LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Friday, Humana teamed up with Volunteers of America (VOA) to host a Community Health Fair in Louisville’s West End to kick off a their new partnership and community outreach program.

What You Need To Know

  • A new partnership between Humana and Volunteers of America makes health care access easier for West Louisville residents 

  • It’s a grassroots outreach program called "Determined Health"

  • VOA volunteers will visit all nine West Louisville neighborhoods, knocking on Humana members’ doors to connect them with an accessible health care platform

  • The program is specifically focused on Humana members who haven’t seen a primary care doctor in 18 months or who have chronic conditions

“Sometimes it is hard to get health care, and a lot of people are even afraid to even see if they are OK,” said West End resident Margo Bryant, regarding the difficulty of accessing quality health care where she lives.

However, a new program called “Determined Health” aims to reduce those barriers. The program is a grassroots outreach program where VOA volunteers visit all nine of West Louisville’s neighborhoods. They will knock on Humana members’ doors to connect residents with an accessible health care platform.

“Our goal is to ensure that those Humana members, who have been out of care for more than 18 months, get back to the doctor and deal with whatever primary health care needs they have or behavioral needs that they have,” said President and CEO of VOA Mid-States Jennifer Hancock.

Another focus of the initiative is to reach members with chronic conditions. 

“We discovered through our comprehensive data analysis, there’s a high percentage of Black males who have hypertension. There’s a high percentage of Black females who have unfortunate events due to maternal mortality rates,” said Humana’s Associate Director for Health Equity, Keisha Smith.

During the press event, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the facts are undeniable about the disparity in access to health care in the West End. 

“That if you grow up around Shawnee Park, which is just down the street, your average life is going to be 12 years shorter than if you live near Tom Sawyer Park, and that’s a fact. That’s data,” Fischer said.

The "Determined Health" initiative also aims to go beyond better access to health care by also providing access to social services to make a Humana member’s health better.

“So we’ll provide transportation. We’ll address food insecurity, housing needs, whatever it takes to help our neighbors and these members get back on their feet and live the healthiest, best lives they possibly can,” Hancock told Spectrum News.

Bryant called the new initiative a good deed. 

“I’m glad that it’s down here so people can get tested and get healthy, and they have things that they need to do that,” she said.

VOA spokesperson Doug Scofield told Spectrum News during a phone call after the kick-off event that the program will last indefinitely. 

“In hopes to show progress in eliminating health disparities,” Scofield said.

Scott Neumann contributed video for this story.