AccessOC Wins Mark Taper Grant

[Laguna Hills, CA – January, 15. 2012] – AccessOC announced today that it has received a $20,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation. The support from the S. Mark Taper Foundation will enable AccessOC to sustain and expand provision of no-cost specialty care services to indigent patients - at a time when the need is especially critical.

AccessOC operates two programs designed to enhance access to specialty care for Orange County’s medically indigent residents. Through the outpatient surgery program AccessOC coordinates free, lowrisk surgeries for patients referred from community clinics and develops partnerships with local hospitals and medical staff and nursing volunteers to provide the surgeries. The eConsult program is an electronic consultation system that connects primary care physicians with volunteer specialists. eConsult helps prevent inappropriate specialty referrals, frees specialists’ time for more patients who truly need their care, reduces patient wait times for specialty appointments, and expedites urgent referrals.

“This funding from the S. Mark Taper Foundation will be used to support and help us expand our lowrisk outpatient surgery program. Since 2008, when so many lay-offs occurred in our county, the need for our services has more than doubled. Many people just cannot afford the high cost of health care”, says Ericka Waidley, Executive Director of AccessOC. While under- or uninsured individuals may access primary care through certain private-practice primary care physicians or free/low-cost community clinics, there is a significant gap in the availability of specialty care, which is generally not offered at safety-net medical offices or clinics. Under- and uninsured clinic patients must typically face long waits for specialty care visits — and 12 months or longer for needed surgery too difficult for their patients to access. Of course, those who are completely uninsured face the most serious barriers to care.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation, founded in 1989, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people's lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities. Access OC was founded in 2005 in response to a study that identified a significant gap in specialty services for under- and uninsured residents of Orange County, California. For more information visit the AccessOC website at www.accessoc.org.