Safety Net Clinic: SET Family Medical Clinics’ Comprehensive Healthcare Re-entry Program Makes Re-entry Successful for over 1,000 Ex-offenders

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SET Family Medical Clinics launched a program serving ex-offenders at risk of returning to prison due to lack of access to proper and affordable health care and medication. SET’s goal is to reduce the high recidivism rate of this at-risk population.

Carl Lugenbeel, CHRP patient (center), visits with CHRP staff members, Tina Gonzalez (left) and Rachel Eggleston (right).

If the CHRP Program did not exist, I would be back in prison.

SET Family Medical Clinics (SET), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that provides basic medical services and holistic health programs to uninsured, under-insured, homeless and low income people without discrimination, introduced a program serving ex-offenders at risk of returning to prison due to lack of access to proper and affordable health care and medication. Launched in October of 2008, it was SET’s goal to reduce the high recidivism rate of this at-risk population.

SET with its Comprehensive Healthcare Re-entry Program (CHRP) has done just that. The recidivism rate for the state of Colorado is 64%, the recidivism rate for the ex-offenders in the CHRP program is 6%.

Zelna Joseph, President and CEO of SET, is the visionary who established the Comprehensive Healthcare Re-entry Program (CHRP) to provide a community response system for formerly incarcerated individuals. The program begins before an individual is released from incarceration and promotes a comprehensive approach to health care including a mental health component. Collaborating partners include: Open Bible Medical Clinic, Mission Medical Clinic and A Turning Point of Colorado Springs, Inc., Bridge to Awareness and Pikes Peak Mental Health. According to Joseph, “These partners have been working with SET to identify and remove barriers to services which will ultimately help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reintegrate into our community and avoid returning to prison.”

A current client of the CHRP Program Carl Lugenbeel, states that “If the CHRP Program did not exist, I would be back in prison.” The CHRP Program properly diagnosed his mental health issues, prescribed the correct medications, and got his blood pressure under control. Aside from the health and mental health issues, Carl was brought to tears as he described the attitude of caring and compassion that he felt from the CHRP staff. “I came out of prison with nothing, and SET provided for my basic needs. You don’t know how much I appreciate the hygiene packages that I was given and the information to find other resources to help me,” Carl emotionally added. The CHRP Network of over 50 community service providers offers wraparound services for program participants that include assistance with housing, job placement and connecting with various advocacy groups.

About SET Family Medical Clinics

SET Family Medical Clinics, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, provides basic medical services and holistic health programs to uninsured, under-insured, homeless and low income people without discrimination. SET offers a Family Clinic for acute and chronic needs at the St. Francis Health Center and also provides a Health Literacy Center. The SET Homeless Clinic, although not affiliated with Catholic Charities, is located at The Hanifen Self Sufficiency Center, and is available five days a week for homeless people to access free basic health care. SET also offers Senior Wellness Clinics to several Housing Authority apartment buildings in Colorado Springs. SET Family Medical Clinics saves the Pikes Peak community over 3 million dollars each year by averting non-trauma medical issues from local emergency rooms. SET Family Medical Clinics is sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives / Centura Health. For more information about SET Family Medical Clinics please visit http://www.setofcs.org or call 719-776-8850.

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Zelna Joseph
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