The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics has presented the Second Annual Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Award for Health Equity to Dr. Steve Crane, Volunteer Medical Director of The Free Clinics (TFC) in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
“Throughout the country, Free and Charitable Clinics, their staff and their volunteers have been building a culture of health care equity for all individuals for decades,” NAFC Chief Executive Officer Nicole Lamoureux said. “We are proud to have Dr. Steve Crane receive this award which celebrates health practitioners who have shown success in changing systems that impact health outcomes among our patient populations.”
In 2010, when Dr. Crane envisioned and piloted the Bridges to Health project at The Free Clinics, the initial goal was to reduce use of expensive hospital emergency rooms.
Over the past seven years, the Bridges to Health program has demonstrated amazing results and documented health outcomes with the most difficult and challenging patients, resulting in dramatically improved health for these patients as well as reduction in uncompensated care for the local hospitals. The program has consistently demonstrated since the first year that this model reduces Emergency Department and inpatient utilization approximately 50%, producing annual reductions in hospital charges by over $750,000 a year for a cohort of 150 patients. Patients have graduated to traditional primary care settings, have found housing and employment, and have improved their functionality with living healthfully.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care — developed this award program to find and honor individuals who are using systems changes to advance health equity within their communities.
“We’re honored to be able to help the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics highlight the life-changing work of Dr. Crane, who truly embodies our commitment to real people and on-the-ground solutions,” said Catherine Malone, program officer at RWJF.
The RWJF Awards for Health Equity is a seven-year grant program that began in 2016. It has been awarded to the NAFC and other organizations in several sectors including public health, health care, social justice, civic leadership, education, community development, and philanthropy.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.
About the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC)
The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is the only nonprofit 501c(3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of the medically underserved throughout the nation and the more than 1,200 Free and Charitable Clinics that serve them. Founded in 2001 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., the NAFC is working to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care and strives to be a national voice promoting quality health care for all. The NAFC has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a Four Star Ranking with Charity Navigator.