NORWAY — Stephens Memorial Hospital will hold an open house to celebrate MaineHealth’s Access to Care program, which for 20 years has connected our community’s most vulnerable populations to affordable health insurance and free and low-cost health care and medications. This event, which is open to the public, will be held Wednesday, June 29 from 2-4 p.m. in the Harper Conference Center of the Ripley Medical Office Building (193 Main Street, Norway).

Established in 2001, Access to Care has helped more than 3,558 people in Oxford County navigate the complexities of the health care system to find comprehensive, affordable health care. It has worked with over 6,690 residents to complete prescription assistance applications and guided more than 1,369 people through the Medicaid/ACA application process.

“Access to Care has had a profound impact on the health of our community and reflects our visions of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America,” said Andrea Patstone, president of Stephens Memorial Hospital.

“However, it is important to note that the program’s success really is the success of the people who work on the Access to Care team,” states Patstone. “Their dedication to delivering compassionate assistance to those who are uninsured or underinsured has improved the lives of thousands of our friends, neighbors, and family members. Because of their work, our communities are a better, healthier place to live.”

Access to Care programs include MedAccess, CarePartners, Coverage Team, Complex Coverage Group, Homeless HealthPartners, and the Patient Assistance Line, and have helped over 162,000 people since 2001. These programs connect uninsured and underinsured patients to free and affordable health care, free and discounted medications, and access to the basic necessities of life such as food, transportation, childcare, and housing.

“Our programs have significantly evolved and expanded over 20 years to support individuals across our MaineHealth communities,” said Carol Zechman, MSW, LCSW, the senior director of Access to Care. “However, our focus has remained the same: Identify and address the underlying web of social, physical, and financial needs facing many of the individuals navigating our current health system.”

Patients who could benefit from Access to Care programs are often identified during an Emergency Department visit. They also are referred to the program by primary care providers, especially when faced with an expensive procedure or medication and when life circumstances such as food insecurity challenge the patient’s wellbeing.

For more information about Access to Care, please go to or call toll-free 1.833.644.3571.

Stephens Memorial Hospital is committed to providing health care services and education to the communities we serve. We are proud to be a part of the MaineHealth system, Maine's largest integrated health system of leading high-quality providers and other healthcare organizations, working together to make our communities the healthiest in America.

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