Although Lake County, Illinois, is one of America’s wealthiest, approximately 249,879 people are underinsured or have no health insurance at all. Fortunately, they can depend on HealthReach, a not-for-profit organization that operates the county’s free health clinics, in Waukegan and Mundelein, plus a licensed pharmacy in North Chicago. Working with a dedicated group of more than 50 local volunteer physicians, pharmacists and nurses, HealthReach serves thousands of patients each year with a broad range of medical, dental and pharmaceutical services, as well as health education.
Abbott and the Abbott Fund have partnered with HealthReach, providing safety-net health care services to Lake County’s medically uninsured, low-income families. The partnership goal is to build capacity and drive efficiencies while keeping down costs. Abbott and the Abbott Fund have assisted HealthReach with:
- Built capacity and drove efficiencies doubling the number of patients served
- Project management and support to modernize and double the size of the organization’s Mundelein clinic, making it a state-of-the-art facility
- A new medical interpretation program, removing communication barriers between doctors, nurses and patients
- Development of HealthReach’s first website
- Installation of a local area network and a business computer server
- Patient medical diagnosis chart review and data entry
- Occupational health and safety training
- X-ray training and guidance
- Fundraising and outreach consulting
- Donations of glucose monitors and glucose monitor test strips
- Relocating and updating pharmacy
- Renovating HealthReach's Waukegan clinic to increase exam room space and provide space for Affordable Care Act enrollment
In recent years, Abbott and the Abbott Fund have provided more than $2 million in funds and in-kind support of product and volunteers for HealthReach, significantly increasing the clinics’ capacity, quality and operational effectiveness.