In a letter (attached) to the President and CEO of Ascension Health Care, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey calls on the health care provider to offer free COVID-19 tests for the poor and/or uninsured at Ascension – St. Joseph in the 7th Aldermanic District, which has been the hardest hit area in Wisconsin in terms of concentration of confirmed novel coronavirus cases, according to the Milwaukee County COVID-19 dashboard.
Health Department officials say by far the outbreak is affecting African Americans more than other groups in the city and region, and especially middle-aged African American men. According to the Milwaukee County COVID-19 dashboard, the area with the greatest concentration of COVID-19 cases is centered in the 7th Aldermanic District and extends across the north side of Milwaukee, affecting African Americans almost exclusively, Alderman Rainey said.
In the March 16 letter to Ascension President and CEO Joseph R. Impicciche, Alderman Rainey notes the decision to conduct free testing and treatment by Advocate Aurora Health, and urges Ascension to offer the same at the St. Joseph Campus.
“This is community-oriented health care of the first order and a decision proportionate to the gravity of the moment…I would ask that your organization consider a similar decision for your provider network, particularly at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee,” Alderman Rainey states in his letter.