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Breaking Down Barriers to Health Access

Partnering to support rural community members’ health and well-being

“We’re in the healthy people business, and the way that we advance our mission — and help people to get and stay healthy — is by delivering a range of programs and services, all of which are trying to address all the dimensions of access to both health and human services. We are never the wrong door — we can always help!”

Executive Director Claire Parde of The Healthcare Consortium

About The Columbia County Community Healthcare Consortium 

The healthcare system is a maze, and this private, nonprofit organization has been helping residents of Columbia and Greene Counties navigate the associated obstacles for a quarter century. By addressing the myriad barriers that might otherwise prevent vulnerable individuals from receiving the care they deserve — including physical, financial, cultural and linguistic — residents’ access to healthcare services are improved.

The organization first mobilized CARTS (Children and Adults Rural Transportation Service), a door-to-door, non-emergency transportation service aimed at facilitating individuals’ ability to get to and from medical appointments. RxAccess, their Prescription Access and Referral Program, provides under-insured and uninsured residents of Columbia, Greene and northern Dutchess Counties access to low- or no-cost prescription medications (for both emergency and long-term use) who might otherwise be unable to afford the associated out-of-pocket expense. Its Navigator Program helps residents shop for, compare and enroll in quality, affordable health insurance coverage including Medicaid and Child Health Plus; the program also assists with applying for financial assistance to help pay for coverage. 

Our Work with The Healthcare Consortium

FCH is not only invested in the vital programs of The Healthcare Consortium but also in its ability to remain resilient in the long run — both of which stem from a belief that health in our region will improve when the nonprofits at work in our community are better able to adapt and grow. This vision aligns with our strategic framework, launched in 2021 with the understanding that creating equitable opportunities for health starts with addressing the social, economic, and physical environment factors within the communities we serve. At FCH, we understand that organizations like The Healthcare Consortium don’t just need funding for specific programs (although affordable prescriptions and transportation to and from medical appointments are priceless services); they require flexible multi-year support in order to remain nimble in responding to the myriad big-picture needs and conditions of the community — which, once met, will ultimately move the proverbial needle on some big things. 

Executive Director Claire Parde of The Healthcare Consortium talks about the organization’s mission and work in the region.