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WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition

Next WVHK&FC Meetings:

October 22
Steering Committee

Simplification/Coordination Committee

2003 Quarrier Street, East

November 12
Steering Committee

2003 Quarrier Street, East

Contact us:

2003 Quarrier St.
East Charleston, WV 25311
(304) 345-6349
(304) 345-6620-fax

Renate E. Pore
(304) 345-6349

Julie Greathouse
(304) 345-6349

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October 2003

New Grant to Look at Barriers to Health Care

The Parents as Teachers Program of Central West Virginia United Way has received a grant for $120,000 to identify and address barriers to care of low income children and families enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid. The new initiative is a partnership of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the national Covering Kids and Families Program, and Health Care Strategies. The West Virginia initiative is one of 19 national projects.

Dr. Beverly Bolles, early childhood program director of Central West Virginia United Way, is the project director. In year one of the project, Dr. Bolles and her team will interview 100 families enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid to identify barriers to care. In year two, she will organize a coalition to work towards addressing one or two of the barriers identified.

County School Boards Getting $31 Million

The state is funneling $31 million of federal money to county school boards across the state, and according to the commissioner of the state Bureau for Medical Services, school administrators can spend the money however they wish. (Charleston Gazette, 10/3/03)

WVHKFC Training Session Wrap-up

The WV Healthy Kids and Families held a full day educational program "Helping Families: A Primer on Free and Low Cost Health Care Programs" on October 1, 2020 in Charleston. There were over 75 people in attendance from across the state. The program was planned to provide health care professionals, families, outreach workers and community workers information about the variety of health services available to the citizens of West Virginia.

For example several resources were reviewed that provide free medications for the general public by Julie Greathouse and Brian Cunningham. See some websites for additional information on page 3 of this newsletter. Pat White explained that there are 14 free clinics in the state and they do not bill insurance or public programs for care but do seek volunteer professionals to provide the care.

Mike Robbins with the WV Hospital Association told attendees that hospitals must provide a certain amount of charity care to the community and that one should ask for help when being admitted to the hospital. He stressed not to wait till one receives the notice of the claim being sent to the collection agency before you go see the hospital about the bill. Some hospitals even have endowments that are to be used for paying for costs of hospitalization by low-income people.

Pat Moss, Director of the Division of Maternal and Child Health Bureau explained all the programs provided by MCH including the cervical and breast screening and treatment programs.

Sonia Chamber, Co-Chair of the Health Advisory Group, funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant is seeking solutions to the large number of uninsured adults. She asked those in attendance their opinions on the use of high risk pools, subsidies, expansion of the public programs and/or PEIA for covering the adult uninsured population.

Craig Robinson with the Partners Community Access Program shared the progress of this innovative program not only in the 8 counties where it is located but informed the group there is access to free care in the eastern panhandle and in the Cabel-Wayne Counties also through the CAP grants.

Randy Myers, Deputy Commissioner of the Medicaid Bureau, shared a copy of the newly released "Guide to Medicaid" produced by the WVDHHR. One can get a copy by accessing the website of the WVDHHR:


Sharon Carte, Director of CHIP reminded folks that the InROADS project is now allowing for on-line applications.

The WVHKFC plan on doing a series of this type of program across the state during 2004.

WV Council of Churches Welcomes New Director

The Reverend Dennis Sparks is the new executive director of the West Virginia Council of Churches. Reverend Sparks comes to West Virginia from Columbus, Ohio, where he served as director of ecumenical issues for the Ohio Council of Churches. In addition to serving as a pastor, he has worked as regional community relations manager for the Hallmark Television Network, director of the Akron Council of Churches, campus minister at Ohio University at Athens, and director of the Human Action Community Organization in Chicago.

Reverend Sparks graduated from Bethany College in West Virginia and holds a master of divinity degree from Texas Christian University.

The Council of Churches has been the partner and organizational home of the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition for the past five years. The former director, the Reverend Nathan Wilson, was the first chair of the Coalition. We welcome Reverend Sparks and look forward to working with him to support and promote health care for all West Virginians.

