Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 6

Message

froM the

editor

Health Care for

EVERYONE

in Berks County
by Michael Baxter, M.D.
Chair, Dept. of Family and Community Medicine
Reading Hospital

W

hy shouldn't everyone in Berks County have access to
affordable, quality health care? This was the question
posed to the Berks County Medical Society in 2006.
At that time Dr. Ray Truex, Chair of the Executive Council,
appointed a committee that eventually included not only BCMS
members but a group representing a cross-section of health and
community organizations, including United Way, Berks County
Community Foundation, St. Joseph and Reading Hospitals, and
representatives from local social service agencies. Following a twoyear study the group recommended several steps, which included
the creation of a Berks County Federally Qualified Health Center
(FQHC) and support for the work of the Western Berks Free Clinic,
which was already well-established since 2002.

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www.berkscms.org

So ten years later, where do we stand addressing the health needs
of everyone in Berks County? Perhaps the most successful outcome
from that endeavor was the creation of the Berks Community Health
Center (FQHC), which opened in 2012. Statistics from the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation annual health survey of "County Health
Rankings and Roadmaps" show that in 2011 Berks County had 15%
of the population uninsured, which was reduced to 9% in the 2018
report. Of course, other factors have played a part in the decrease in
the percentage of uninsured, such as an improving economy during
those years and the introduction of the Affordable Care Act ("Obama
Care"). However, these statistics do make two significant points:
1) The percentage of uninsured in Berks County has improved and
2) There is still a large segment of our population (9% of 415,000


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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 3
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 4
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 5
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