We Give Back: Working with Malta House of Care to Provide Free Care to the Uninsured
The emergency room at Hartford Hospital is often filled with city residents who are poor, unemployed, and have nowhere else to get medical care.
In the ER, they get treatment for their immediate complaint, but not the ongoing long-term care they often need.
Hartford Hospital is working with other non-profit organizations to reduce economic health disparities and provide more equitable access to integrated primary care. One of those organizations is the Malta House of Care, whose mission it is to provide free primary health care to the uninsured. Hartford Hospital provides financial support and free services, and many of our staff members volunteer to work in the program.
A medical clinic aboard a 36-foot Winnebago, the Malta House of Care provides free clinic visits, lab work, radiological imaging and ongoing necessary medications to uninsured residents. Four afternoons a week, the van parks outside a Hartford church or shelter and takes patients on a first-come, first-served basis.
Since it opened its doors in 2006, the Malta House of Care clinic has provided more than 38,000 free patient visits thanks to through a volunteer staff of more than 40 physicians, nurses and other healthcare personnel.
About 4,000 patients are treated by the Malta House clinic each year. Most of them have at least one underlying chronic illness, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma, and return to the clinic repeatedly for continuing care.
These patients are now on a road to better health, and their success has a positive effect on their families and their communities as a whole.