In our last post, we’ve shared some stories from community members in Clarkston about why they see a need for Ethne Health in Clarkston. In this post, we want to share some of the hard cold facts about health access and outcomes in the 30021 zip code.
As you can see from the image above, Clarkston, which is highlighted in the red box, is a community in which more than 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. (UDS Mapper) The poverty line is defined as an annual income of $24,000 for a family of 4. (2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines)
33% of the population is uninsured which is significantly higher than the national average of 12.4% uninsured. (2017 American Community Survey, Town Charts Clarkston, Georgia Healthcare Data) (CDC National Center for Health Statistics). Of the remaining population, the majority are insured through public health insurance. (2017 American Community Survey, Town Charts Clarkston, Georgia Healthcare Data)
One of the solutions currently employed by the US government to assist communities such as Clarkston includes community health centers. Community health centers are neighborhood based clinics that receive a large amount of federal support to care for an area’s un- and underinsured. According to the online federal government database, UDS Mapper, only 7.5% of the total low income population in Clarkston currently accesses healthcare at an existing community health centers in the area!
As a result, those who aren’t accessing care at community health centers are often using local hospitals and emergency rooms for nonemergent medical needs. The population of Clarkston insured through Medicaid uses the local ER for health care conditions that can be taken care of in the primary care office at 13 times the rate of those with commercial insurance. (Online Analytical Statistical Information System, GA Health Department)
With the lack of insurance coverage and options for medical care, it is no surprise that the death rates in Clarkston are higher than in other communities nearby. The infant mortality rate is 10.5 per 1,000 lives which is double the national average for infant deaths. Furthermore, measurements of early mortality, such as years of productive life lost, is almost twice the US average. (Online Analytical Statistical Information System, GA Health Department)
In sum, you can see that a sizable portion of Clarkston’s population faces barriers in accessing healthcare currently. The cost for the surrounding hospital community and on the lives of the residents from Clarkston is too great. Help us launch Ethne Health so that comprehensive, high value primary care can be brought to more patients in Clarkston- insured and uninsured alike. Better healthcare happens together!