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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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Neighborcare Health

Seattle, WA 98104

Project: Neighborcare Health–Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities Initiative

Amount: $242,640

Project Abstract
Neighborcare Health–Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities Initiative is intended to provide enrollment support to the diverse, underserved communities of Seattle. In King County, Washington, residents of high-poverty areas face a number of health disparities, including higher hospitalization rates, a higher death rate, and lower life expectancy compared with higher-income individuals. Additionally, less than one quarter of Spanish-speaking King County residents have a usual source of health care. The project’s target population is uninsured individuals from low-income neighborhoods throughout King County, particularly those for whom English is not their native language, including populations of recently immigrated Somali, Ethiopian, and other East Africans. Of the total uninsured population in Seattle, 32 percent are foreign-born residents. 

Neighborcare Health will target existing patients and other members of Seattle’s low-income communities and educate individuals on the available programs through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Staff will conduct outreach and collaborate with community partners through workshops, community health education, and distribution of language-appropriate materials to community residents. Staff will use previously developed materials and the Washington [state] Healthplanfinder to enroll uninsured individuals and families. Neighborcare Health will combine community outreach to families who are not yet users of services with targeted in-clinic outreach to established patients who are not currently enrolled in health insurance. Utilizing the ability of their staff to speak multiple languages (Amharic, Arabic, Laotian, Mandarin, Spanish, Somali, Tigrigna, Thai, Vietnamese and English), Neighborcare staff will target the diverse, hard-to-reach populations throughout the city. Neighborcare’s Eligibility Specialists participate in many outreach events annually, including: health fairs, neighborhood street fairs, parent teacher conferences and back-to-school events, and special events hosted by community-based organizations. Additionally, staff will seek out clients in non-traditional environments, such as homeless shelters, transitional housing, public housing projects, schools that do not yet have school-based health centers, and schools with high percentages of students on the free and reduced lunch program.   

Expected outcomes for this project include:

  • Increased awareness of the benefits and requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA);
  • Increased enrollment of minority populations in private insurance through the Marketplace or Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and
  • Increased awareness of health disparities.

Performance measures for this project include:

  • Total number of underserved and hard-to-reach populations served through outreach, education, and enrollment activities;
  • Number of individuals from underserved and hard-to-reach minority populations that apply for health insurance coverage offered through the Marketplace or Medicaid/CHIP;
  • Number of persons enrolled in private insurance through the Marketplace or Medicaid/CHIP; and
  • Number of workshops for consumers on accessing and obtaining health information.

The project will incorporate multiple methods to evaluate whether outcomes are achieved. Neighborcare’s Director of Grants and Compliance will conduct an objective assessment of the project activities based on information and data received from Neighborcare’s Eligibility Manager and its own internal tracking system of application and enrollment numbers. Neighborcare has been operating an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system for over eight years and has robust reporting and data collection capabilities. This data will include information on the number of individuals screened for eligibility for health insurance programs, the number of individuals who were assisted through the application process, the number of complete applications, the type of insurance applied for, and the number of individuals successfully enrolled in an insurance program. Additionally, Neighborcare tracks the number of community outreach events attended or facilitated by its Eligibility Specialists. Qualitative information on best practices and potential opportunities for improvement will also be collected through key informant interviews with the Project Director, Eligibility Manager, and Eligibility Specialists. These conversations will supplement the quantitative data received from the Eligibility Manager in order to make recommendations on how the project’s strategies and activities can be improved.

Health System and Life Experience: Improve health and healthcare outcomes for racial, ethnic, and underserved populations.
Cultural and Linguistic Competency: Improve cultural and linguistic competency and the diversity of the health-related workforce.


  • AHS-1: Increase the proportion of persons with health insurance.
11/12/2015 6:21:00 PM