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Tom Gibbon

Tom Gibbon

Manager, Swedish Community Specialty Clinic

Tom Gibbon is a Project Manager for External Affairs and also manages the Swedish Community Specialty Clinic. Tom is on the Board of Directors of the Washington Free Clinic Association and has recently served on the Board of Directors for the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. He has worked at Swedish for the past 11 years and is committed to working with programs that focus on Washington state’s uninsured population.

Blog Posts by Tom Gibbon

Creating Healthy Communities

On Saturday, March 10th, Sallie Neillie and I will be presenting a workshop at Guiding Lights. Here is a synopsis:

Creating Healthy Communities: a Story of Corporate Citizenship

This workshop is a great primer for anyone interested in how good corporate citizenship contributes to the vibrancy of communities. In response to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Swedish Medical Center developed a Community Needs Assessment that became the cornerstone of a clinic providing specialty care for the uninsured in King County. Through partnerships with non-profits and foundations, over 300 Physicians and Dentists are now providing no-cost care for the underserved at this clinic. In this workshop, you will learn how to develop your own Community Needs Assessment, and discuss how to create a vibrant, evolving network of partner organizations to meet a need in your community.

Swedish introduces new specialty dental clinic

(Ed. note: A version of this will appear in the Spring/Summer issue of Impact.)

Access to specialty dental care for the uninsured and underinsured in our community took a significant step forward with the recent opening of the Swedish Community Specialty Clinic dental program, the first of its kind in the Puget Sound area.

Oral health services have become less available to low-income individuals since the state funding of adult Medicaid dental programs was cut in January, 2011. The funding cuts have also affected dental-care access for developmentally disabled and elderly populations. These reductions have led to an increase in hospital visits, as severe dental pain is among the top five reasons underserved patients utilize the emergency room.

In response to this critical need, Swedish began brainstorming new ways to address the gap in care offerings. In September, 2010, Swedish opened the innovative Swedish Community Specialty Clinic (SCSC) as part of its more than 100 year commitment to providing excellent medical care to all in need, regardless of their ability to pay. The SCSC is designed to treat low-income uninsured or underinsured patients with services including orthopedics, dermatology, cardiology, gynecology, neurology, occupational therapy, podiatry and many others. Adding a dental program was a natural next step for the SCSC. In collaboration with Seattle Special Care Dentistry and Project Access Northwest, Swedish embarked on a plan to install three new procedure areas, fully equipped for specialty-care services, within the SCSC.

At the January 17 ribbon cutting. From left to right: Amy Winston, DDS, Bart Johnson DDS - both from Seattle Specialty Dental Program. Jerry Retsema- Burkhart Dental Supply. Princy Rekha, DDS – Seattle King County Dental Society & Foundation. Dan Dixon – Vice President, External Affairs at Swedish. 

The dental clinic is designed as a referral-based service for patients who are at or below 200 percent of poverty level. Patients are referred to the clinic through Project Access Northwest. Swedish estimates some 30 volunteer dental professionals will see up to 450 patients in the first year of the clinic’s operation. As many as 45 volunteer dentists and oral surgeons will treat an estimated 2,000 patients in its second year. The initial focus of the clinic is difficult tooth extractions with plans to include endodontic and periodontal services in the future.

Specialty Dental Services now available for the uninsured at Swedish

What do you do if you don’t have insurance and need healthcare? The Swedish Community Specialty Clinic is here to help – and it is designed exclusively to treat low-income uninsured or underinsured patients.  We provide advanced medical care at no cost by volunteer specialists from Swedish and several other physician groups.

At Swedish Community Specialty Clinic, we:

  • Provide another resource for those who have no other options for specialized care.
  • Combine several existing and new services under one roof and improve care through innovations such as electronic health records.
  • Server as a dedicated space for volunteer physicians to meet with patients.
  • Include a support staff to help maintain physician schedules and set initial visits and follow-ups.

“The Specialty Clinic is a testament to Swedish’s commitment to serve the entire community,” says Swedish CEO  Dr. Rod Hochman. “We want to set a new standard in community health and clearly demonstrate that charity care is a core part of our non-profit mission, which continues even in a down economy.”

The clinic, which cares for patients with appointments on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., is located near advanced medical imaging facilities and other specialty-care professionals. We estimate more than 2,000 patients will be seen at the facility each year for dermatology, general surgery, hand surgery, orthopedics and podiatric surgery services.

Patients likely to use the new clinic:

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