The health of Missourians is a priority, and St. Louis is no exception. The Louis Regional Health Commission is a collaborative effort between the city, the state, health providers, and community members to improve the health of uninsured or underinsured citizens in St. Louis.
The Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust (EPHT) was established in 1985 as a joint health care mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery and St. Louis to provide medical care and medical services to indigent people. To address healthcare issues in St. Louis, the Missouri Department of Social Services has partnered with the city to create the St.
Louis Partnership for a Healthy Community. This organization is comprised of public health stakeholders from major community organizations and individual advocates who subscribe to a comprehensive definition of health. Alive and Well Communities is a nonprofit organization that focuses on empowering communities in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois to address the trauma experienced by their residents. They seek community-driven solutions for community-defined health priorities and create partnerships with effective community-based organizations that work to improve the lives of others through access to healthcare. To meet the needs of the community, Places for People has long served as a resource in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis by providing individualized therapy, psychiatry, treatment for substance use disorders, a pharmacy, medical clinic, and on-site laboratory. The use of community health workers has also increased significantly.
These members of the community may not have medical training but are a key resource in helping people navigate the health system, especially for populations at risk. With a structure similar to that of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), organizations that offer comprehensive behavioral health services receive improved Medicaid reimbursement rates. To ensure that healthcare issues in St. Louis are addressed effectively, it is important to understand the process and deadlines for grant cycles and to be aware of existing facilities that could be renovated to meet specific needs. It is also important to be aware of initiatives such as PROSper (Promotion of Science Policy, Education, and Research) at the University of Washington which helps students explore issues related to science policy, promotion, communication, and outreach. By working together with public health stakeholders, nonprofit organizations, and members of the community, St.
Louis can continue to make progress towards improving access to healthcare and medical services for all its citizens.