Project Access-New Haven (PA-NH) was founded in 2009 by local physicians who were determined to address a critical problem impacting the Greater New Haven community – inadequate access to medical care for low-income individuals with no (or limited) health insurance coverage. As physicians, they understood, and too often witnessed, the grave consequences of poor access. Patients with urgent medical conditions were growing sicker due to unacceptably long wait times for specialty care appointments. Others were being treated in the emergency department or admitted to the hospital for advanced diseases that could have been prevented or mitigated with timely outpatient care. Too many patients were delaying or foregoing needed medical care due to a complex array of barriers, such as cost, language, and transportation. Because these problems were disproportionally affecting low-income and minority populations, they were exacerbating health inequities and disparities in our community.
Unwilling to accept this status quo, our founding physicians began meeting with individuals and groups throughout New Haven to gain a deeper understanding of the problem and mobilize support for a solution. They also researched best practices used by communities across the country to address similar concerns. From these efforts, they proposed an innovative model of healthcare delivery that would expand the network of medical care for underserved patients and ensure timely access for those most in need. With the unwavering determination of our founders and extraordinary support of the Greater New Haven community, PA-NH transformed this vision into a reality.
Today, PA-NH plays an important role in our local healthcare system. Our unique volunteer provider networkprovides access to free medical care for uninsured patients. In addition, our dedicated patient navigators (PNs) coordinate timely medical care, remove access barriers, and provide linguistically and culturally competent support to patients and their families. Finally, our community health workers (CHWs) connect patients with local resources to address health-related social needs.
While our organization has grown substantially over the past 10 years, our commitment to the mission and vision crafted by our founding physicians remains steadfast: to increase access to medical care for underserved Greater New Haven residents and be the community champion for access to care for those most in need.