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Community Health Center’s Dr. Veena Recommends Simple Steps to Avoid Flu

Meaghan Lyver 0 277

 

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., February 8, 2017: Connecticut is one of the states hit hard by the flu this year, with hundreds suffering from the virus; but it’s not too late to avoid becoming a statistic.

“Get a flu shot. It’s your best protection against the flu, which is expected to peak in March,” says Veena Channamsetty, MD, chief medical officer of Community Health Center, Inc.

Other simple steps to avoid getting the flu:

•             Wash your hands often

•             Avoid close contact with people who are sick

•             If you have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches), limit contact with others

•             Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched by multiple people

•             Boost your immune system by eating healthy foods and drinking fluids

“The flu spreads easily this time of year, especially in schools and office buildings,” says Dr. Veena. “Taking a few precautionary steps to avoid contracting the virus can make a huge difference.”

 

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About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary healthcare system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 145,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit www.chc1.com.


Free Dental Care Provided though CHC Mission of Mercy

Meaghan Lyver 0 412

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., January 23: Dental care providers from Community Health Center, Inc. provided free dental care to people in need and without insurance at its Middletown site Saturday as part of the Mission of Mercy program.

“We provided 37 patients with an array of services from exams, X-rays and cleanings to fillings, dentures and extractions,” said Sheela Tummala, chief dental officer for CHC, who participated in and organized the event. “With the support and service of our volunteers, we were able to help many of the patients in need within our community.”

CHC provides dental care to its patients regardless of their ability to pay, using a sliding fee scale for those without Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.  It periodically holds Mission of Mercy dental clinics to provide services to those who are not patients.

“The nurses and doctors are good; and because sometimes I have a job and sometimes I don’t, it can be difficult for me and my family to pay for my teeth. This helps,” said Noemi Campos, who received dental treatment at the event. 

Thirteen staff members, including dental providers, dental assistants, hygienists, and patient service associates volunteered their time and services for the event while staff from CHC’s Healthcare for the Homeless helped schedule appointments and provide transportation.

Tummala said CHC will hold five more Missions of Mercy at different sites around Connecticut this year.

 

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About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary healthcare system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 145,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health 

CHC and CeCN Expand Electronic Consultations to California’s El Dorado Community Health Center

Meaghan Lyver 0 248

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., January 17, 2017: The Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) and Community eConsult Network (CeCN) extended rapid specialty consultation service to El Dorado Community Health Center, a primary care organization serving 9,000 patients in California’s El Dorado County. 

The service gives primary care providers at the health center access to prompt electronic consultations for their patients in six specialties: cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, and rheumatology. In most cases, the consultations are completed within two business days.

“CeCN gives primary care providers the ability to communicate promptly back and forth with specialists,” says Daren Anderson, MD, a member of the CeCN Board of Directors. “Our research has shown that specialty consultations can be safely and efficiently managed through secure electronic messaging, with improved convenience for patients and without compromising the quality of care,” he adds.

CeCN, a wholly owned subsidiary of CHC, was incorporated in 2015 to improve access to specialty care, especially in areas where it is limited, such as rural and underserved communities. Restricted access to specialty consultations contributes to healthcare disparities, higher rates of disability, and complications in chronic diseases, according to Anderson.

El Dorado Community Health Center is the third healthcare organization in California to join CeCN. Ampla Health and Chapa-De Indian Health joined last year.

CeCN provides specialty consultation to primary care providers in healthcare organizations in seven states.

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About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary healthcare system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 145,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit www.chc1.com.

CHC Nurse Practitioner Residency Program Receives Full Accreditation

Meaghan Lyver 0 143

CHC Nurse Practitioner Residency Program Receives Full Accreditation

  

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., January 16, 2017: The postgraduate family nurse practitioner residency program at Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) has received its initial three-year accreditation from the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Program Consortium (NNPRFTC), an indication of the highest levels of programmatic rigor and best practices.

 “This is an important milestone,” says Margaret Flinter, APRN, PhD., senior vice president and clinical director for CHC. “Full accreditation means that our postgraduate residency training program has been carefully reviewed by peers and leaders in the field and meets objective and rigorous standards. Our program is particularly focused on new nurse practitioners who are committed to practice careers as primary care providers and seek an additional year of training specific to that challenging role.”

