Project Access Postponed

    GRAND RAPIDS — Two community physicians’ associations today announced they will delay the launch of Project Access — a program to bring full health care to the poor — to Jan. 1.

    The announcement came from the Kent County Medical Society and the Kent County Osteopathic Association.

    Project Access is a nationally recognized program to afford full health care services to Kent County residents with low income and no medical insurance.

    Project Access originated in a county in North Carolina and it’s currently operating in 23 communities across the United States.

    Bruce Springer, M.D. and president of the local medical society, said the program was originally expected to begin in the middle of this year.

    “Due to our need to more extensively investigate and develop relationships with existing community health plans, hospitals, physicians and others, the Project Access board members believe an official launch date of Jan. 1, 2005, would be more appropriate,” he said.

    Project Access is intended to coordinate the charitable efforts of primary care physicians and specialists to provide impoverished people with free laboratory services, inpatient and outpatient treatment, low-cost medications and translation services and transportation.

    According to Jeffrey M. Stevens, D.O. and president of the osteopathic society, members of the Project Access board have voted to create a new nonprofit charitable organization to implement Project Access.

    “This will allow for a more thorough and thoughtful preparation to better serve the interests of all involved,” he said.

    Residents wishing to know more about the program can contact Project Access at 458-4157.  

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