The Kentucky Medical Association works with affiliated groups to support the best practice of medicine in the Commonwealth.
The KMA Alliance assists in the programs of KMA that improve the health and quality of life for Kentuckians. It also promotes health education and encourages participation of volunteers in activities that meet health needs.
The Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care, KMA’s charitable arm, is committed to improving the health of all Kentuckians through medical education and public health initiatives. The Foundation has provided grants to organizations that contribute to the public health of their communities and supports public health campaigns across the Commonwealth.
The Kentucky Physicians Political Action Committee (KPPAC) increases the medical community's impact on the pro-medicine makeup of the Kentucky General Assembly. It works for public policy that makes it easier for physicians to focus on the provision of health care for their patients.
KMA Corporate Affiliates have priority over other companies for sponsorship of KMA events, including the KMA Annual Meeting, seminars and projects. The KMA Corporate Affiliate program offers two levels to meet your marketing needs and provides your company with 12-month exposure to the hard-to-reach physician market in Kentucky.
Kentucky Disability Determination Services (KY DDS), a KMA Level 1 Corporate Affiliate, is doing its part to help the homeless in Kentucky who need disability assistance as part of the Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness.
The council is made up of representatives from various organizations from around the state with the shared goal of ending chronic homelessness in Kentucky. It is currently working on several initiatives toward this end, one of which is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Outreach, Access and Recovery Program, or SOAR.
Three SOAR projects are working to help homeless people around the state. Two programs—Phoenix Health Care, a medical treatment facility in Louisville, and Welcome House, a homeless shelter in Northern Kentucky—are already operating. A new initiative in Fayette County will launch this year. SOAR’s goal is to increase access to SSI/SSDI for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. The programs often are better able to connect with the homeless than is KY DDS. The agency, which makes Social Security disability determinations for Kentuckians, is part of the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The SOAR projects often can obtain information and help ensure homeless Kentuckians attend medical exams.
With the help of Phoenix Health Care and Welcome House, 21 disability claims for homeless Kentuckians were filed and 18 were approved last year. “Eighty-six percent is an unbelievable number,” said Jason Pursifal, KY DDS Specialized Workload Assessment Team supervisor. The unit he supervises handles a majority of the homeless claims. “It shows it really works.”
And it works for real people in need.
Take, for example, the story of a man in his upper 50s who had worked at a local grocery store for decades. He had a long history of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and several physical ailments. He lost his job because of a hospital stay and became homeless.
While he was in the hospital, a mental health worker referred him to Welcome House. The program helped move him to an emergency shelter, obtain a primary health care physician and assess whether he would quality for disability. In just 36 days, KY DDS was able to complete the claim that allowed him to find housing and a source of income.
“What’s so great about our relationship with the SOAR project and these facilities is the communication we have,” Pursifal said, noting the biggest hurdle is tracking down people who live on the streets. “Once we have this relationship, we’re in constant communication and they’re able to locate them for us … and get us anything we need like medical records.”
Once approved, claimants can maintain housing, purchase food and clothing and, in some instances, even pay back debt.