Health Care Access Initiative
STARK COUNTY PRESCRIPTION ASSISTANCE NETWORK
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton convened the Stark Prescription Assistance Network (SPAN) in February 2001 to examine prescription assistance needs, community resources, and collaborative strategies to address service gaps. SPAN is comprised of representatives of local foundations and health and human service organizations, including the Sisters of Charity Foundation, Austin-Bailey Health and Wellness Foundation, Health Foundation of Greater Massillon, Community Services of Stark County, Mercy Medical Center, Catholic Charities, United Way of Greater Stark County, Canton Community Clinic, Good Samaritan Clinic, and the Western Stark Medical Clinic. Since 2001, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton has supported the planning, start-up, and ongoing operating expenses of SPAN.
The Stark Prescription Assistance Network (SPAN) represents an innovative approach to meeting the prescription medication needs of the uninsured and underinsured in Stark County.
The network structure strives to:
There are three key service components that SPAN is working to address:
The Stark Prescription Assistance Network is committed to establishing a community initiative dedicated to:
In 2002, in response to the identification by local stakeholders of access to care as the key oral health issue confronting our community, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton established the Bethlehem Project for Oral Health, an integrated system of oral health care delivery designed to be sensitive to the needs of both dental care providers and patients.
The Bethlehem Project was designed to:
The Bethlehem Project works with SPARK Ohio (SPARK SUPPORTING PARTNERSHIPS TO ASSURE READY KIDSTM) kindergarten readiness program to provide oral health information and dental care to families in need.
SPARK Ohio home visitors, known as parent partners, educate at-risk families by influencing their oral health perceptions and behaviors. The parent partners use a training manual modeled after the Help Me Smile curriculum during monthly in-home education sessions. The home visitor-family relationship influences positive changes in oral health behavior, including establishing a dental home and consistently practicing healthy oral routines.
The Bethlehem Project teaches participating families about:
The success of the Bethlehem Project lies in its partnerships with over 22 private practice dentists and two safety net dental clinics. Through these relationships, treatment valued at over $170,000 has been donated or discounted to over 700 Bethlehem Project participants.
“Overwhelming positive, I’ve met fantastic individuals running the project as well as the patients…They’ve shown great appreciation. Some have been walking around in pain for a couple of years we get them treatment and some have said afterwards that they’ve never felt so good and are giving us hugs afterwards.” - A Bethlehem dentist