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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. 

     

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    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


    Anesthesiology

    Cardiovascular Disease

    Colon & Rectal Surgery

    Dermatology

    Radiology

    Endocrinology

    Gastroenterology

    Gynecology

    Ophthalmology

    General Surgery

    Orthopedic Surgery

    Nephrology

    Otolaryngology

    Physical Med & Rehab

    Vascular Med & Surgery

    Urology

    Pulmonology

    Hand Surgery

    Allergy & Immunology

    Rheumatology


     

    Conditions That Cannot Be Addressed


    Chemotherapy & Cancer

    Dialysis

    Pregnancy

    Emergency Medicine

    Serious Psychiatric Issues

    Substance Abuse

    HIV/AIDS

     

     

     

     

    HOW TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER

     

    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. 

    VOLUNTEER WITH PATC!

     

     

    DONATIONS

    If you can’t participate, please donate!

     

    DONATE TO PROJECT ACCESS!

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

     

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    PARTNER LIST

    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 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.

     


     

    TCMS

    PATC e-newsletter Monday, March 16, 2015

    Donor Bridge

    Charity Motors

    Facebook

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     announcements

     

     

    EVENTS 2015

    PROJECT ACCESS NIGHT AT COWBOY CHICKEN!

    When: Thursday, March 26, 2015

    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!

                                                                     



    SUPPORT 2015

    IN THIS NEW YEAR, YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT

    PROJECT ACCESS TARRANT COUNTY IN ONE OF THEFOLLOWING WAYS:

    Link Your REMARKABLE/REWARD CARD to Support

    Project Access Tarrant County

    (Search 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.





    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

     

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    ImagePlaceHolderJames 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's over."    

     

    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 accessed.  

     

    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 general surgeon." 

     

    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. 

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    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 them.  

     

    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 here!

     

     

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    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: knarumiya@tcms.org


     

     
     

     

     

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