Lee Memorial Health System has received an honorable mention in the 2012 Gage Award category of Improving Population Health for its innovative Lee Physician Group Dunbar United Way House. Lee Memorial Health System was honored with this award during the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems' annual conference, June 20 to 22, in San Francisco.
The NAPH Gage Awards Program named after NAPH founder and safety net advocate Larry S. Gage honors and shares the outstanding work of NAPH members. Winners are recognized for innovations that improve community health and save money and that can be replicated in organizations across the country.
Lee Memorial Health System opened the Lee Physician Group Dunbar United Way House in 2011 to provide primary care to high-risk patients in the targeted, low-income area of Dunbar, in Lee County. Today, the clinic has more than 350 patient visits a month and links many of those patients to specialty and support services. The clinic is promoting individual chronic disease management and reducing costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations for this community, leading to improved patient and community health.
"The need for primary care services is significant in this community, says Larry Antonucci, M.D., chief operating officer for Lee Memorial Health System. " We opened this clinic, and another in North Fort Myers, so residents could access affordable care and seek treatment for their health issues before they become serious enough to send them to the emergency department."
"Lee Memorial's Dunbar Clinic is improving access to care for vulnerable populations and teaching them how to manage chronic conditions, which leads to a healthier population and cost savings," said NAPH President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH. "This clinic offers a clear example of innovation by the safety net and the value NAPH members offer as leaders and mentors for all of health care."