Care Ring Q&A With the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce

During a visit to the recently remodeled Charlotte Chamber of Commerce in Uptown Charlotte, I was reminded of just how fortunate we are to have an effective business – and health care – advocate for our city.

The Charlotte Chamber recognizes that health care is a real force - more than 100,000 individuals are employed in health care occupations here, and major health care systems like Carolinas Healthcare System, Novant Health, and OrthoCarolina keep an extensive presence across the city.

The Chamber produces an annual report on health care’s impact in Charlotte in which they feature Care Ring and our important role in advancing health and wellness for all. Here are excerpts from a Q&A on Care Ring and our work that was included in their most recent report:

Describe Care Ring’s history and growth in Charlotte.

Sixty years ago our founder, Maribelle Connerat, believed a community with a culture of wellness thrives. She laid a foundation to improve the health and well-being of people in our region with limited resources, creating a model of care designed to empower individuals to establish and maintain good health. Today we are focused on innovative solutions to serve those most in need in the midst of massive health care transformation. From partnering with volunteer physicians to care for the indigent, to providing access to quality, affordable health care in the Center City, and even going into the homes of new mothers to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable families, we embrace new ideas and new ways to care for those in need.

What impact does Care Ring have within the community?

For six decades Care Ring has been a recognized leader providing and improving access to quality, affordable health care services for uninsured and low-wealth individuals. The demand for our services remains high: tens of thousands of our neighbors in Mecklenburg County continue to experience barriers to health care even after implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It is our mission to empower these individuals with limited resources, helping them establish and maintain good health. We have a network of 1600 volunteer health professionals and countless partnerships in the community with business, public sector, and other nonprofit agencies that help us achieve our mission. We recently recognized the generosity of our partnering physicians and dentists, celebrating more than $100 million in donated care over the last 10 years from Charlotte’s medical community through participation in one of our programs.

What health care organization and business partnerships are you engaged in? How do these partnerships help bolster health care services?

Care Ring leverages community partnerships to build a continuum of public health services for our community. We have strong community partnerships with many local businesses and organizations including, but not limited to: BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, Carolinas Healthcare System, Mecklenburg County, OrthoCarolina, Menaker Rodney Dentistry, Novant Health, Regions Bank, United Way, Wells Fargo, Winstead and many others. These partnerships have helped us reach more of our neighbors and showcase our organization to new clients, supporters and friends of Care Ring. We embrace the Charlotte Chamber’s Healthy Charlotte initiative, and are fully supportive of its goal to help our region become one of the fittest metropolitan regions in the country.

What is the importance of the nonprofit sector in the health care industry?

As a nonprofit, we are primarily responsible and accountable to the communities we serve, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable in Charlotte. We are the heart of community health.

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