Support Summit Community Care Clinic’s mission to help uninsured (letter) | SummitDaily.com

Support Summit Community Care Clinic’s mission to help uninsured (letter)

Now is a critical time for the Summit Community Care Clinic (SCCC).

Due to the increase in uninsured people in Summit County caused by rising insurance rates, the clinic is facing a significant financial struggle, which could affect the types of programs they can offer and the number of people they can help.

SCCC provides exceptional primary, dental and behavioral health care services to many of us in Summit County and, more importantly, serves as the safety net for those who may lack the resources for accessing top-notch health care. In partnership with Summit School District, the clinic provides four School Based Health Centers (SBHC) with the same high levels of integrated health services for students, families and staff. The clinic has been recognized locally, statewide and nationally for their integrated care model and for the high quality of care they provide.

This past year, SCCC tallied more than 24,000 patient visits from over 7,000 individuals. The number of visits increased by nearly 14 percent over the past year, with the majority of patients being uninsured. The population of uninsured is climbing — approximately 65 percent of all patients seen at the clinic do not have health insurance. A closer look indicates an alarming 42-percent increase in behavioral-health visits in the past 12 months. Much of this increased need has been seen in the SBHC that supports more than 800 students and families with behavioral-/mental-health services and resources. The SCCC serves working-class residents: your bookkeeper, your child's teacher, the electrician who worked on your home, the plumber who came to fix your boiler on a Sunday — your neighbors.

For our working families, the fastest route to financial crisis is not having health insurance when a health issue arises. At a time when working families' budgets are getting tighter with the rising costs of housing and childcare, many people rely on the SCCC's services. The potential increase in health-insurance costs, in some cases by as much as 40 percent over the next year, creates numerous challenges for Summit County as a whole. When faced with the shortage of workforce housing and the rising cost of living in a resort community, families find health insurance — at any price — a luxury. The clinic eliminates these cost barriers by making affordable health care possible for all and strengthens the very social fabric and health of our vibrant mountain community.

We voice our support for SCCC, a vitally-important organization that serves many of our local employees and working families. We believe all of us in Summit County benefit from the services provided by the clinic and ask for your support as it faces a financial shortage due to the demand of services and rising insurance rates.

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Summit County is an amazing and unique community. When we're faced with a community problem, the community rallies together to find solutions. We hope that our community will rally behind the clinic to make sure that this vital community organization can thrive in the future.

Thank you to the amazing team of professionals at the Summit County Care Clinic who serve those of us who are proud to be called "locals." We are very fortunate to have this exceptional health care organization in our own backyard!

Kerry Buhler

Superintendent, Summit School District

Don Dankner

President, Board of Directors, Family Intercultural Resource Center

Jaime FitzSimons

Summit County Sheriff, interim

Deb Crook, R.N.

Public Health Professional

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