AllOne Foundation Grant Supports University’s Leahy Clinic

April 28, 2017

The University of Scranton’s Edward R. Leahy Jr. Center Clinic for the Uninsured has received a $75,000 grant from the AllOne Foundation and Charities. The grant was part of a cluster of more than $2.3 million in gifts awarded by AllOne to 36 nonprofit organizations in support of innovative and collaborative programming focused on significantly impacting access to health services for women and children as well as childhood homelessness, food insecurity, childhood trauma and abuse, nutrition and wellness, health screenings, maternal and infant services and childhood mental and behavioral health.

The Leahy Clinic has worked to improve access to health and wellness care for disadvantaged and marginalized residents of Lackawanna County who also are uninsured. In 2016 the Leahy Clinic provided 1,010 patient visits, bringing total patient visits since the 2007 opening to 12,594. Also in 2016, the clinic was able to assist patients in receiving 413 therapeutic prescriptions. Clinic staff sought this grant to meet the challenge of making quality health care accessible and delivering it in a culturally sensitive and effective manner, given 85 percent of the clinic’s patients have limited English proficiency.

Changing community demographics have resulted in a critical need to train staff and volunteers and update strategies related to delivery of care. The Leahy Clinic facilitates access to health care, behavioral counseling and physical therapy, but limited English proficiency often presents an additional impediment to caring for the population served.

The AllOne grant will allow for increased and expanded staff and volunteer training as well as the training of two nationally certified medical interpreters.

Effective communication between patients and health care providers is essential to enable providers to make accurate diagnoses and provide effective treatment, obtain informed consent and prevent medical errors. Certified medical interpreters also have a positive impact on risk management, cost controls and patient compliance and satisfaction.

The grant also will expand the role of the clinic’s RN nurse navigator to include greater interaction time and care coordination with patients transitioning from the free clinic to other settings and help develop educational materials for patients with limited English proficiency. Additionally, the grant will help update the clinic’s data-collection software.

The University and Leahy Clinic collaborate with several area non-profit organizations that support culturally competent health care, including United Neighborhood Centers, the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, the Scranton Primary Health Center, Geisinger Community Medical Center, the Geisinger Residency Program, the Lackawanna Interagency Council and the Northeastern Eye Institute.

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