Martha’s Vineyard Health Care Access program receives state award


State and federal officials last month recognized the Dukes County Health Care Access Program (VHCAP) for its outstanding effort to enroll children and teens in healthcare programs.

The state enrolled 1,479 previously uninsured kids in health care coverage as part of a statewide challenge sponsored by Health Care For All, according to a press release. VHCAP enrolled 43 kids in May, out of a total of 242 enrollees of all ages.

“Because we represent a small community, I was surprised to learn that we came in second place in the whole state,” Sarah Kuh, Director of the Vineyard Health Care Access Program, said. “But they based the ranking on our population, not absolute numbers, and I was very happy to learn of the award. Our staff works so hard to keep Islanders enrolled in these programs, and connected with different types of benefits and health care. This recognition of the importance of what we do every day is very gratifying. ”

“Through the dedicated efforts of the Vineyard Health Care Access Program, Health Care For All’s statewide enrollment challenge exceeded its goal of insuring 500 children by working with 65 other organizations to successfully enroll over one thousand children during the month of May,” the release said.

BMC HealthNet Plan, Network Health, and Neighborhood Health Plan sponsored the effort. Recognition was awarded to the top six organizations that demonstrated the highest percentage of children’s applications out of total applications during the month of May. Vineyard Health Care Access scored second place.

During the month-long challenge, participating enrollment groups found that the reason many parents do not insure their children is because the rules are often confusing and they are not sure how or when to reenroll their kids in health care coverage each year.

“We know many families in the Commonwealth are struggling to stay connected to health care coverage. If parents and guardians are given the tools to ensure their children are reenrolled in coverage every year, we believe we can significantly reduce the number of uninsured children in the Commonwealth,” Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Executive Director of Health Care For All, said. “We are so grateful to the 66 participating organizations, including the Vineyard Health Care Access Program, who stood up for kids. Their work will yield healthier outcomes for generations to come.”

For more information on the Vineyard Health Care Access Program call 508-696-0020.