While decades have passed since the adoption of federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws aimed at removing barriers to healthcare for people with disabilities, dramatic disparities in care persist. As a result, people with disabilities suffer disproportionately high rates of preventable conditions and higher mortality rates from treatable diseases.
Since 2008, ICS has led the expansion of access to healthcare for low-income New Yorkers with disabilities, starting with women’s health services and moving into access to primary care. Founded and overseen by Marilyn Saviola, Senior Vice President for Advocacy, the ICS Women’s Health Access Program works in partnership with healthcare providers to increase access to preventative services and medical treatment for women with physical disabilities.
By engaging consumers with disabilities to educate policymakers, healthcare providers, and funders about their experiences attempting to get accessible health services, over ten years ICS has established seven centers where, for the first time, low-income women with disabilities are able to receive accessible, disability-competent mammography, breast exams, and gynecological care.
More information on the ICS healthcare access program
A powerful focus on prevention
The Women’s Health Access Program is an important part of ICS’s overall focus on prevention. Our most important goal is helping our members stay healthy, independent, and out of the hospital. We do this in many ways.
- ICS members are able to get mammography, gynecological exams and other important health screenings from providers we have trained in disability competence. An ICS nurse accompanies our members on these visits.
- ICS care navigators are located at the facilities where many of our members get medical care and can help them get the most out of their appointments with their doctors.
- ICS has strong relationships with disability-competent medical providers and specialists across New York City, which benefits our members with Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and other disabilities. These relationships ensure that our members can get care that is coordinated and timely, helping them avoid the health crises that lead to emergency room visits and hospital stays.
- The ICS Wound Care team has an outstanding record of helping our members prevent painful, dangerous pressure injuries.
- Our care navigators are experts in common health issues people with disabilities face, including urinary tract infections and the need for preventative bowel and bladder management.
For more information about our work expanding access to healthcare for people with disabilities, call 1.877.ICS.2525.