HealthConnect.Link Expands Partnership to Rural Wisconsin Communities

HealthConnect.Link Expands Partnership to Rural Wisconsin Communities with Support From WAFCC, SWCAP, START and Gilda’s Club

HealthConnect.Link, a Madison-based non-profit venture, is very pleased to announce the recent establishment of key community partnerships with rural WI healthcare clinics and support agencies.  Partnerships have been established with WFACC – Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, SWCAP – Southwest WI Community Action Program, and START – Stoughton Area Resource Team and Gilda’s Club.

“Giving rural public health departments, clinics, social service providers and other key community stakeholders the ability to coordinate the delivery of care is absolutely crucial in helping vulnerable people in rural areas access the help they need.” said HealthConnect.Link CEO, Kevin Dwyer. “It’s exciting to collaborate with organizations that have a long history of serving rural Wisconsin. With their support, together we can rollout a powerful electronic clinic-community linkage system that will improve patient referrals and the health of at-risk people in rural communities.”     

The Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, based in Elkhorn, was founded in 2014.  WAFCC strives to support, strengthen and advocate for the uniqueness of free and charitable clinics throughout the state, the patients they serve, and the communities with whom they partner.  There are almost 70 free and charitable clinics serving over 50 counties in WI.  Free and charitable clinics are the safety-net providers for thousands of Wisconsinites.  As an association, WAFCC represents and promotes Wisconsin’s free and charitable clinics, advocating for vulnerable populations and for the elimination of health disparities within the state.

Stoughton Area Resource Team has provided a safety net for families in crisis within the Stoughton area since 2001. Significant in START’s history is the role it played in 2005 and 2006 by providing support to area tornado survivors.  In 2015, START responded to 273 new contacts from the Stoughton area residents in crisis.  Their program provided face-to-face assistance to 300 households in the form of case management services, financial assistance, transportation assistance and/or healthcare needs.  

When asked about the recently formed partnership, START Program Director, Cindy Thompson MSW said, “It is so wonderful to be able to join together with HealthConnect.Link in providing our community with support and services available to them.”

Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, was incorporated in Dodgeville, through ‘War on Poverty’ legislation passed in the 1960’s during President Johnson’s administration.  SWCAP supports people helping people throughout Iowa, Lafayette, Grant, Green and Richland counties in south-western Wisconsin.  SWCAP significantly and meaningfully involves low-income people in developing and carrying out anti-poverty programs.  Services and support include Head Start and Early Head Start, Foster Grandparent Program, HUD Rental Assistance, LIFT transportation services, We Care/Food Pantry, among others. 

HealthConnect has also partnered with Gilda’s Club Madison, a non-profit cancer support organization serving Dane County and beyond since 2008. Gilda’s Club offers educational, emotional and social support to men, women, and children affected by cancer – any cancer, at any stage.  At-no-cost, professionally led programs and support groups are offered at Gilda’s Club in Middleton; however, support groups and program are also offered remotely in Dodgeville and Baraboo.

 “It is important to Gilda’s Club that people who live outside of Dane County also have access to the support and educational opportunities available to people who can come to the Clubhouse.” said Kirsten Norslien, Gilda’s Club Program Director. “Our Baraboo and Dodgeville programs both offer those affected by cancer the professionally facilitated support that is a hallmark of our programs.  Education is also offered on group nights at these locations.  We are hopeful to add support in other areas outside Dane County as well in the future.”

“It’s our mid-term goal to expand our online community to the entire state of Wisconsin once it goes live later this year.” said Dwyer. “Having the support of these key organizations has strengthened our ability to meet that goal and fulfill our mission of creating meaningful connections between people and the health services they need.”     

More information on the above support agencies can be found at www.wafcc.org, www.swcap.org,  www.startstoughton.org and www.gildasclubmadison.org.

More information on becoming a community partner with HealthConnect.Link can be found at www.healthconnect.link.