Welcome to National Health Center Week 2019 (#NHCW19)! To kick off the celebrations, we visited HRHCare’s Community Health and Wellness Fair, in Smithtown, Long Island. Everyone was welcome, and the health center provided free screenings and community resources, with staff on hand to provide more information and tell us about the broad scope of HRHCare’s services.

Stay tuned for more updates on NHCW19 via Facebook (@rchnfoundation@chcchronicles) and Twitter (@RCHN_CHF).

HRHCare staff and community members marked the start of NHCW19 at their Health and Wellness Fair, Smithtown, Long Island.


Population Health Updates 

The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) 2019 Annual Conference took place this past week in Washington D.C., and our population health program colleagues were well represented. Moderated by Dr. David M. Stevens, the workshop, Health Center Approaches to Team-Based Care for Complex Patients, focused on how community health centers are meeting the challenges of caring for individuals with complex needs.

Lakisha Samuels, Project Director of the Georgia Primary Care Association (GPCA) project, Planning Community Health Care Coordination for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System in Savannah, Georgia, presented on GPCA’s collaborative efforts with the Chatham County Juvenile Court and Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care to extend community health services for youth known to the juvenile justice system. Dana Longobardi and Kellan McNally of Fenway Health discussed the integrated primary care based Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program as part of their initiative to reduce ER visits and hospitalizations among high-acuity patients. The presentation slides are available from ACU.

Learn more about our population health initiative.

(Left to right) Lakisha Samuels (GPCA), Dana Longobardi and Kellan McNally (Fenway Health) present at ACU’s 2019 Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.


Population Health: From the Field

Check out some photos from our recent visits to population health initiative grantees, Mariposa Community Health Center (Nogales, AZ) and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center (SJWCFM) (Los Angeles, CA).

RCHN CHF and SJWCFC staff visit project partner, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE), in Los Angeles, CA.

Top image: Participants of Mariposa CHC’s ‘Comer Bien’ (Eat Well) program take part in an exercise demonstration, (Nogales, AZ). 
Bottom image: RCHN CHF and Mariposa CHC staff visit Nogales Community Food Bank, project partner of the ‘Comer Bien’ (Eat Well) program, (Nogales, AZ).


“Community Health Centers were lifesavers after the hurricane, but government didn’t count on them”

Puerto Rico’s health centers continue to be front and center in addressing community health needs, while facing formidable challenges. A recent feature article by McNelly Torres of Puerto Rico’s Center of Investigative Journalism, Centro de Periodismo Investigativo (CPIPR) describes the essential role of Puerto Rico’s community health centers, and their recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Interviewed for the article were Alicia Suárez, Executive Director of the Association of Primary Health of Puerto Rico (ASPPR), and health center leadership including Isolina Miranda, Executive Director of COSSMA Inc, César Montijo, Chief Executive Officer of SANOS, Dr. Arturo García, Medical Director at Centro de Servicios Primarios de Salud de Patillas, Rubén Rodríguez Bou, a family physician with SANOS, Yanira Rodríguez, social worker for COSSMA who is based at the health center’s San Lorenzo location, Darielys Cordero, Project Manager of ASPPR, as well as RCHN CHF President & CEO Feygele Jacobs.

Read the original article (in Spanish): Los Centros de Salud Comunitarios salvaron vidas después del huracán, pero el Gobierno no los tomó en cuenta, or the English translation: Community Health Centers were lifesavers after the hurricane, but government didn’t count on them. You can access the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative report, Puerto Rico’s Community Health Centers: Struggling to Recover in the Wake of Hurricane Maria, here.


CHroniCles #MembershipMonday Spotlight

Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center (VGMHC) owes its name and origin to a tragic 1975 event, when six year old Virginia Garcia and her farmworker parents traveled from their home in Mission, Texas to California and Oregon to work in the fields. Along the way, Virginia cut her foot, and by the time the family reached Oregon, the wound had become infected. Hampered by economic, language and cultural barriers to health care, Virginia died from what should have been an easily treatable injury. In response to Virginia’s untimely death, the community quickly rallied together to open a health center in her memory. The first VGMHC site opened in a three-car garage, determined to prevent future tragedies and serve as a catalyst for change in health care delivery. Today, Virginia Garcia operates six comprehensive health center sites in Washington and Yamhill counties, including a Women’s Clinic, and school-based health centers serving 8 school districts, continuing its proud tradition of providing high quality care to all regardless of ability to pay, including the area’s large population of migrant farm workers.

Read the full profile VGMHC on CHroniCles and contact us at info@rchnfoundation.org to be in the spotlight!


See you at the NACHC CHI and EXPO 2019

Heading to this year’s NACHC Community Health Institute and EXPO (August 18-20), in Chicago, Illinois? Our team will be showcasing CHroniCles in the EXPO hall, so please come by and say hi! We would love to hear from you, learn about your organization, community and history and add your story to the on-line chronicle of America’s community health center movement. We’ll also have giveaways, prizes and treats!

Can’t make it to the CHI and EXPO? We would still love to add or update your CHroniCles profile and share your unique story. To get involved, please contact Irene Bruce, CHroniCles Manager, via email to ibruce@rchnfoundation.org.


In Case You Missed It

Geiger Gibson RCHN CHF Policy Brief: How Would Medicaid Losses in Approved Section 1115 Medicaid Work Experiment States Affect Community Health Centers?

An analysis estimating the impact of Medicaid work requirements in Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas, Kentucky and New Hampshire on beneficiaries who get care at community health centers finds the requirements could drive reductions in capacity, staff and access reductions at community health centers, and impact entire communities.

Across these seven states, 120,000 to 169,000 adult Medicaid health center patients are at risk of losing coverage. As a result of declining Medicaid coverage, health centers would experience a deep reduction in Medicaid revenue – an estimated loss of $89 million to $125 million across all seven states. As a result, health centers would be forced to reduce staff by 815 to 1,145 full-time equivalent staff members, and consequently, would serve fewer patients. Overall, it is expected that 104,000 to 147,000 health center patients in these states could lose access to care.

The analysis was conducted by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Research Collaborative at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Read the full report.


Advocacy in Action

We’re often seen advocating along with CHC and PCA leadership for community health centers. Last month, Foundation staff headed to the Hill, as part of the American Public Health Association Health Advocacy Boot Camp, to address broader public health issues as advocates for programs to address climate change.