As per our mission statement, Launch Community Health League aims to empower medically underserved communities and the providers that serve them with the knowledge, resources, and trust necessary for equitable, high-quality healthcare. But what exactly is a medically underserved community, and why does this relationship require empowerment?
Launch Community Health League defines medically underserved communities as those designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) or Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). As defined by the HRSA, MUAs are those areas or populations designated as having too few primary care providers, high infant mortality, high poverty or a high elderly population. HPSAs are designated as geographic (a county or service area), population (e.g. low income or Medicaid eligible) or facilities (e.g. federally qualified health center or other state or federal prisons) that experience shortages of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers.
Click Here To Learn More About Medical Shortage Designations
The targets for action of Launch Community Health League in these communities are the underlying social, skill, and resource barriers that exacerbate the already stressed medical infrastructure of these medically underserved communities. With these barriers in place and a widespread lack of physician availability, patients have significantly less time to converse and build meaningful relationships with their medical providers, leading to a stunted healthcare experience and worse health outcomes.
These barriers include but are not limited to:
- Lack of experience navigating the clinical setting
- Lack of english language proficiency
- Lack of knowledge pertaining to healthcare options and resources
- Implicit biases and health disparities regarding race, ethnicity, and gender identity
- Mistrust in medicine and healthcare providers
- Lack of exposure to medical news, literature and concepts
To see how Launch aims to combat these barriers and empower the provider-patient experience, please see our programs page or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.