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May 31, 2020

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Delta Healthcare Foundation targets health care equity

Nonprofit and new clinic in Vancouver aim to help underserved communities

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Clark County will have expanded health care options for uninsured or under-insured families and individuals later this year.

Delta Healthcare Foundation, a new nonprofit, will focus on removing health care access barriers for those families and individuals. It will be based in the same building as a Delta Direct Care clinic, which is slated to open a Vancouver location by the end of the third quarter this year. Patients are expected to be able to receive care at the clinic by December.

The clinic will be operated by Dr. Dino Ramzi, a primary care physician who has a clinic in Battle Ground under the name Delta Direct Care, which was formerly called Patient Direct Care.

Ramzi’s clinic in Battle Ground offers primary care in a membership-based format, similar to a gym. Members pay a per-month fee for care and have access to wholesale prices for medications and lab work.

The clinic in Vancouver will operate similarly, and be 2,400 square feet, while residing at 2370 E. Third Loop, Vancouver, near Grand Central Retail Center.

Construction on the Vancouver location has begun, and Dean Kirkland’s Kirkland Development, which is heading the project, has gifted $260,000 to the foundation.

“The opportunity to work with a company that provides health care at an affordable price is something we’re grateful to be a part of,” Kirkland said. “It’s something important for every family out there.”

Patients can get a membership at the Battle Ground clinic and be transferred to Vancouver for care once that clinic opens. The Battle Ground clinic offers free vaccinations for people 19 and younger and will offer free sports physicals at three different locations during Give More 24 in September.

Health care scholarships

Delta Healthcare Foundation will offer scholarships for primary care at Delta’s clinics in an effort to help people stuck in the “health care desert,” said Dianna Kretzschmar, the director of business development with Delta Direct Care.

Health care deserts affect people who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but still can’t easily afford health insurance. Share Vancouver, Rock Solid Teen Center in Battle Ground and the Hough Foundation will serve as access points for the foundation, referring people who can apply for applications. More access points could be added in the future.

“The foundation is going to be targeting those individuals that have the greater gaps to access in health care,” Ramzi said.

The foundation will help scholarship recipients find help outside of the clinic if they need housing, mental health care, nutrition assistance or parenting classes. Ramzi added that if he can’t take care of something himself, he knows who to call and how to help people find care quickly.

Kretzschmar said barriers to health care access manifest in more emergency room visits, which are costlier in the long run. Ramzi added that data shows that easily accessible health care improves health outcomes and reduces mortality.

“We’re just excited to bring health care equity to our community,” Kretzschmar said.

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