Physicians' Outreach Project Expands Access to Specialty Care for Low-Income Patients in Tallahassee

Reach Out: Physicians' Initiative to Expand Care to Underserved Americans

From 1994 to 1998, staff at the Capital Medical Society created the Physicians' Outreach Project, a collaborative, volunteer effort to extend the services of the society's We Care Network, which had operated in Tallahassee, Fla. (Leon County) since 1992, to three adjacent rural counties: Gadsden, Jefferson and Wakulla counties.

The We Care Network is a grassroots coalition that provides specialty medical care and hospitalization at no charge to indigent patients. Coalition members include health care providers and hospitals, county public health departments and the state's Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Reach Out: Physicians' Initiative to Expand Care to Underserved Americans national program.

Key Results:

  • During the RWJF funding period, the project served 437 patients through nearly 3,500 patient encounters with volunteer physicians.
  • County clinics or primary care physicians wrote approximately 1,500 patient referrals to the project, and gave several hundred individuals information about and referral to the project over the phone.
  • Donated services from the project totaled an estimated $1.6 million over the course of the RWJF grants.