“CHC has been a leader in providing excellent education and training for healthcare professionals, and we are delighted the quality of our nurse practitioner residency program is recognized by experts in the field,” says Mark Masselli, president and CEO of CHC.

The NNPRFTC was established as a non-profit organization in 2015 to develop an accreditation service for postgraduate training programs. CHC’s postgraduate nurse practitioner residency program is the second program in the country to be accredited by the NNPRFTC. The International Community Health Services nurse practitioner residency program in Seattle, Wash., was awarded full accreditation by the NNPRFTC earlier the same day.

“Our goal is to ensure that postgraduate training programs for nurse practitioners have the rigor and quality to support new nurse practitioners and those transitioning between specialties and provide the depth, breadth, and intensity of training they seek in preparing for new roles,” says Candice Rettie, PhD., executive director of NNPRFTC. “We are delighted to give our seal of approval to the CHC program.”

The accreditation process, which is voluntary, involves extensive analysis and documentation of the residency program’s operations. It also involves an on-site visit for verification and inspection of the program and its facilities by professionals with nationally recognized expertise in postgraduate training for nurse practitioners.

CHC established the nation’s first postgraduate nurse practitioner residency program in 2007. 

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About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary healthcare system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 145,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Qua

New Program Helping Providers Treat Opioid-Addicted Patients Now Available to California Health Centers

Weitzman Institute Launches California Project ECHO Addiction Treatment Program

Meaghan Lyver 0 601

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., November 28, 2016: With deadly overdoses occurring across California, the California Health Care Foundation and the Center for Care Innovations have partnered with the Weitzman Institute to develop a Project ECHO Buprenorphine program specifically for California primary care organizations. Already more than a dozen health centers statewide have joined to improve and expand their ability to treat patients suffering from opioid addiction.

Weitzman’s ECHO Buprenorphine is the only such program designed and developed by primary care providers for primary care providers. Healthcare providers throughout California will benefit from real-time case discussions with primary care practitioners actively treating substance abuse and addiction and from their firm understanding of the realities and challenges faced by front-line providers.

“Weitzman ECHO is the only ECHO program developed by primary care providers for primary care staff, and, for this reason, it is uniquely and ideally suited to address the needs of front-line primary care staff,” said Daren Anderson, MD, director of the Weitzman Institute and CHC’s vice president and chief quality officer. “Weitzman ECHO lectures and discussions are led by active, practicing providers who speak from experience and fully understand the challenges faced by front-line providers. This fact has led Weitzman ECHO to grow into one of the largest ECHO providers in the country, delivering sessions to more than 880 providers and care team members in 24 states nationwide,” said Anderson.

Buprenorphine is one of the most effective, evidence-based interventions for treating opioid abuse and reducing overdose, but few primary care providers have experience with the therapy or understand how to incorporate it into their practice. The Weitzman ECHO creates virtual classrooms for primary care providers and members of their practice teams to improve their skills and gain confidence in treating patients’ substance use disorders. Providers who have participated in Weitzman ECHO clinics routinely report high satisfaction and greater confidence in their ability to treat patients.

The Weitzman ECHO is made available to California health centers by the California Health Care Foundation and the Center for Care Innovations. “Project ECHO is a great tool in the fight against the opioid epidemic,” said Kelly Pfeifer, MD, a director at the California Health Care Foundation.  “Only one in 10 Californians has access to addiction treatment, and the need is urgent. We are proud to partner with the Weitzman Institute to allow more people to find treatment that works, with the primary care provider they trust.”

In 2016, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) granted Substance Abuse Service Expansion Awards to 36 California health centers to provide medication assisted treatment for patients suffering opioid use disorders.  However, most California awardees reported little or no experience providing addiction treatment and said they needed technical assistance. In response to the request for support, the California Health Care Foundation and the Centers for Care Innovations established the Treating Addiction in the Primary Care Safety Net program, which offered Weitzman ECHO Buprenorphine, along with other technical assistance programs. To date, 14 health centers have agreed to participate in ECHO Buprenorphine. Additional health centers throughout California are expected

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