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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 



    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.





    PATC e-newsletter Friday, May 15, 2015

    Donor Bridge

    Charity Motors








    We had a very successful evening at the Kendra Scott store on University, raising nearly $1,000 from the proceeds of shoppers.  We are so grateful to those who came out to support us.  Look for the next KSGB Shopping Party to happen around Christmas time! 


    At the TCMS Golf Tournament, PATC held a silent auction where Gregory Phillips, MD, was the lucky bidder and winner of "Bluebonnet & Paintbrushes."  The photograph was taken and generously donated by Fort Worth native and local photographer, Judy Cox. Karen Reynolds was the winner of two silent auction packages: the "Dad & Baby" package included a BMW Baby Racer II graciously donated by the Autobahn Motocar dealership and the "Sundance Package" that included gift certificates donated by Del Frisco's Grill, M.L. Leddy's, Brazos Carriage, and Four Day Weekend. Thank you to everyone who came out to support Project Access!


    Pictured Above: Rachel Kidd; Shannon Ingebritson, PATC Physician Recruiter; and Kathryn Narumiya, PATC Program Manager Pictured bottom left. Pictured Below, clockwise: Gregory Philips, MD; Kathryn Narumiya and Shannon Ingebritson; PATC Physician Volunteers Eduardo Castillo, MD; Travis Crudup, MD; Lori Gordon, MD; and Britton West, MD; Ingrid Smith, Karen Reynolds, Shannon Ingebritson, Melody Briggs, and Kathryn Narumiya; Karen Reynolds.





    For more information on this event, please email Kathryn Narumiya at

    SUPPORT 2015




    Last year, May of 2014, the community was invited to attend the ceremonial ribbon cutting for the UNT Pediatric Mobile Unit.  It was held at Morningside Elementary, one of the four areas in which the unit travels to throughout each month.  Despite the rich health care resources that Fort Worth and Tarrant County have available to both insured and uninsured people, Fort Worth was the only city of its size in the United States to not have a pediatric mobile unit. Now that has changed and lives are changing for the better.  


    Every month, the mobile unit's calendar is posted on the UNT Health Science Center's website telling where the team will be on each day of the week.  They rotate between Morningside, Northside, Stop Six, and Como for the time being.  These areas have been identified as the highest risk populations for children lacking in health care.  They park the 40 foot mobile unit in a school parking lot each morning, set up for the day, and wait.  Some days are slower with a family that will trickle in here and there.  The day I have come is a slow day; however, there is always something to do.  Mindy Ford, the pediatric mobile nurse on the unit, shows me around the trailer that includes two exam rooms, a small pharmacy, and a lab area.  She explains what everyone's roles are and talks about the patients they get to see every day.  "There is no easy sore throat," she says, meaning that each child who is brought either by family or sent by the school nurse is given a comprehensive exam; therefore, exam times are longer than usual.  Additionally, these children have most likely not seen a doctor in a long time to never.  In a day, they will see cases as mild as a child needing orthodontics to human trafficking situations.  No two days are the same.  


    Most often, the unit provides school-aged children with well-child exams (which they ask that parents make appointments for), sick visits, immunizations, laboratory testing, and other health screenings.  The mobile unit team also provides education on nutrition, physical activity, and oral health.  For families who do not have access to medicines, they can receive some medications.  The social worker, Jackie, meets with each family to discuss the family's current social, economic, and environmental needs.  


    The team is short an outreach person at this time, so this small team has a lot on their plate every day.  They rely heavily on community partners to get the word out about the mobile unit for fundraising purposes of course, but also to those families who are without insurance for their children and have a lack of transportation.  This became a major concern of Dr. Christina Robinson, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UNT and medical director of the UNT Pediatric Mobile Unit.  It became painfully apparent that there were barriers to pediatric health care when families were not showing up for their appointments.  Dr. Robinson is a native of Fort Worth, originally from the Stop Six Community, and loves that she is now serving that same community where she grew up.  She is soft spoken with a kindness that is radiating.  I would say the same for every person I met that day.  They truly love being there and have their own separate stories of faith that led them to the UNT Pediatric Mobile Unit.  



    Every month, we highlight a PATC patient's story by sharing their testimony of struggle and sometimes desperation before they made their way to PATC and how their life looks after receiving services from all of our volunteer participants.  Here are a few stories in their own words.


    61-year-old female Gynecology and Urology patient 

    "Being able to find a program like Project Access Tarrant County was truly a God send. It relieved so much stress for my mind and allowed me to get the medical tests and treatment I needed. Everyone involved from Dr. Todd Richwine, who is my primary care physician and suggested I apply for the program, to Ms. Neneh Wurie, my case manager, and all the other doctors that I saw were very kind, patience and generous. I believe that the selflessness and generosity that is displayed in this program absolutely makes a difference in the world. Thank you so much."


    57-year-old male Hernia surgery patient

    "Before I had my hernia, I was an active person.  After the hernia, I was limited in what I could do.  Being in the piano business, I buy, sell, and refurbish pianos.   This business I started is our only source of income, and I could no longer work.  This was a burden for my family. I had to struggle with my condition daily because I did not have the finances to cover the necessary surgery.  Thankfully, while reading the newspaper one day, I came across an article about Project Access Tarrant County.  After learning more about the program, I knew this would be the answers to my prayers. And indeed, it was!  After enrolling and all of the logistics were put together, I was able to get my hernia repaired.  The process was very thorough, quick, easy, and painless.


    It has been a month since the surgery, and I am still recovering.  I anticipate that I will soon be able to resume my active lifestyle and be able to go back to work and do household chores without repercussion.  I am no longer doing heavy lifting, but I am again able to refurbish instruments.  I would like to say thank you to everyone that was involved for their genuine concern. The hospital was awesome. It was one of the best hospital experiences I've ever had.  The doctor was excellent, and so was his staff.  I have already recommended Project Access Tarrant County and will continue recommending."


    30-year-old female Gallbladder surgery patient

    "I had extreme pain due to gallbladder disease to the point where I had to go to two different emergency rooms in one year. I was desperate to find help because the pain was taking control of my life.  I was afraid to eat because that could set off the pain that lasted for hours. I had to stop working because the pain episodes sometimes made it difficult to breathe and I would be fatigued from vomiting. My family assisted me with my expenses but I did not want to depend on them for a long time. Since I didn't have insurance, I had to pay a substantial amount of money up front for surgery that I just couldn't afford.  I felt that I was in a sinking hole. Thankfully, I was referred to Project Access and was able to have surgery. I am so happy and thankful that I received help. Now I don't live with constant fear of the pain coming back and I can return to work soon. Thank you to everyone that helped me. I was treated with kindness and respect even though I did not have insurance. Thank you."


    We at Project Access Tarrant County are so grateful to those doctors, healthcare workers, and others behind the scenes who step up every day to help those in need in this community.  


    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 |
    Phone: (817) 632-7531 | Fax: (817) 632-7532 | Email:

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