April 19, 2017

Malta House's Hartford health coach program nets $150K donation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation has funded a new health coach program at Malta House of Care mobile medical clinic in Hartford to help uninsured patients with chronic disease better manage their conditions, according to a joint announcement this week.

The philanthropic arm of Ridgefield-based Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. gave $150,000 to launch the program, which began April 1. The money paid for the hiring of a bilingual (English-Spanish) health coach and other program support costs, said Marybeth McGuire, director of corporate social responsibility for the foundation.

The health coach program is based off another such program the foundation funded for Americares Free Clinics, which serves uninsured patients at the Boehringer Ingelheim Americares Free Clinic in Danbury. The Malta House program will qualify for new funding each year by meeting certain criteria, McGuire said, hoping to see the program grow.

The field of health coaching emerged to fill an information gap, based on research that shows half of patients — with and without insurance — leave medical visits without understanding their provider's advice. The health coach will work one on one with patients to ensure they have the information they need, and understand what they need to do achieve their health goals.

The Malta House health coach will partner with patients who have struggled to manage their health in the past, working at the mobile medical clinic's sites in the Asylum Hill, Barry Square and downtown neighborhoods in Hartford, and at the Burnside Avenue location in East Hartford. Success will be determined by measuring changes in clinical outcomes such as blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol; overall clinic productivity; and patient and staff satisfaction.

The grant for Malta House follows another this month from the CVS Health Foundation of $35,000.

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