The two have partnered to help combat food insecurity and improve access to healthcare for Hoosiers in need by establishing a food bank-based health clinic- a first for Indiana and one of the first in the United States.
The St. Vincent Medical Group Health Clinic, based inside Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc., will offer children and adults an accessible, economical healthcare option for minor injuries and illnesses that do no require a visit to a hospital emergency room.
On Friday, the new clinic located inside Gleaners was blessed and dedicated.
“No Hoosier should have to go hungry or struggle to access the healthcare they need,” said St. Vincent Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Nalli. “As a mission-driven health system with a long history of providing healthcare to all, especially the most vulnerable, we believe this partnership and new clinic location will allow us to provide a vital resource for our fellow Hoosiers who struggle with the interconnected issues of hunger and limited access to healthcare services.”
Reports show that approximately one million Hoosiers live in food insecure households that lack consistent access to nutritious food. More than 200,000 of these individuals live in Marion County and are faced with situations where they are forced to choose food over preventative healthcare services. Statistics also show that, compared to the average household, food insecure households incur nearly $1,800 more in annual healthcare expenses – costs driven up by emergency care, as these households are often forced to choose food over preventative medicine.
The food bank-based health clinic, which will serve the community and Gleaners employees, will include two clinical exam rooms staffed by St. Vincent nurse practitioners and medical assistants who can effectively treat a wide range of health problems, including:
- Animal and insect bites
- Coughs, colds and sore throats
- Cuts and lacerations
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Ear and eye infections
- Flu and fevers
- Minor burns and rashes
- Simple fractures, sprains and strains
- Sinus infections and bronchitis
The St. Vincent Medical Group Health Clinic at Gleaners will accept most major insurances and share the same hours of operation as the Gleaners Cynthia H. Hubert Community Cupboard:
- Tuesdays, 10AM-3PM
- Wednesdays, 10AM-3PM
- Thursdays, 2PM-7PM
- Saturdays, 10AM-3PM
Staff at the clinic will also be available to provide navigation services connecting Hoosiers with health insurance and related resources.
“In Indiana, we are fortunate to have organizations that are committed to collaborating and working together to eliminate barriers that threaten our fellow Hoosiers’ health and well-being,” said John Elliott, president and chief executive officer, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc. “We hope innovative models and collaborative efforts like this will help keep the momentum going as more organizations and communities join forces to provide high-quality, nutritious food, reduce the number of people in the food line and meet all the needs of our fellow Hoosiers struggling with poverty.”
The St. Vincent Medical Group Health Clinic at Gleaners Food Bank was built with funds from the St. Vincent Foundation Daughters of Charity Legacy Fund, which was established to support efforts to provide ongoing care for persons who are poor.
St. Vincent, part of Ascension—the largest nonprofit health system in the United States and the largest Catholic health system in the world—ranks food insecurity and access to care among its top system-wide health priorities, reflecting its commitment to address this pressing need. Through its longstanding partnership with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, to date, St. Vincent has contributed nearly $100,000 to Gleaners programs to feed Hoosiers who are hungry.