SPAN: Providing Primary Care for Adults with Special Needs

Mar 21, 2023

Primary care is a fundamental aspect of healthcare, providing individuals with access to essential medical services, preventive care, and routine checkups. For adults with special needs, finding adequate primary care can be challenging due to various barriers, including physical, cognitive, and financial limitations. However, one organization that is making a significant impact in addressing these barriers and improving access to primary care for adults with special needs is SPAN (Special Needs Ability Program, Inc.).

What is SPAN?

SPAN is a nonprofit organization based in New York City that provides primary care and other healthcare services to adults with special needs. The organization was founded in 2001 by Dr. Alan Kadish, a neurologist who saw firsthand the lack of adequate healthcare for adults with special needs and wanted to make a difference. SPAN's mission is to promote health equity and improve the quality of life for individuals with special needs by providing compassionate and personalized medical care.

One of the primary ways that SPAN achieves its mission is by offering comprehensive primary care services that are tailored to the unique needs of each patient. SPAN's team of healthcare professionals includes physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, and other staff members who work together to provide coordinated and individualized care. This approach ensures that patients receive the medical attention they need while also addressing any social, emotional, or psychological needs they may have.

How does SPAN help?

SPAN provides a range of healthcare services, including dental care, vision care, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. The organization has partnerships with other healthcare providers and community organizations, which allows them to offer a wide range of services that meet the diverse needs of its patients.

Promoting patient empowerment and self-advocacy is a crucial component of SPAN's job. The SPAN organization is aware that people with special needs frequently have little say in their medical treatment and may encounter significant obstacles when trying to advocate for their health. To combat this, SPAN works closely with patients and their families, offering support and education that encourages them to actively participate in healthcare choices.

The dedication of SPAN to enhancing health equity for people with special needs is another crucial component of its work. No matter their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or disability, everyone should have equal access to opportunities for excellent health. When it comes to accessing healthcare services, adults with special needs frequently encounter significant barriers that SPAN works tirelessly to eliminate.

To achieve health equity, SPAN takes a community-based approach that involves collaborating with other organizations and community members to identify the unique needs of their patients and develop programs and services that meet those needs. SPAN also provides education and training to healthcare professionals and community members to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges adults with special needs face.

Last but not least, SPAN's work is also influenced by a dedication to innovation and study. The organization regularly updates its programs and services based on research it performs on the particular healthcare requirements of adults with special needs. In order to foster innovation and create fresh strategies for overcoming the difficulties encountered by adults with special needs, SPAN also works with other organizations and academic institutions.

To sum up, SPAN is an essential organization that is having a big effect on how healthcare needs for adults with special needs are met. SPAN is enhancing access to healthcare services and fostering improved health outcomes for this underserved group through its commitment to health equity, community-based approach, patient empowerment, research, and innovation. Organizations like SPAN serve as a shining example of the development we can make when we collaborate to meet the particular needs of our communities as we continue to work towards a more equitable and inclusive healthcare system.