In recognition of their dedication to improving quality of care and follow-up procedures, the EA Hawse Health Center, headquartered in Baker, was named the Top Performing Health Center in West Virginia, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. The Hawse Health Center also received more than $73,000 in grant funding.
“We are fortunate to have such a great group of caregivers here in Hardy County,” said HHC Executive Director Gary Johnson. “Dr. James Riding, our Medical Director, and Vickie Fahey, our Director of Nursing, deserve a lot of credit, as do the nurses and care coordinators. This is a team effort.”
The one-time grant is part of $36.3 million in Affordable Care Act funding given to 1,113 health centers across the country.
“This funding rewards health centers that have a proven track record in clinical quality improvement, which translates to better patient care and it allows them to expand and improve their systems and infrastructure to bring the highest quality care services to the communities they serve,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.
“We have done this for years,” Johnson said. “We receive federal funding and there are strings attached. We report clinical statistics and they provide money to improve quality measures.”
HHC hired a Master Public Health Coordinator to review the facility’s clinical medical systems. “We set up a patient registry to watch outcomes,” Johnson said.
“We also hired six additional staff, care coordinators, to make sure our patients get back here for their routine follow-ups.”
For example, patients with diabetes can benefit from tracking the follow-up.
“If we can control their hemoglobin or A1C, we can eliminate blindness and amputations associated with diabetes,” Johnson said. “If we make sure they come in for their scheduled follow-ups, we can better monitor their condition.”
The A1C test measures blood sugar and gauges how well the patient is managing their diabetes.
Similar benefits can be realized with a host of medical conditions. Johnson said HHC monitors their patients with hypertension, cardiovascular issues, obesity in both adults and children, asthma and tobacco use, HHC also tracks prenatal care, childhood immunizations and screens for cervical and colorectal cancer.
The $73,285 grant included $12,762 for improvement in clinical quality measures, showing a significant improvement in the health of patients they serve.
As a Health Center Quality Leader, HHC received $30,262 as one of the top 30 percent of all health centers in West Virginia were so recognized.
HHC also received $30,262 as a National Quality Leader, having exceeded national clinical benchmarks for chronic disease management, preventative care and perinatal/prenatal care. Only three health centers in West Virginia were so honored and HHC received the largest award.
HHC provides medical, dental, behavioral care as well as pharmacy services. They operate six offices and five school-based health centers. With 94 employees, HHC serves 18,000 patients.