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Executive Committee

Alan Stevens, President

Community Health Center of Central Missouri Ben Ernst, Vice President

n March 23, 2012, during the National Association for Community Health Centers (NACHC) Policy & Issues Forum in Washington, DC, Missouri Primary Care Association’s Angela Herman received top honors. Ms. Herman, Deputy Director of the Missouri Center for Primary Care Quality and Excellence, is the winner of the 2012 UCLA/Johnson and John-

Northwest Health Services, Inc. Dwayne Butler, Treasurer

BJK People’s Health Center, Inc. Pat Richards, Secretary

Southern Missouri Community Health Center Robert Massie, Past President

Family Care Health Centers

Don McBride, Member-at-Large

Access Family Care Ron Camp

Cross Trails Medical Center

Dr. Heidi Miller

Sherilyn Clark

Dr. Victor Tabbush, Adjunct Professor at the UCLA School of Management presents Angela Herman with her award

Missouri Highlands Health Center Gloria Crull

Family Health Center T.R. Dudley

Great Mines Health Center, Inc. Alan Freeman

Grace Hill Health Centers, Inc. Hilda Fuentes

Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Archie Griffin

Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Centers Andy Grimm

Northeast Missouri Health Council

son Health Care Executive Program Outstanding Alumni Award.

Ms. Herman was selected for this honor based on the success of a community-based initiative she supported, The Community Access Network (CAN), a community health network located in the Northwest Missouri county of Buchanan with services focused in St. Joseph, Missouri. CAN was established as the result of a nine month strategic planning process for improving access to care for those in the community that have been chronically uninsured and underinsured. This planning process included a community needs assessment and a partnership developmental process which identified inappropriate utilization of the emergency room for primary care services, potential and unnecessary hospital readmits, primary care capacity issues, an abundance of health disparities, and a fragmented and uncoordinated system of care. From these identified gaps, a plan and a new partnership w e r e developed.

Lisa Odom

Jordan Valley Community Health Center Pat Richards

Southern Missouri Community Health Center Richard Sims

Missouri Ozarks Community Health Christine Stewart

Katy Trail Community Health Robert Walters

Central Ozarks Medical Center Cheryl White

Southeast Missouri Health Network Karl Wilson, P.h.D.

Crider Health Center Joseph Pierle, CEO

Missouri Primary Care Association

MPCA’s Center for Primary Care Quality and Excellence staff and consultant provided facilitation, consultation, training, and technical assistance to CAN during the strategic planning process, NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition application process, and post recognition practice transformation. The MPCA proudly announces COO Susan Wilson’s election to the Missouri Health Connection’s Board of Directors. The Missouri Health Connection is a “nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to connecting Missouri’s patients and providers through a secure health information network. Missouri Health Connection has been awarded $13.8 million in federal funding to underwrite the planning and implementation process that will ensure patients, providers, physicians, hospitals and other health care organizations have access to critical medical record information in order to improve patient care and increase efficiency. Congratulations, Susan!


ACCESS Family Care

ACCESS Family Care is committed to improving the health of the medically underserved of the greater

southwest Missouri through direct services and collaborative efforts. The need continues to grow which has prompted ACCESS to meet that great need by expanding their services in Cassville, Missouri. What used to be a small medical only clinic is now a new much larger Medical/Dental facility. CARE is provided to the community by including Compassion, Access, Respect, and Excellence in all areas of treatment. ACCESS Family Care will continue to serve humbly hopeful that a portion of the needs of the underserved are being met. Missouri Highlands Health Care Missouri Highlands Health Care is proud to announce the opening of the NEW Shannon County Family Clinic. The clinic moved from a 2,420 sq. ft. building to a 5,390 sq. ft. building, which includes expanded exam rooms, extra office space, updated x-ray facilities, meeting space in the lower level, more parking and better accessibility to patients. Construction on the site, funded by grant monies earmarked by Senator “Kit” Bond, commenced in July 2011 and was completed in March 2012. The new clinic, which opened for business on April 2, 2012, is located at 1003 S. Main Street in Eminence, MO. Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center It’s been 40 years in the making, but Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) now has a new place to call “home”. The new building is located on land adjacent to its former structure at 825 Euclid Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri. “This new building belongs to our patients,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC). “They deserve a modern, state of the art facility, where they can receive quality health care. Best of all, we’ll be able to serve an additional 7,200 patients in our community.” Last year, over 19,000 patients received medical, dental or behavioral health services at SURHC. Construction began in 2009 and was completed thanks to state and federal resources and an ambitious and successful capital campaign. The new three story Health Center has 68,000 square feet of space and is home to 37 exam rooms, 13 dental operatories, and a culturally sensitive way-finding system for patients. Its décor features natural light and soothing colors, to provide a healing environment for patients.

