Community Voices Miami was built on the commitment and knowledge of three experienced core partners Camillus House, Inc., a homeless shelter and clinic serving Miami-Dade's most vulnerable; RAND, a respected research organization; and United Way of Miami-Dade, a conduit to local community-based organizations addressing the needs of underserved people. The Collins Center for Public Policy, Inc. is the new home for Community Voices Miami. The Collins Center is well positioned to work with the Community Voices partners for the systems and policy changes that will assure health care for all.
Community Voices Miami is working to effectively inform policy decisions in Miami-Dade County so that all medically uninsured and under insured individuals will be able to receive quality medical care. To this end, Community Voices Miami has the following activities underway:
Community Voices of Miami has secured over $100,000 from the Health Foundation of South Florida, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, the Dade Community Foundation and the Women's Fund of Miami-Dade County. The Pilot Phase began in January with planning and curriculum development. The first training began on May 3 with twenty CHWs that are being trained over 5 weeks on issues of confidentiality, conducting an interview, safety, ethics, and access to services. The curriculum was developed in collaboration with Miami-Dade College and three outstanding instructors: Myriam Monsalve-Serna, Anna Larotonda, and Gilbert Saint-Jean. There will be 3 more trainings for an additional 40 to 60 CHWs:
CVM has developed an inventory of oral health providers that see people who are uninsured or underserved. This includes people with Medicaid and KidCare. We have also compiled and analyzed best practices to improve access to oral health and oral health outcomes.
CVM is also closely monitoring the Medicaid oral health pilot currently underway in Miami-Dade County. This pilot has been contracted through one HMO and has largely shifted from the fee-for-service structure to a capitated monthly per member rate of $4.80. For that rate, oral health providers who choose to contract with the HMO must provide basic services such as an exam, x-rays, cleanings and sealants. Many providers have decided not to contract with the HMO stating that the rate is too low. Thus, we are in the process of determining how many dentists in Miami-Dade no longer accept Medicaid and how this is impacting access to care. The pilot will run from July 2004 to 2006.
Last Fall, CVM collaborated with Judge Steven Leifman and Partners in Crisis to host an informational meeting for the Dade Delegation, County Commissioners and local media in order to raise awareness and educate the community regarding the criminalization of individuals with mental illnesses. Partners in Crisis has since received $100,000 from the State Legislature. We are finalizing a policy brief which will be used to continue to inform policy makers at the local and state levels to bring attention to this program and the impact of getting people in jail to appropriate mental health treatment.
For approximately eight months in 2004 and early 2005 the Overtown Men's Health Study, a partnership of the Overtown Civic Partnership and Community Voices Miami, has focused on collecting and bringing to bear some of the most pressing health and psychosocial issues affecting the men of Overtown, one of the poorest urban centers in the United States. Dr. April Young, the author of this work, will be presenting on the lessons learned in developing this survey and the story of what is happening in Overtown from the perspective of the residents who participated in the study and those who helped gather the research at different venues in the next few months.
Through this work, CVM has sought to assess health status, behaviors, knowledge and access to care for men in this community and utilize the data collected in influencing policy.
CVM has been working with other advocates and providers to promote school-based health centers as a vital part of the health care safety net. Miami-Dade has 15 school based health centers that provide comprehensive primary an preventative care to our county's poorest children. Because of relationships between the schools' principals and staff, the families that attend the schools, the comunity health centers and others, school-based health centers have unprecedented reach to providing healthcare to vulnerable populations. Some of our school-based health centers are in jeopardy of closing due to funding constraints. We are working with community stakeholders to bring awareness to this issue and advocate for support to keep these school-based health centers open. The long term plan is to advocate for state funding as many other states already have.
The Collins Center The Collins Center for Public Policy, Inc. is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit organization committed to promoting, through thought and action, creative solutions to major private and public issues facing the people of Florida and the nation.
For More Information Contact
The Collins Center for Public Policy, Inc.
150 E. Second Avenue
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: (305) 377-4484
Fax: (305) 377-4485