Nearly two years ago, Mayor Thomas M. Menino proposed NeighborCare, an initiative to have more people use community health centers, at his annual State of the City address:
“I am asking our Public Health Commission to team up with hospitals, health insurance companies and the community health centers to help the centers extend their hours and access,” Mayor Menino said. “America’s first community health center was established on Dorchester’s Columbia Point. A long tradition across the city continues to this day… While some in Congress now seek to limit access to health care, in Boston we remember what a good man told us: healthcare is a right, not a privilege.”- Press Release, 2011, Full Text
With the support of Mayor Menino, community health centers should see a boost in visits. More and more community health centers are adopting urgent care and same day access programs as an alternative to local emergency rooms and, in turn, save patients the cost of an ER visit. Our very own Geiger Gibson Community Health Center (formerly Columbia Point Community Health Center, first community health center in the nation) offers Same Day Access, a walk-in service for sick visits and minor injuries. Patients do not need a referral or an appointment to be seen at the center.