Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Access East

  • Project Title: HealthAssist
  • Grant Period: FY2021 Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program (Outreach Track), 2021-2025
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Shantell Creek, Uninsured Programs Director and HealthAssist Coordinator
  • Location: Beaufort, Greene, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, and Pitt counties, eastern North Carolina
  • Program Overview: The mission of Access East is to improve health through access to patient-centered, quality care. Access East offers multiple programs that serve the 27 eastern North Carolina counties. Program staff include community health workers (CHWs) who are certified through the community college and have additional training in medical first aid, diabetes education, and professional development. The CHWs at Access East work with patients to help manage all chronic disease, including hypertension, respiratory issues, diabetes, and mental health disorders.

    Access East's farmworker health program helps care for H-2A temporary farmworkers that come to North Carolina. This program offers enrollment into low-cost insurance via the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace, care coordination, and help to farmworkers who are new to the community navigate healthcare access. Other Access East programs include Medicaid Care Management, Healthy Opportunities, Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace Navigators, and HealthAssist. These programs connect the uninsured to primary care, specialty care, and wraparound services such as transportation and free clinics.

    The HealthAssist program helps eligible patients of Beaufort, Greene, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, and Pitt counties receive primary and specialty care as well as wraparound services at a reduced or discounted fee. The program has enrolled approximately 1,400 low-income, uninsured participants. HealthAssist has a dedicated team of social workers, CHWs, specialty-care practices, patient navigators, medication assistance coordinators, support staff, and over 150 providers across their three participating counties.

    HealthAssist implements additional programs including the Medication-Assistance Program (MAP), MEND, and the Diabetes Supply Initiative. The Diabetes Supply Initiative provides patients with diabetes treatment supplies at no cost. This includes lancets, cotton balls, alcohol prep pads, and glucose test strips. Eligible patients have ongoing difficulties with A1C glucose monitoring and/or have limited access to medical facilities. Case managers provide the supplies to patients and integrate education on diabetes self-management and treatment.

Models represented by this program: