In 2002, healthcare providers in Lucas County, Ohio responded to a challenge from the late Toledo Mayor Jack Ford to help uninsured residents. The result is Toledo/Lucas County CareNet, an innovative approach to increasing access to healthcare for low-income residents who are uninsured and not eligible for public/private coverage.

CareNet coordinates a charity care network with primary care, hospital and specialty services, creating a uniform approach to charity care by identifying and serving the uninsured and addressing the access issues of awareness, coordination, cost and transportation. For information on becoming a CareNet member, please click here.

Additionally, CareNet employs community health workers (CHWs) to help connect low-income residents to needed medical care and social services, including food, housing, transportation and other basic needs. CHWs, who work through the community-wide Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB, also help residents utilize their health coverage and navigate the healthcare system. CareNet also employs licensed and certified navigators to provide free assistance with enrolling in federal Health Insurance Marketplace or Medicaid health plans to any resident of 21 northwest Ohio counties.

CareNet is a member of the Ohio Association of Free Clinics and an inaugural partner of the Root Cause Coalition. Additionally, CareNet is a member of the Healthy Lucas County coalition of community health improvement organizations.

Through the years, CareNet has received recognition for its efforts on national, state and local levels.

National Recognition

2005: Recipient of the American Hospital Association NOVA Award

2007: Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) recognized CareNet as a best practice for improving health outcomes and reducing disparities

2008: Finalist for the Premier Cares Award

2010: Recognized as a Program of Excellence by the Jackson Healthcare Hospital Charitable Service Award

State Recognition

2005: Ohio Hospital Association Meritorious Service Award

2009: Finalist for the Ohio Non-Profit Excellence Award in 2009

2011: The Ohio Association of Free Clinics Partnership Award was presented to ProMedica and Mercy Health for their support of CareNet

Local Recognition

2006: Recipient of the League of Women Voters Olive Colton Award

2013: Recipient of the Nonprofit Excellence Award for a Small Organization