FARMINGTON — The Maine Health Access Foundation has awarded Franklin Memorial Hospital $197,818 over two years to implement Franklin CARES, a nurse navigator pilot program.

The purpose is to improve care coordination, access to care and integration of behavioral health care for uninsured and underinsured patients qualifying for free or discounted care under the hospital’s financial assistance policy.

Franklin CARES, an acronym for providing Care, Access, Resources, Education and Support, will partner with Franklin Health primary care practices and its behavioral health practice, Evergreen Behavioral Services, and the Healthy Community Coalition to develop and implement the program.

Appointed nurse navigator for the initiative is Tracy Harty, RN, BSN, who will act as the project lead.

Harty has been employed by Franklin Community Health Network affiliates, Franklin Memorial Hospital and Healthy Community Coalition, for nearly 30 years, with most of that time in leadership roles.

She will act as a liaison among patients, hospital case managers and primary care providers to see that patients are following their plan of care and taking their medications as prescribed. When appropriate, she will connect them to community resources such as food banks, prescription assistance programs, dental care, and senior services.

Harty welcomes calls from community members who believe they meet the financial criteria and would like to be enrolled in the initiative. She may be reached at 779-2830.

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