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Chronic Health Conditions Undermine Consistent Employment

People in Tennessee earning less than $15,000 annually deal with chronic health conditions at nearly twice the rates of those earning $50,000 or more. These health conditions require ongoing, proactive treatment in order to avoid unplanned health episodes that can impact a person’s ability to work.

Unfortunately, access to healthcare services tends to run inversely to income with underserved neighborhoods having few primary care providers, increasing the probability of health complications. In fact, over 40% of Memphis’ primary health clinics are located along the Poplar Avenue corridor, making these clinics difficult or practically impossible to access from the zip codes with the lowest incomes due to transportation challenges.  

The lack of proximity is not the only challenge; Memphis also simply has fewer healthcare providers. Shelby County has 2.5 times fewer healthcare providers per TennCare recipient than Davidson County. These barriers cause treatable conditions to escalate, often to a chronic or disabling level before individuals seek treatment, leading to worse medical outcomes and higher medical expenses.

Mental healthcare providers are also in short supply. Despite the fact that crisis services respond to 1.5 times more mental health emergencies in Shelby County, we have fewer than half as many mental health providers per adult than Davidson County.

Health is a Lifestyle, not an Appointment

The best way to treat chronic health conditions is to address them before they become chronic. LifeDoc does exactly that by offering a proactive approach that prioritizes affordable access and streamlined service delivery. LifeDoc employs Health Workers to proactively see that patients receive preventative care, help minimize time off work by offering scheduling assistance to stack specialists visits, and seek out additional housing, nutrition, or transportation resources when needed.

The organization strives to be a sustainable healthcare model by offering health memberships to its clinics. Members pay $40-$60 per month in order to receive
50% – 90% off services when needed. LifeDoc is rethinking how our economy invests in healthcare to create a system that nourishes healthier communities and supports economic growth.

Chronic Health Conditions Undermine Consistent Employment