Improving health care access to underserved populations
Being faced with health issues is troubling enough, even with insurance. For those uninsured in our community, physician shortages and limited specialist services makes care even less accessible or completely out of reach. That’s why at United Way, we’re excited to be part of an 18-month pilot health care program that promises to make a big difference by facilitating timely access to medical expertise through telehealth technology.
Launched this past November in Miami, the MAVEN (Medical Alumni Volunteer Expert Network) Project addresses these healthcare disparities by pairing telemedicine and a national corps of physician volunteers to remotely provide quality healthcare to medically underserved communities. Based out of San Francisco, the MAVEN Project pilot in Miami is a collaboration between University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, UHI Community Care Clinic and Florida International University with grant funding from our United Way and the Health Foundation of South Florida.
According to Dr. Laurie Green, president and founder of The MAVEN Project, “Physicians – especially semi-retired and newly retired – are an untapped source of volunteers who, when paired with telemedicine technology, can remotely provide much-needed health care to medically underserved patients.”
Khalid Mirza, board vice president at UHI Community Care Clinic in Miami Gardens, has high hopes for this telehealth program. “Being able to see a neurologist, cardiologist, endocrinologist or other specialists without delays is vital to improving the health of our patients,” he said. “By helping our team keep conditions like diabetes or hypertension under control, The MAVEN Project can reduce hospital admissions and emergency room visits, resulting in lower costs as well as better outcomes.”