Congratulations to HDI’s Christina Espinosa Bard who recently received the HDI Fund for Excellence award to engage in a “Rural Clinic Assessment for Accessibility Project”!
Nearly 30% of Kentuckians have a disability, which is the 6th highest prevalence in the nation (CDC, 2014, 2015). Adults with disabilities in the Commonwealth are more likely to experience negative health outcomes, including high blood pressure, obesity, inactivity and smoking. Health care for persons with disabilities are sparse and often poorly coordinated, the availability and quality of which can vary geographically, particularly in rural Appalachian Kentucky.
The purpose of this project is to collaboratively work with 1-2 smaller rural hospitals to assess accessibility of the facility, develop a collaborative plan to address any barriers, and support efforts to secure funding to address those barriers. The ability to obtain medical care in one’s community, and at the same location as one’s family, greatly increases the likelihood of receiving basic and preventative care and ultimately positively impacts health outcomes.
The first phase of the project will be to determine current best practice in physical accessibility. HDI will then create and refine assessment tool for health care facilities, and conduct assessments with pilot sites. From that assessment we will develop solutions for enhancing accessibility, and be an active part of the follow through toward identifying funding and implementing the identified environmental modifications.
Christina shares, “We are very excited for this opportunity to address the need for access to rural healthcare facilities. We believe the development of this assessment tool, opportunity to work collaboratively with our interdisciplinary team, and these initial pilot sites will provide us with data and successful outcomes that will lead to an improvement of facilities for Kentuckians across our state.”