Spring News from Medworks
A Note from Dr. Belinson
Meet Medworks New CEO
My warmest greetings to the entire Medworks family. I am thrilled to have joined your mission to provide free medical, dental
and vision care to the medically underserved in Northeast Ohio. I have spent a considerable portion of the past 20 years of my
life providing and studying ways to improve medical care for some of the poorest populations in the world. I am totally energized to have the opportunity to bring some new direction and innovation and help Medworks expand its reach and impact.
I had the good fortune of attending my first clinic within one week of starting work. I was completely overwhelmed by the volunteers. Your energy, enthusiasm, and the genuine love and care you provided was absolutely inspiring. And then to discover how many of you have attended multiple clinics for years serves to emphasize how much kindness exists, at least in our corner of the world. Unfortunately, in Northeast Ohio, where about 10% of the population has no health insurance and over 18% are living below the federal poverty level, we have a big task ahead.
Over the next several months I will be learning the details of how the staff and volunteers do their work. I will be assessing the needs and the capacity for the Medworks “Care + Connect” model and the places where we are successful, and where we could do better. Then together we will efficiently move forward and broaden our reach. I am truly honored to join all of you, and look forward to getting to know everyone over the months and years ahead.
A big Medworks greeting to you all,
Jerome L. Belinson, MD
Medworks “gave my brother back his smile”
In 2016, Michelle brought her brother to a free Medworks Clinic because he was experiencing tooth pain. He was in between jobs “with no money and no health insurance” and it had been years since he had been to a doctor or dentist.
Unfortunately, Michelle’s family’s struggle to receive dental care is not unusual. Dental care is the #1 unmet health need for children and low-income adults in the state of Ohio. Out of pocket costs for a routine dental exam can be cost prohibitive, while more complex dental care is simply out of reach. Many people delay routine dental care that can end up becoming a costly health sacrifice.
At the end of the day, he left with five tooth extractions, a medical exam for his knee, a flu shot, a bag of fresh produce, qualification for health insurance, and a follow-up appointment for his knee from Medworks clinic partner, NEON, a federally qualified health center. His follow-up care included a return visit to his new medical home where his new health insurance allowed him to receive care free of charge. Michelle said, Medworks “gave my brother back his smile.”
Soon after, both Michelle and her brother returned to a Medworks Clinic. This time Michelle attended as a volunteer to “pay Medworks back in some way for all that you did for my brother.” Michelle’s brother returned to receive additional extractions, a replacement tooth, and to get fitted for temporary partials – all free of charge. “We are both just so thankful that something like this was out there. More people need to know about it.”
Gaps in Life Expectancy Across Cleveland
Recent studies discussing the role of geography and longevity highlight just how dramatically income and neighborhood are related to life expectancy.
A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that in Cuyahoga County, the poor will die about 8 years sooner than the rich. This is roughly equivalent to the difference in life expectancy between an average man in the United States and one in Afghanistan. Another study, by the Virginia Commonwealth University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows that the life expectancy of a baby born in Glenville is 12 years shorter than one born in Lyndhurst. According to Derek Chapman, a researcher who helped compile the study, these high rates of premature death in-inner city communities are fueled by heart disease and other chronic illnesses that result from poverty, lack of access to healthy foods and safe places to play. Read more.
Upcoming Medworks Events
Clinics and Volunteer Opportunities
Medical, Women’s Health and Dental Clinic
Neighborhood Family Practice
Convention Center of Cleveland
Stay up-to-date on all the latest Medworks news and events at www.medworksusa.org
1950 Richmond Rd
Lyndhurst, OH 44124