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  •  projectaccess
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    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. 





    Target Population

    1. Individuals residing in Tarrant County
    2. Uninsured (including Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, JPS Connection, or VA Benefits)
    3. Income at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Line (FPL)
    4. Working poor, or the alleviation of a health condition would allow them to work (i.e. vocational impediment)


    Project Access Provides the following services:

      Donated Medical Services (Project Access Tarrant County)

    • Establish medical homes/primary care physician (PCP) for each patient
    • Physician Specialists visits/access
    • Hospital access for operations and procedures
    • Ancillary services: anesthesia, laboratory, pathology, and radiology services


    Care Coordination (In Partnership with Catholic Charities)

    • Case management
    • Navigation services for accessing public benefits
    • Transportation
    • Translation
    • Financial education
    • Pharmacy benefits enrollment  



    Specialties Available for PATC Patients


    Cardiovascular Disease

    Colon & Rectal Surgery







    General Surgery

    Orthopedic Surgery



    Physical Med & Rehab

    Vascular Med & Surgery



    Hand Surgery

    Allergy & Immunology



    Conditions That Cannot Be Addressed

    Chemotherapy & Cancer



    Emergency Medicine

    Serious Psychiatric Issues

    Substance Abuse




    Remember Why You Became a Physician

    The American Medical Association principles of medical ethics states:


    "A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to an improved community."


    However, finding viable outlets that serve the community effectively can be difficult.  This is why the concept of PATC is so wonderful:

    •Project Access Tarrant County acknowledges, quantifies, and coordinates physician and health care provider charity care, and spreads that care as equitably as possible.

    •Project Access Tarrant County makes it easier for physicians who are already caring for the uninsured to better manage and coordinate care.

    Physicians 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. 

    Physician Quotes

    Paul Cho, MD, Neurological Surgery

    Dr. 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.”

    Michelle Marcincuk, MD, Otolaryngologist

    “Working 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

    “I 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.”

    D. Luke Shellenberger, MD, Otolaryngologist

    “I 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 massive.”

    Jim Norman, MD, General Surgeon

    “The 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.”

    If 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. 



    If you can’t participate, please donate!






    For further opportunities to give to Project Access Tarrant County, please visit the following pages:  


    ntxgd  amazonsmile charitymotors



    We would like to recognize the organizations responsible for funding PATC, partnering with PATC, and those physician groups whose practices have 100% physician participation.


    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.



    NEWS ALERT - Date: 05/16/2016

    Donor Bridge

    Charity Motors










    In 1992, a growing church in North Richland Hills wanted to help the homeless. Out of that desire to help the needs of the people, Cornerstone Assistance Network (CAN) was started as an independent 501(c)3. The mission continues to be "Working with others in Christian love to meet the needs of people." Over the past 24 years, CAN has continued to evolve and provide the unmet needs of Tarrant County by developing unique programs.


    In 2010, Alcon Pharmaceuticals approached CAN about an ever-increasing need for cataract care for the working poor. Alcon had been providing products to physicians around the world for free cataract care for many years; however, Alcon saw a need for cataract care here in its own backyard. So in 2010, the development of CAN Cataract Clinic began in partnership with Alcon Pharmaceuticals.  The Cataract Clinic is part of the already existing free clinic at Cornerstone that is staffed by volunteer physicians and nurses from Tarrant County. The majority of those physicians were referred by Project Access Tarrant County.


    With the assistance of Dr. Glenn Strauss, a mission-dedicated physician, Cornerstone began the redesign of clinic space to model local cataract centers. Thanks to generous donations from many sources, the infrastructure and construction of the new area was completed. The Cataract Clinic has state of the art equipment provided by Alcon, and several other organizations provide supplies and needed medications.


    In December of 2012, the first two patients received free cataract care at Cornerstone. Project Access Tarrant County used their resources to actively market the new clinic. In 2013, Dr. Ann Ranelle came on board as a Project Access ophthalmologist. From that point, the ophthalmology staff has grown to over fifteen physicians throughout the state and one from Oklahoma who still carries a Texas medical license.


    Networking and partnerships continue to be the driving force of the clinic. In May of 2011, the opening of the Community Eye Clinic allowed CAN Cataract Clinic to have comprehensive eye exams for their referrals. This partnership remains an integral part of the process to provide highly-skilled procedures for the patients.


    CAN Cataract Clinic receives referrals from around the state. The referrals are often the middle-aged worker who is about to lose his or her job because his or her vision is severely impaired by cataracts. John, a 30-year-old truck driver from Louisiana was first seen in Cornerstone's Emergency Services. John had been a volunteer firefighter in Louisiana, and his eyes were exposed to a chemical fire. John developed a very dense cataract that kept him from renewing his truck driver license. John ended up living on a church parking lot in a donated pop up trailer. He was provided free room and board for cleaning the church property. After John's cataract procedure and recovery, he passed his driver's test. He now is driving a truck and living independently. There are many stories of the lives affected by cataracts. Cornerstone continues with the aide of great partners like Project Access and Community Eye Clinic to perform about 75 procedures each year. 


    Join us at Live Oak June 2 at our second annual Come-and-Go Happy Hour from 5-7 PM to benefit Cornerstone Cataract Clinic , Community Eye Clinic Fort Worth , and Project Access Tarrant County. Come mix and mingle, enjoy sips and appetizers, and enter to win a Jaguar for a day!  Please contact Kathryn Narumiya, Project Manager of Project Access Tarrant County at if you are interested in attending.




    Arturo is 40 years old, has been married for fourteen years, and has two children, ages thirteen and seven. He has had issue with his ears since childhood, ranging from ear infections, throbbing sensation in his ears, dizzy spells, and frequent headaches.  He also suffered from allergies.  His family knew about his health issues and asked him to find care; however, he felt hopeless trying to afford the treatment he needed.


    Due to the recurrent infections, his ear drum was eventually damaged.  Arturo had visited the emergency room for his health issues but had not been to the surgery he needed. Open Arms Health Clinic referred Arturo to Project Access.  The patient was connected to Ricardo Cristobal, MD, who performed his surgery at Baylor All Saints Medical Center.  Dr. Cristobal was surprised that Arturo could still hear after all the damage to his ear drums since his surgery.  Arturo's dizzy spells, throbbing sensations, and frequent headaches have stopped. Even his allergies are gone. He cheerfully says "I sure don't miss them."  His family is now happy at his huge improvements.


    If he had not enrolled in PATC, Arturo knows he would still be having ear problems. He says, "No one does favors like this, especially not surgery.  It's too expensive." He states he is very thankful for Dr. Cristobal who repaired his ear drum and who has followed his care for the past year.  Arturo states, "Whole heartedly; I would like to thank everyone involved. I hope God blesses you and continues to help you all." 

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    PATC / Tarrant County Academy of Medicine | 555 Hemphill St. | Fort Worth, TX 76104 |
    Phone: (817) 632-7531 | Fax: (817) 632-7532 | Email: