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RwRp Physican Bruce Hopper in

Jan 27th 2014  New Orleans / Defender Article Jan 2014


The Barman's Fund and the Musicians' Clinic offered bartenders medical check-ups last year. Now, a new program in town aims to give service industry folks more comprehensive health care solutions. The Restaurant Worker Referral Program, Inc. functions as a co-operative healthcare network for those in the service industry. 

Dr. David Ores founded the program in New York City and expanded it to Philadelphia. After visiting the Crescent City “four or five times,” Ores decided that New Orleans was a good fit for RWRP. The program is not a substitute for health insurance, but a means by which servers and bar tenders can get a “first look” to diagnose them.

“In the medical world you call it ‘first look’, to get the restaurant worker in front of a doctor to get them to look at them and decide what’s going on. Often it’s nothing…but in the meantime they are coughing and sneezing all over people’s food, then a small amount end up even sicker,” said Ores.

The idea for the RWRP came to Ores in 2007, when he was treating a lot of restaurant workers in New York City. 

 “I live and work in the lower east side of Manhattan, I’m in a very restaurant dense area,” said Ores. Throughout the years, he saw too many patients sick with pneumonia and other preventable illnesses that could have been treated before they escalated.

 “It’s incredibly cheaper when you figure out how to save four people from going to the hospital,” Ores said.

 So far, Ores is still seeking local doctors and restaurants to get involved. Restaurants pay $150-$200 a month to cover employee visits to participating doctors, who receive $60-$80 for each patient’s visit.

“Workers just want to see a doctor when they don’t feel well. They’re not trained to decide what is and what isn’t serious. They can’t tell tuberculosis from anything else,” he said. “They don’t want to miss work, and a lot of them haven’t got time or money to go to the doctor."

Ores said that the co-operative health care system helps the restaurants as much as the workers. Restaurants could avoid paying thousands in health insurance, or having workers sick on the job, he said. Early intervention can also keep employees out for one or two days, rather than weeks once illnesses escalate, the medical professional said.

“It also helps with goodwill towards employers,” said Ores. “It’s good for worker loyalty.”

 Once the program grows to 100 or more businesses, RWRP participants can display their goodwill on their front doors, said Ores.

 “The sticker is like a gold star that this owner of this place has kindness, cares about their workers,” he said. 

 Find out more information on RWRP on the program's website. 

M D Dupuy


Phiadelphia  2013

BeWellPhilly Magazine


RwRp Physican Dr. Dave Ores on




RwRp Physican Dr. Dave Ores on 




RwRp Physican Dr. Dave Ores in the

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