Where to Go For Prescription Assistance in WV

More than 80 community-based, non-profit health centers throughout the state offer prescription assistance programs to their patients. Some centers offer assistance through a manufacturers program or other indigent drug programs, but many are now offering reduced price prescription drugs through the 340b prescription assistance program. To find the health center nearest you, please visit our website at www.wvpca.org or call us at (304) 346-0032.

Some organizations such as community health centers, hospitals, family planning clinics, and others are eligible to purchase and distribute to their patients deeply discounted prescription drugs through a relatively new federal program loosely know as the 340b prescription drug program. To learn more about 340b, visit the Office of Pharmacy Affairs website at www.bphc.hrsa.gov/opa/.

Medicare offers a prescription drug clearinghouse on their website. It provides an opportunity for individuals to search programs, determine initial eligibility, and submit an application. For more information visit the Medicare web site at www.medicare.gov or link directly to the prescription assistance page at www.medicare.gov/AssistancePrograms/home.asp
or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

For those that don’t want to spend the time searching through countless drug manufacturers programs, the Medicine Program will do most of the work for you. For a $5 fee, they will find an applicable program through which you may receive a prescription. For more information visit their website at www.themedicineprogram.com.

Free Copy of "Guide for Working Families"

Rick Wilson and Carol Sharlip released copies of the "Guide for Working Families". This free guide is available through Mountainside Media at 523-6162 or email msmedia@mountainsidemedia.com.

Examining the Health Care Safety Net

West Virginia has an extensive health care safety net for people without insurance coverage or the ability to pay for services. Over the next year, the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition will study the safety net in order to provide information to families on how to get the care they need and to inform state policymakers about the value as well as the gaps in services being provided.

In the absence of universal health care coverage, we need to understand, provide information and support access to care through the safety net, according to Renate Pore, co-chair of the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. "As health insurance becomes less and less affordable even for middle income people, we need to understand the alternatives that are available," Dr. Pore said. "My preference is for a system of universal health insurance coverage where everyone, rich and poor, has the ability to pay for services. In the absence of such a system, we need to do what we can to get health care to people," she said.

On October 1, 2020, the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition sponsored a meeting to begin discussion of the safety net. Speakers discussed the state’s system of primary care centers, health right clinics, free or low cost prescription drugs, hospital charity care programs, services offered free-of-charge for women and children through the Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health, and new systems of care offered through provider networks.

Over the next several months, the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition newsletter will carry regular articles explaining these programs and others and how to access them. We invite members of the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition and other readers to write or email us and let us know their experiences with free or low cost services.

Mark Your Calendars for These Important Dates

December 2-3, 2003
The Fourth Annual West Virginia Women’s Health Policy Conference at Embassy Suites in Charleston. If your are interested in attending you may call 304-346-0300 for more information

February 17, 2020
A Policy Forum on Children’s Issues will be held on February 17, 2004. Look for more details regarding this forum in future issues of the WVHKFC newsletter.

February 18, 2020
We invite you to join child advocates from around the state at the West Virginia State Capitol to rally, advocate, and problem-solve on behalf of all of West Virginia’s children! Children’s Day at the Legislature will be held on February 18, 2004. For more information, please contact the Coalition for West Virginia’s Children at (304) 342-6972 or visit www.coalitionwvchildren.org.

Phone: 304-345-6349
Fax: 304-345-6620

Email: jgreathouse@wvhealthykids.org

Providing Health Care for All Workshop Offered

The WV Council of Churches will offer a workshop on health care at its annual assembly on October 27 from 9:00 to 10:15. The Assembly will be held at the John XXIII Pastoral Center in Charleston. The workshop will feature Kate Long, staff writer for the Charleston Gazette, Sally Richardson, director of the WVU Institute for Health Policy Research; and Greg Smith, President and CEO , Mountain State Blue Cross. Dr. Renate E Pore, co-chair of the WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition will moderate the workshop.

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