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  • A 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. 





    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 







    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.





    PATC e-newsletter Monday, November 17, 2014

    Donor Bridge

    Charity Motors





    Link Your REMARKABLE/REWARD CARD to Support Project Access Tarrant County

    (Search for PATC under Tarrant County Academy of Medicine)

    We are excited to announce that we have joined Randall's/Tom Thumb Good Neighbor Program!  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 and turn it into the courtesy booth at any Randall's or Tom Thumb store.


    Donate through PayPal on the PATC website

    Use AmazonSmile when shopping on Amazon (Search under Tarrant County Academy of Medicine)

    Write a review of Project Access on Great NonProfits website


    Updated Website

    For more information on the great things that Project Access is doing and to learn how to become involved, please visit our NEW and IMPROVED website here 





    Mohamad Saad, DO, General Surgeon

    "I look at success as having the privilege to help someone who has no relationship to you and the relationship is not monetarily motivated.  I always look for opportunities to do something for the community.  So to me, Project Access was the perfect opportunity."

    Dr. Saad tells me about being born and raised in Lebanon.  Growing up, his family did not have much money.  His father worked hard, trying his hand at several business ventures along the way.  His mother was a homemaker and spent her time raising Dr. Saad and his eleven brothers and sisters.  "You never feel alone," he says of growing up with that many siblings.  "If you ever need anything, they are there to help.  It really feels secure."

    As a child in Lebanon, Dr. Saad experienced an accident that landed him in the hospital for several months.  When they realized they could not care for him properly, Dr. Saad was sent to Dallas where some of his brothers were already living to receive treatment.  His stint in the hospital would have a profound influence on his life as a doctor.

    After high school in Lebanon, Dr. Saad came back to Texas for good to attend the University of Texas at Houston and earn his degree in Chemistry.  He attended medical school in Fort Worth and, after completing his fellowship down in Houston, Dr. Saad decided to make Fort Worth his home.

    Dr. Saad chuckles when asked what his favorite thing is about being a general surgeon: "If you had asked me this question ten years ago, it would be a different answer.  It has changed.  It is so demanding now."  One thing has not changed though; gratification of helping a patient.  He explains, "What I really like about general surgery is the immediate result when helping patients.  The gratification is really, really immense.  When you see a patient, whether it is for cancer or general surgery issues, you can see the results within days.  The patient sees it, the family can see it."  I asked him if this is the reason he chose medicine in the first place.  He responded by explaining that the initial reason was greatly influenced by examples of the doctors who cared for him as a child, who lived out their lives through volunteerism.  One doctor in particular named Dr. Llano was a physican with Doctors Without Borders.

    Dr. Saad has been with PATC from the beginning in 2011.  He has seen and treated around 16 patients, many who have hernias which are a very common ailment for many of our patients.  Some have lived with their hernia for years.  "Patients are very afraid to go to the hospital when they do not have the means," says Dr. Saad.  "Project Access makes it easier for them to say, 'I have a problem and it needs to be fixed.'  Project Access takes away the fear."  Such was the case for Dr. Saad's favorite patient who neglected his hernia for so long that it grew to be life-hindering.  The patient was so grateful to Dr. Saad that he hand made a sculpture to give as a thank you.  "He never stops thanking me,' says Dr. Saad.  "Every time he visits his home country, he brings me something.  We started a relationship that became a friendship."

    "No one can do everything but everyone can do something.  The needs for any community can be fulfilled if eveyone helps.  I hope more general surgeons will be on board with Project Access." 



    I am visiting Catholic Charities for the day to sit in on an intake with Claudia Munoz, one of Project Access's caseworkers, and Ruth, a 61 year old woman who is a newly established PATC patient.  We convene in a small room to discuss the details of her qualifications.  Ruth has learned a little English in her 13 years of living in Fort Worth but is more comfortable with speaking in her native tongue, so Claudia translates for me.  

    I asked Ruth a little about her background and she tells me that she is originally from Guadalajara but was raised and lived in Mexico City until she moved to Fort Worth.  She has not visited since moving here, largely in part because she does not have time for much else besides taking care of her 90 year old mother and working.  When she started having pains that made her nauseous and put her out of commission for four days, she knew she had to go see her primary care physician.  She was already seeing him for her thyroid issues.  He ordered a CT scan and found that Ruth had "Porcelain Gallbladder" as well as an unusual mass.  Dr. Cartwright told Ruth that she should have the mass checked out because it could be cancerous.  She had just learned about Project Access from her church, Immaculate Heart of Mary and asked Dr. Cartwright to refer her to Project Acces.  

    Ruth is so sweet and kind as we go through her intake.  She has a beautiful smile and smiles often.  In her broken English, she says the reason for her smile is, "I had no other option before I heard about Project Access.  I have security in knowing that there are people who are trying to help me."

    Currently, Kathryn Narumiya, the Program Manager of Project Access, is working on connecting Ruth to a general surgeon to see about her gallbladder.  "This is an unusual case for PATC," says Kathryn of Ruth's situation.  "Fortunately, PATC is full of volunteer physicians who do not hesitate to take on the unknown, even if it is an uncompensated case.  Though PATC does not provide cancer care, we are glad that we are able to assist with this part of the patient's care and, if further oncology treatment becomes necessary, we are fortunate to have knowledge of many resources availabe for her."

    As the intake comes to an end, Ruth leaves us with a bit of inspiration and acceptance of her situation when she says, "Thanks be to God that I found out about Project Access.  I hope it isn't cancer but I will go from here if that is where God wants me.  Otherwise, He will provide the answer to let me stay."

    See PATC patients' stories on our YouTube Channel here 

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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:





    Please help support Project Access Tarrant County this Christmas and Holiday Season while you shop!

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