Senator Durbin Visits Loyola's Access to Care Program | Loyola Medicine
Friday, October 14, 2016

Senator Durbin Visits Loyola Medicine's Access to Care Program

access to care

MAYWOOD, IL – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) visited Access to Care at the Loyola Center for Health on Roosevelt in Maywood on Wednesday to learn about the non-profit primary healthcare program for low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients living in suburban Cook County and Chicago's Northwest Side.

Sen. Durbin discussed the Affordable Care Act, prescription drug costs and Loyola's population health initiatives with Matthew Fitz, MD, director, Loyola Access to Care, Paul O'Keefe, MD, chair, department of medicine, Loyola University Medical Center, and founder of Loyola Access to Care, representatives from the Suburban Primary Health Care Council, as well as patients Onnie Arrington and Joe Polak. 

Sen. Durbin said the Affordable Care Act has made great strides in ensuring that 20 million more Americans – one million Illinoisans – now have health insurance coverage, but challenges remain. There are still uninsured individuals and under-insured–those who have insurance but have trouble affording certain co-payments, deductibles or premiums.

"These vulnerable individuals are helped by places such as Access to Care, which bring affordable, reliable healthcare services into communities in need," Sen. Durbin said. "Access to Care and Loyola Medicine are stepping up to treat chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension and to bring everyday health services to people in need in Cook County."

Vivian Irizarry, MD, an internal medicine resident, and Nelly Gonzalez, a second-year medical student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, spoke with Sen. Durbin about how they are trained in high value care to be conscientious of the costs that patients incur with prescription medications, laboratory and radiographic studies. 

Each year, Loyola's Access to Care program serves about 1,000 people who are not eligible for public health programs such as Medicaid and Medicare and have family incomes under 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The program is a unique public/private partnership making primary healthcare and pharmacy, laboratory and radiology services available for a small co-payment per doctor visit, procedure or prescription. 

Kathi Franklin, president and CEO of Suburban Primary Health Care Council, which governs Access to Care, said they serve about 6,000 total patients at 130 sites, but Loyola is by far the largest provider.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.