While Physician Volunteers for the Arts (PVA) medical director Dr. Barry Kohn continues to recruit physicians and expand free NYC clinic services by keeping the Actors' Fund's clinic open five days a week, Playbill On Line has also learned that an entirely new L.A. clinic program will be initiated in January.
"As the medical director, I'm available all the time," said Dr. Kohn, PVA's program founder and medical director. Kohn said that while the NYC clinic is not open full time, he is available for phone consultation five days a week.
A retired, board-certified allergist, immunologist and pediatrician, Kohn told Playbill On-Line he is devoting his time to improving access to quality health care for performing arts professionals,
"I've even been known to make house calls to theatres," he added. Kohn said that the Actor's Fund is also creating space for clinic offices in Los Angeles' Museum Square.
"In January we'll begin to set up in Los Angeles," Kohn said. "The long term goal is to have clinics on both coasts. It's taken me three-and-a-half years to get the New York clinic this far along, and initially our Los Angeles service will simply be a phone line hook up with New York." Later, Kohn said, he will begin working in Los Angeles on a limited schedule -- perhaps for a few half days a week -- while commuting to New York. Thus the Actors' Fund will gradually build a presence for the Los Angeles clinic over a period of six to twelve months.
The Actors' Fund says that for patients who require continuing care, the physicians at PVA may provide "specialty consultations." PVA will refer patients to New York Presbyterian Hospital clinics for a one-time, single consultation, and a specialist will see uninsured patients for a flat fee of $40. Uninsured patients from the PVA clinic will be referred to the Actors' Fund Artists' Health Insurance Resource Center so they can learn about viable insurance options. The research center is a comprehensive national database located on the Fund's home page at www.actorsfund.org.
For further information on the Actors' Fund PVA program, free clinic or lecture series, call Amanda Labarbera R.N., at PVA, (212) 489-2020, ext. 140. Aimed at providing service to entertainment professionals, PVA provides acute intervention and specialty care referrals at the Actors' Fund's Aurora residence, located at 475 W. 57th Street in NYC. PVA also provides an ongoing series of physician talks on health topics.
-- By Murdoch McBride