Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy Kimberly Enard at Saint Louis University’s College for Public Health and Social Justice has received a $50,000, one-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to study an initiative designed to improve access to health care for “safety-net” patients- those she describes as low income, uninsured, or covered by Medicaid.
[Photo: Dr. Kimberly Enard]
“Many safety-net patients do not have a primary care doctor, or have trouble getting an appointment with their doctor, and rely on hospital emergency departments when they have unmet health care needs. Patient navigation is a way to guide safety-net patients to health care, public health, social and community services that support their health and well-being,” Dr. Enard said.
“My study will evaluate a patient navigation program sponsored by Houston-based Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation that uses emergency department-based community health workers to provide education and counseling, psychosocial support and logistical assistance so safety-net patients can find and maintain primary care medical homes.”
The grant is one of 17 RWJF New Connections grants, a national program that engages early- to mid-career scholars from historically underrepresented groups, such as racial or ethnic minorities, first-generation college graduates, residents of low-income communities or those who have a disability.
“I am excited to join the RWJF New Connections network of researchers who share a commitment to building a culture of health that helps those most in need and uplifts underserved communities in novel, meaningful ways,” Dr. Enard said.