmologist seeing a hernia patient, or a general surgeon seeing a
cataract. The cataracts go to the ophthalmologist, the hernia to the
Kathryn Narumiya, Program Manager of PATC,
works very closely with Dr. Cox, discussing patient cases and which course
to take in the care of the patients. She says, "I can't imagine
where Project Access would be without Dr. Cox's commitment and
expertise. He spends hours every day reviewing medical records and
referrals, ensuring that we connect patients appropriately and utilize our
volunteer physician's time wisely. Dr. Cox is the "man behind
the curtain"; the doctor that patients don't even know to thank."
For the future of Project Access, Dr. Cox
would love to see more participation from the physician community in
Tarrant County and wider scope of access to hospitals. "Given
the current supply of hospitals and doctors, we are not able to fill all of
the identified patient needs." For now, we are so grateful to
have his time and analytical mind to help guide us every day as we all work
together to help those in need.
Pictured above: Dr. Cox accepting TMA
grant on behalf of PATC from G. Sealy Massingill, MD.
We met Jimmy last summer when we
interviewed patients to get their stories for our YouTube channel. He
was a humble man, immensley grateful for what PATC was able to do for him
and his family.
Jimmy is a 52 year old man with a wife and
children. He lives in Crowley and because he lacks health insurance,
he began utilizing the free clinic that services the area, Crowley House of
Hope, for vision loss in his right eye. He lamented that because of
his increasing vision loss, he was unable to drive for work and as unable
to participate in activities with his family, especially in the evening and
night time hours of the day.
Crowley House of Hope, a member of the
National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, has been open for 21
years this April. They provide assistance to Crowley citizens who do
not have medical insurance and who are on a limited income. In 2006,
they opened up an additional building for expansion. This is now
where the clinic operates from. The clinic provides adult medicine,
pediatric care, women's health, and lifestyle medicines.
Once they saw how severe Jimmy's vision
loss was, they sent him to one of our other community partners, the
Community Eye Clinic. There, they found that he had severe eye
disease: in the right was proliferative diabetic retinopathy, vitreous
hemorrhage, macular edema, and a cataract. In the left,
non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and macular edema, a severely
devastaging diagnosises, especially for a person who cannot afford to fix
When he was referred to Project Access, the
CEC strongly encouraged that he be seen by a retina specialist within two
weeks. An important aspect of the PATC process is patient
responsibility. This is required in order for their care to be
carried out and completed. It is required that they are present for each
of their appointments and stay in communication with the caseworker and the
doctor's office. Jimmy was well-aware that he had no margin available
to miss any of his appointments. Jawad Qureshi, MD, our volunteer
retina specialist, was able to laser Jimmy's right and left eye to stop the
bleeding and impending blindness. When we met Jimmy in June of last
year, he reported to us that he had 20/25 in both eyes! He told us,
"I can read and see at night time. I can drive and work has
improved. I want to thank God for this project. I hope that it
is able to go on and help others without insurance. I want to thank
you for helping me, Project Access Tarrant County."
See PATC patients' stories on our
YouTube Channel by clicking
PATC / Tarrant County
Academy of Medicine | 555 Hemphill St. | Fort Worth, TX 76104 | www.tcms.org
Phone: (817) 632-7531 | Fax: (817) 632-7532 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please help support Project Access Tarrant County while you shop!