The purpose of the Rock River Health Care Network (RRHCN/Network) is to increase health equity in Jefferson and Dodge Counties, Wisconsin specifically focusing on low-income individuals’ (target population) access to primary care through a value-based approach that provides improved care and health at a lower cost.
The RRHCN was formed in 2019 and the first area of focus has been to support patient care at the Rock River Community Clinic (RRCC), a new community clinic formed by the merger of the area’s free and reduced care clinics: the Community Dental Clinic, the Rock River Free Clinic, and the Watertown Area Cares Clinic. The merger is an effort to create long-term sustainability in order to care for most vulnerable in the Jefferson and Dodge County region. RRCC is in the process of applying for Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike (FQHC) status. In addition, the RRHCN has continued to identify new and unique ways to achieve health equity in our communities.
The RRHCN is comprised of eight local organizations that have a long history of collaboration Network Partners.
The target population for this project is all uninsured and underinsured low-income residents of all pediatric and adult ages (households at approximately 300-400% federal poverty level or below), including Medicaid recipients in 16 select zip codes of the two rural counties that reflect the primary service areas for both Fort HealthCare and Watertown Regional Medical Center. Nearly 1 in 3 households (31.4 percent) in the service area has a household income of $34,999 or less, per Intellimed strategic analytics platform. The RRCC acts as a safety net for an underserved target population that often has fragmented primary care and unmet health needs. Most of their patients served do not have insurance or are Medicaid patients.
Development of the RRHCN was made possible through a federal grant awarded to Fort HealthCare in 2020 through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Network Development Program. The $900,000, three-year grant will enable the Network to implement a strategic plan to meet project goals. The Steering Committee identifies potential projects and subcommittees are formed to further investigate the viability of these projects in meeting the needs of the target population and community. Visit Current Projects – Updates to learn more.
Kristin Wallace, Network Director