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More Cape Codders Could Benefit from Duffy’s Services

August 1, 2012  |  By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center

When Duffy Health Center moved into its new building last April, we expanded our capacity to serve patients by 25%. Where will those new patients come from?

Our board of directors asked that exact question, and formed a new committee we are calling the Advancement Committee, which will address all issues related to growth – marketing, communications, fund-raising and grants. The basic question we are asking ourselves is this: Duffy Health Center served 3,200 people in 2011 – how many more Cape Codders can benefit from Duffy's model of integrated care? We looked at our own internal data, and at poverty and health indicators for Barnstable County, and found not surprisingly that there are many more that can benefit.

One of those populations is called the 'doubled up' group. These are individuals and families that lose their housing and move in with friends, relatives or others. These are sometimes unsafe and unsuitable situations, and our federal funding office has deemed that this group is eligible for our services.

Nationally, there are about three million people on the street over the course of one year. But seven times that number, or 21 million, lose their housing each year and have to move in with others to share housing.

Over the course of the coming year, Duffy Health Center will be exploring the problem of 'doubled up' individuals and families on Cape Cod, and developing strategies for how we can bring them in to Duffy services.