St. Louis Regional Health Commission | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Regional Health Commission

Angela Brown is acting CEO of the Regional Health Commission, which administers the Gateway To Better Health program for uninsured people in the St. Louis region.
Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Gateway to Better Health, a health care program for poor and uninsured people in St. Louis, will soon cover treatment for people addicted to opioids and other substances, its leaders announced Tuesday.

Gateway to Better Health is a state-sponsored program that provides health care to nearly 20,000 St. Louis and St. Louis County residents who often can’t afford health insurance but don’t qualify for the state’s Medicaid program. It provides primary, specialty and urgent care at the region’s five federally qualified health centers and at St. Louis County-run health clinics.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis health officials want to add addiction treatment to the region’s health program for low-income people without insurance.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has asked the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to add anti-addiction drugs and services to the Gateway to Better Health program.

After a chance meeting, Katie Eisenbeis (right) schedules a future appointment for one of her patients in the mobile health program.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

When the Affordable Care Act went into effect, many health-care economists hoped it would reduce the number of emergency room visits made by uninsured people. The idea was that if more people had health insurance, they would be more likely to have access to a primary care doctor and avoid the emergency room.

Health clinics at Metro stops? Researchers take a look

Dec 7, 2015
Metro riders wait for the Red Line at a station beneath Grand Avenue in Midtown.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Two Metro passes and a flu shot, please.

The parent company of Metro Transit St. Louis is looking into the possibility of building health clinics at Metro stops, particularly in north St. Louis County. Project manager John Wagner says the concept makes sense; transit stops are easy to get to, there’s parking and they get a lot of foot traffic.

“It would be using existing infrastructure that’s already in place,” Wagner said. “We couldn’t find any negative aspects of it.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Joyce Simms has been a St. Louis ConnectCare patient in the pulmonology program for four years.  Because she has asthma, she sees her pulmonologist, Dr. Barbara Lutey, as often as every three months.

In August, Simms received a registered letter from ConnectCare telling her that the pulmonology clinic was closing. But Simms did not experience even a hiccup in service. She learned that she would be able to continue to see Lutey, but her appointments would be at the Center for Outpatient Health, a facility run by Barnes-Jewish Hospital on Forest Park Avenue.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In an unusual display of political bipartisanship, some members of the Missouri delegation in Congress have joined forces to urge the federal government to continue funding a health program that was begun as a placeholder for expanding Medicaid.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Sandra Garrett knew something had gone wrong inside her body a decade ago when her left hand became limp, falling from her chin and sliding down her chest. She later found a lump on her left breast and “had no idea how long it had been there.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 12, 2011 - When the St. Louis Regional Health Commission was set up a decade ago, one of its priorities was to find ways to pump life into the area's imploding medical care system for the needy. Fragmented and underfunded, that system had just lost its last public hospital and had no effective way of delivering basic care to tens of thousands of vulnerable residents in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 14, 2010 - In 1875, amid steamboats churning the muddy waterway, a tugboat came up the river from New Orleans and docked in St. Louis with an unexpected problem on board. In addition to a load of sugar from Havana, the boat carried a sick passenger. He was taken to City Hospital where the worst fears of doctors there were confirmed: yellow fever.