News & Events

Donation links patients to community doctors

February 18, 2011

The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation has pledged $100,000 toward MyHealthDirect, an innovative tool at Backus Hospital that links patients who lack a primary care physician with appropriate healthcare providers. This provides more timely and ongoing care for patients, and reduces visits to the emergency room.

Kathryn Lord, Director of the local Foundation, presented a $50,000 check to Backus on Feb. 15 — the first part of a two-year pledge. The hospital’s Emergency Care and Trauma Center is named after Ms. Lord’s uncle and aunt, Edward and Mary Lord, whose $500,000 gift to the BackusCare expansion project in 2007 helped make its expansion possible.

“We are excited to support the MyHealthDirect program, as we believe that this is a great positive and forward-thinking move in helping members of our community better their health and their lives,” Ms. Lord said. “This goal could not fit the mission of the Edward and Mary Lord Foundation more perfectly.”

MyHealthDirect is a computerized system that connects healthcare providers and patients, providing Backus staff in the Emergency Department, hospitalists, Care Management and other departments the ability to fill healthcare gaps by making referrals to local clinics such as United Community & Family Services and Generations Family Health Centers.

“The generosity of the Lord Foundation is a great example of how our community hospital can improve the immediate welfare of local patients, and have a positive impact on their future health,” said Genevieve Schies, Director of the Backus Office of Philanthropy and Development.

Backus is one of only six hospitals in the state, and the only one in southeastern Connecticut, to utilize MyHealthDirect.

Since beginning the program in May 2009, Backus has made more than 600 referral appointments. Patients who have a primary care provider, a “medical home,” are able to receive ongoing and comprehensive care for their medical conditions. This keeps patients healthier, and avoids visits to the emergency department.

“This is an extremely important program at a time when the numbers of uninsured and underinsured people are increasing, and healthcare reform is well underway,” Ms. Schies said. “We are extremely grateful to have supporters like the Lord family who understand how important philanthropy is to community hospitals.”