Investing in our Community

Create healthier communities

ACCESS health centers and programs are a vital ingredient to creating healthier neighborhoods. Our impact can be felt beyond the walls of our health centers, as our care teams collaborate with community residents, businesses and services to improve the neighborhoods where they live, work and play.

One way that ACCESS is creating healthier communities is by working with Walgreens to make medications more affordable for our patients. Over the past year, 37​,784 ACCESS patients received prescriptions at 175 Walgreens locations, with 8,846 of those ACCESS patients receiving significantly discounted prescriptions. Co-located Walgreens pharmacies in five ACCESS health centers are also helping to redefine the role of the community pharmacist by making the pharmacist a part of the health care team. 

Our work with other community systems is improving the lives of community residents. ACCESS’ work with the justice system has ensured that individuals have the best possible community support as they return home, by linking individuals to a regular source of health care and social supports. Preliminary findings indicate positive outcomes, with fewer than 10 percent of individuals returning to correctional institutions compared to a recidivism rate of 53 percent from Cook County correctional facilities.

ACCESS’ programs and services impact health from birth to adulthood. Our community health outreach, education, and care programs for moms and babies are increasing early access into prenatal care, improving immunization rates, and creating a foundation for lifelong health. ACCESS’ work with schools, faith-institutions and neighborhood service providers is helping to ensure that health is integrated into all aspects of community life.

Addressing health disparities

ACCESS serves as a catalyst in addressing some of the area’s most significant health disparities. Through leadership in community health initiatives, ACCESS is saving lives.

Targeted outreach and screening through our Pin A Sister™/Examinate Comadre™â€‹ and Stand Against Cancer initiatives are addressing the significantly higher mortality rates from breast and cervical cancer in minority women due to delayed diagnosis and less access to treatment. These efforts have reached more than 80,000 women through educational initiatives, provided over 175,000 breast and cervical cancer screenings. In the last two years, over 150 cancers and pre-cancers have been diagnosed in low-income uninsured women.

ACCESS is also expanding universal HIV testing program throughout our network to ensure we are identifying and treating HIV positive patients to prevent further transmission in minority communities disproportionately impacted by the epidemic.  Testing rates in our network have increased by 71 percent, improving knowledge of HIV status among patients, providing an opportunity for prevention education, and identifying and linking about 100 newly diagnosed individuals into HIV care.