It is estimated that there are more than 55,000 uninsured residents in Montgomery County. As one of 10 safety net clinics, Mercy is dedicated to removing barriers for low-income uninsured patients to access healthcare.
Mercy serves more than 2,200 patients annually, nearly 7,500 office visits and/or free medication pick up visits. All of our patients struggle with access to healthcare and are impacted by multiple social determinants of health in addition to the challenges of living in poverty in this affluent region. Our patients struggle to access healthy food, as well as facing health disparities common to Hispanic/Latino populations and recent immigrant populations. In addition, our patients struggle with obesity and chronic health conditions at a higher rate than the average population. Approximately 66% of our patients are obese and 35% are managing a chronic condition such as diabetes and hypertension.
Our patients primarily work in service and contracting jobs, with no health insurance and no paid leave; they do not have income if they do not work. These groups were among the hardest impacted by the pandemic and often experienced the highest rates of community spread of the virus. All of our patients have a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty line.
Recognizing that poverty has a substantial impact as one of the social determinants of health, we have expanded partnerships that better coordinate access to other necessary social supports such as healthy food and to other nonprofit programs that provide legal help, rental assistance and early childhood education programs.