I loved taking care of my patients. Leaving clinical practice, the one thing that consoled me was having a plan to move from one-on-one patient care, to helping patients on a broader, more systemic level. It’s taken a bit to find just the right path (the global pandemic didn’t help any), but I am extremely proud to announce the public launch of the non-profit I have founded, The Asclepius Initiative (AI). Yes, it’s an unfamiliar mouthful, but there were already so many great organizations with the words “Kentucky” and “health” in them, I can’t keep them straight. So even if you can’t spell it or pronounce it, hopefully you’ll remember it. (By the way, you say it “uh·sklee·pee·uhs.”)
AI’s mission is to improve the health and economic stability of Kentuckians, and ultimately everyone residing in the United States, by educating, inspiring, and mobilizing the public to advocate for a universally accessible, affordable, equitable and high-quality healthcare delivery system.
Our first big project was to design and commission a survey of 1000 adult Kentuckians, to ascertain their attitudes and beliefs about the US healthcare delivery system, and their willingness to entertain alternative delivery models. The online survey, was carried out between April and May 2022 by Qualtrics, Respondents were matched to Kentucky demographics with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, insurance status (uninsured, insured through employer, Medicaid, Medicare, non-group), and urban vs rural.
Some key findings include the following:
- Two-thirds (67%) favor a government health plan that would provide health insurance for everyone.
- Three-fourths (75%) of those surveyed feel health care is a basic human right.
- Four in 10 Kentuckians would make life changes, if they did not have to worry about health insurance coverage;
- As a result of medical costs;
- 59% of Kentuckians have avoided going to the doctor;
- 53% skipped or stopped follow up care;
- 43% skipped or stopped medication;
- 31% were unable to purchase food; and
- 10% declared bankruptcy.
- Nearly four in 10 Kentuckians have had to give up necessary commodities such as, food or clothing to pay for medical care; and
- More than half of those surveyed worried about health care expenses for themselves or their families at least once a month, and nearly one in five worried about health care costs every day.
You can access the full report at:
You’re also invited to check out our website @ www.asclepiusinitiative.org and to follow us on social media.