12/04/09 — WATCH reports more patients served in '09

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WATCH reports more patients served in '09

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 4, 2009 1:46 PM


Sissy Lee-Elmore, right, executive director of WATCH, presents an engraved clock to Jimmie Ford for service as chairman of the WATCH board for 2008 and 2009.

Wayne Action Teams for Community Health, or WATCH, has had a good year, its leadership says.

The program, begun nearly a dozen years ago to provide medical services for the uninsured and underinsured, expanded to a second clinic this year.

Sissy Lee-Elmore, executive director of WATCH, attributed much to that milestone.

"Since we have opened the second clinic, we have seen an average of 123 new patients a month," she told the board Wednesday. "Last year, we had 50 new patients a month."

Likewise, she added, patient visits rose by 62 percent this year -- from an average of 567 a month to 929 a month.

"I think we're actually exceeding our goals," she said. "Wait times have gone from six weeks to a week for new patients."

She said the program's two biggest accomplishments for 2009 have been the additional clinic, housed at the Family YMCA, and refurbishing the WATCH mobile van.

The van, out of service for more than a month over the summer, returned in late July with a completely new interior. A $150,000 grant funded the revamp.

Ann King, nurse practitioner, handles patients on the van, which travels to various locations around the county throughout each month.

The program's original nurse practitioner, Kathy Johnson, also returned to the area over the summer to manage the walk-in clinic at the Family Y.

During this week's year-end celebration, Mrs. Lee-Elmore also recognized Jimmie Ford, chairman of the board for 2008 and 2009, presenting him with an engraved clock.