LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Norton Healthcare is concerned that lower-income families aren't receiving the care they need. A new grant is helping its young patients in the west end not only get medical care, but other needs as well, in one place.
"We realize that health is different in different parts of the city," said Dr. Erin Frazier, pediatrician with Norton Children's Broadway office.
About half of the patients at the Norton Children's office on East Broadway come from under-served areas of Louisville's west end. Most are on Medicaid.
"Social determinants of health actually make up way more percentage of your healthcare than what you actually get going to see the doctor where you live. Your education, your employment, your quality of housing, your ability for fresh fruits and vegetables. That affects your health more than just going to see the doctor," Dr. Frazier said.
Dr. Frazier said the office needs more time with the patient, beyond a regular checkup. "In certain areas of the town, there is a lot more violence in neighborhoods, and that community violence affects children, and it can affect their behavior because they're manifesting in ways that are different than maybe adults would," Dr. Frazier said.
Behavior, mental and physical health are all related.
"Some people my age, they go through a lot of suicidal thoughts. Things that they go through at home, they don't know how to cope with, and they struggle with their emotions, and they don't know how to fix them," says 18-year-old Cierra Crenshaw, a patient of Dr. Frazier.
"Your mental health manifests as physical health. So, if we don't address what's really going on and how your body's handling those things, then we're going to miss the mark," Dr. Frazier said.
A $500,000 grant from the Ulmer Family Foundation is helping this office hit the mark with a licensed, full time social worker. She specializes in mental and behavioral health, spending more time with the patient.
The Broadway location also offers nutritional, cooking, safety and parenting classes. It has its very own kitchen under one roof.
Thanks to the Dare to Care Food Bank, this is the first pediatrician's office to offer a food pantry, giving patients more resources.
"Mental and behavior health shouldn't be over here and your physical health over here. We need to tear down those walls, bring them together, and that's how we're going to make an impact on someone's overall health," Dr. Frazier said.
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