Thursday, March 21, 2019
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Health care coverage and access persists as a political talking point year after year. Rather than wait for a solution, Brevard County medical, business and government leaders are working together to care for the county’s neediest residents.

Network of 110 doctors perform specialty care for BHA patients:

The Brevard Health Alliance fills the gap for the uninsured and under insured on Florida's Space Coast. BHA operates three clinics and a mobile medical unit, treating patients regardless of their ability to pay.

In addition to the organization’s 10 health-care providers, patients have access to a network of 110 volunteer doctors who perform specialty and follow-up care for BHA patients.

The organization evolved from HOPE, an indigent-care effort launched by Holmes Regional Medical Center in 1991. Spearheaded by current and former hospital executives Michael Means, Steve Bunker and Mike Maguire, HOPE was intended to deal with episodic care and not the chronic disease it encountered.

In other words, doctors expected to perform routine physicals and treat earaches. Instead, they saw women with late-stage breast cancers and patients with untreated diabetes.

To expand services, a steering committee of local leaders designed a proposal to create a clinic that would receive federal funding as a Federally Qualified Community Health Center.

The Brevard Health Alliance was born in March 2005. Wuesthoff Health System’s Wellness Clinic joined a year later.

Today, BHA counts 19,200 registered patients and sees about 650 new patients each month. Most – 88 percent – have no health insurance. Of those, about 65 percent are living at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Here are just a few of the doctors and groups who donate their services to help ensure those patients are able to receive medical care.

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