|The Pool of Siloam|
|Medical Ministry, Inc.|
Information regarding the Pool of Siloam, including annual reports, newsletters, and Form 990s are available for download or by calling 318-631-2212
Primary Care Clinic
Our focus since the Pool’s inception has been to establish a free medical clinic that serves the poor and uninsured residents of our community. 19.2% of Louisiana residents are uninsured, the twelfth highest rated state in the United States. The Primary Care Clinic, with more than 30 medical care appointments per week, is the starting point for all of our patients. All patients must be seen every 3-4 months by a Primary Care Physician to continue their care in each of our programs.
The Primary Care Clinic focuses on managing recurring conditions and mostly benefits those who are on regular medication The Pool of Siloam provides assistance and education for managing these diseases to live a healthier life.
Our patients find it difficult—and often impossible—to pay for dental care out of pocket. Many of our patients have never visited a dentist, or have not seen a dentist since childhood. Many have told us that they have suffered dental pain in excess of three years.
Patients with poor dental health are susceptible to infections and overall poor health, including the inability to eat a healthy diet, bacterial infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes control, and many other conditions. Achieving and maintaining oral health is vital to overall wellness, and it’s often overlooked by patients and practitioners, especially those in our target population.
The majority of patients seen at the Pool Dental Clinic require extractions, and many patients require multiple visits to address the dental needs discovered during their initial exam. All patients are educated on proper dental care and they are encouraged to return in 6 to 9 months for a routine exam and cleaning.
The Pool of Siloam considers mental health just as important as physical health. Physical and emotional well-being is necessary to achieve overall health. We offer crisis care and grief care, anger management and spiritual support to all of our patients. Every patient of the Pool is eligible for counseling at any time.
During enrollment and the first appointment patients are encouraged to make use of the Counseling Clinic. If a patient chooses to stop attending counseling sessions, they remain eligible for all other services available at the Pool of Siloam.
Breathe Free Program
After opening the Primary Care Clinic, The Pool of Siloam received a number of referrals from hospital case managers, and was approached for assistance with oxygen therapy for patients who could not be safely discharged due to severe cardio respiratory problems and inability to maintain adequate oxygen levels. As the Pool began providing oxygen, either through discounted purchase or by refurbished donated equipment, physicians began referring patients with other respiratory equipment needs, including nebulizers and equipment for the treatment of sleep apnea and end-stage heart or lung disease. This program incurs our largest costs because of the high cost of equipment.
The Breathe Free Program is designed to address the specific needs of patients who suffer from illnesses which either directly or indirectly affect the lungs. . For enrollment in the Breathe Free Program, patients must meet one or more of the following diagnostic criteria: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease to include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchospastic lung disease or asthma; Restrictive Lung Disease; Obstructive Sleep Apnea requiring Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure, end-stage congestive heart failure; lung cancer; any oxygen dependent cardiopulmonary illness or tobacco abuse.
Women’s Health Clinic
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Women's Health USA 2007 statistics, Louisiana is ranked 51st in death rates for breast cancer, having 26.9-34.3 deaths per 100,000. Although Louisiana rates high on routine checkups only 75% of its women have health insurance. This contributes to the state’s low 50th ranking for overall women’s health.
The Pool of Siloam Women’s Health Clinic was established in 2005. Once or twice per month, female patients are treated by a volunteer women’s health nurse practitioner. She provides annual exams and sees patients with existing women’s health problems. She has found cancer in patients who may have gone undiagnosed. Patients with diseases such as cancer are referred to LSUHSC.
A diabetic patient who changes their diet could eliminate the need for some medications. A 2008 News & World Report article states that the number of people with diabetes has increased by 13.5% since 2005. 10% of Louisianans have been told they have diabetes. That is 2 % higher than the rate for the whole United States. In Louisiana there are 39 diabetes deaths per 100,000 people and 25/100,000 in the U.S. overall (2005 Statehealthfacts.org).
One of the goals of the Pool of Siloam Diabetic Program is to provide our patients with health education opportunities that could change their habits toward healthier living with greater attention to their medical needs. This clinic was our first specialized program. Approximately 40% of our patients have diabetes. Together patients and volunteers address the aspects of personal care that reduce the affects of diabetes on their health, such as a safe and healthy home environment, blood glucose monitoring, proper nutrition, exercise and medication dosing.
The Pool also offers a monthly diabetic eye clinic. Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness for people under the age of 65. The American Diabetes Association recommends eye exams at least once a year for people with diabetes. With these regular exams we can recognize changes in the eyes before they lead to visual loss. The patient can be treated and the present level of vision can be maintained or even improved.
REACH Homeless Clinic (Reaching out to provide Equitable Access to health Care for the Homeless)
The Pool of Siloam has always served the homeless and extended our outreach in collaboration with Hope for the Homeless in January 2006. Twice a week, a member of the Pool will take medical care on outreach to the homeless where they live. A 2008 survey done by Hope for the Homeless found 1143 homeless in northwest Louisiana. 9.6% have long-term physical illness. 7% of those surveyed reported a need for health care assistance. On Wednesdays, Hope for the Homeless provides transportation to the Pool for homeless patients who demonstrated need of care during previous outreach.
Medication Assistance Program
The Patience Assistance Program provides free medication for our patients, mainly through the use of pharmaceutical company assistance programs. Requesting free medications from pharmaceutical companies must come from a Patient Advocate, a person approved to fill out enrollment forms and reorder medications for patients. The Pool has several patient advocates and numerous other volunteers who assist them.
Over the counter medications are recommended when appropriate to our patients, and much of these are provided free of charge to our patients through donations. Still, there are instances where The Pool of Siloam must purchase medications for our patients. When possible, we prescribe medications from the Wal-Mart $4 generic medication formulary. If patients are unable to afford even that small amount, the Pool provides them with gift cards, when available, to use in purchasing their medications. Otherwise, through collaboration with Boudreaux’s Compounding Pharmacy, the Pool is able to purchase medications at a greatly reduced cost.
For latest news and info please visit our blog at: http://poolofsiloamclinic.blogspot.com/
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