Southeast Missouri Health Network On the road again…  SEMO Health Network is partnering with SEMO University to provide  services on the Southeast Health on Wheels (S.H.O.W.) Mobile. On February 1, 2012, SEMOHN was given full control of the operations of the S.H.O.W. Mobile. SEMOHN is currently providing Dental services for children at area schools and medical screenings at businesses. Sports physicals at local schools are scheduled for May. SEMOHN looks forward to providing medical and dental mobile services to patients in underserved areas in the Bootheel.


In September 2011, the Missouri Primary Care Association recognized Hilda Fuentes’ achievement by presenting her with its most prestigious recognition, the Samuel U. Rodgers Achievement Award. In nominating Ms. Fuentes for this honor, Ruth Terrell, Chief Marketing and Development officer at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, submitted the following letter:

“Before joining the staff of the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center as CEO in 2005, Ms. Hilda Fuentes served as the Deputy Director for the Kansas City Health Department in Kansas City, Missouri. She has also worked as a consultant for Hospice Management Partners, as Vice-President for Saint Luke’s-Shawnee Mission Health System, Director of Development for Cabot Westside Clinic in Kansas City, and as Vice-President of Hospice Services for the Sisters of Mercy Health Care Corporation. Ms. Fuentes has a Master of Science in Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Southeastern University in Washington, D.C.


“Under her leadership, the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) has undergone transformation on several levels. In 2010, and against all odds, Ms. Fuentes led a successful extensive capital campaign, ensuring construction of a new, state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the existing Health Center. The new $25.5 million building will open in early 2012, and will provide access to quality health care services for an additional 7,200 residents in the Kansas City community. Planning is also underway for the new Legacy Park, named in honor of the Health Center’s founder, Dr. Samuel U. Rodgers and situated on land occupied by the current circa 1971 structure. “Since her arrival in 2005, several new service sites have opened. Family medicine practices were opened in Northland Kansas City; the Clay County Public Health Department, and on North Oak Traffic Way in Liberty. Additionally, SUHRC began providing services at Sheffield Place, a homeless shelter for women and children. In partnership with the Kansas City Missouri School District, a dental practice was established at J.A. Rogers Elementary School for low-income students, their families, and the community. “When Ms. Fuentes arrived in 2005, the Health Center had a deficit of over one million dollars, but by 2010 there was an excess of revenues. She established a strategic management system that involves every aspect of the Health Center’s operations. Clinical, financial and operational management systems were instituted that improved the ability to serve more patients and focus on accountability. “Under Ms. Fuentes’ leadership 22% more individuals are receiving medical care than were in 2005, a quality management program was instituted, and SUHRC began the journey toward becoming a Certified Patient Centered Medical Home and conversion to an electronic health record system. “Ms. Fuentes is dedicated not just to Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center and its patients, but to supporting a wide range of community organizations that improve the quality of health for the uninsured and underinsured residents of greater Kansas City. “Most importantly, Ms. Fuentes has remained dedicated to the vision of Dr. Samuel U. Rodgers: “Healthy people in a healthy community.” She has worked diligently to ensure that every patient receives quality, culturally competent and compassionate healthcare, and made it a priority to collaborate joint efforts with the Somali Foundation, Mexican Consulate, American Indian Center, Vietnamese Community, Jewish Vocational Services Refugee Program, and many others.” The MPCA congratulates Ms. Fuentes on receiving the Samuel U. Rodgers Achievement Award and thanks her for her great service to her community.

“Ms. Fuentes is dedicated not just to Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center and its patients, but to supporting a wide range of community organizations that improve the quality of health for the uninsured and underinsured residents of greater Kansas City.”


he National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has inducted Joe Pierle, CEO of the Missouri Primary Care Association, into its Grassroots Hall of Fame. The recognition honors the dedication and energetic efforts by advocates to generate public and political support for the strength and expansion of America’s Health Centers. Mr. Pierle was presented the Hall of Fame Award at the 37th Annual NACHC Policy and Issues Forum in Washington, D.C., an event attended by more than 2,000 health center leaders from around the country. “Joe Pierle has been a passionate advocate on behalf of health centers and the movement would not be what it is today without his dedication, skilled leadership and tireless energy” said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of NACHC. “Joe has been on Capitol Hill many times carrying the health center message, and rallying public support and funding in his own state. We’re deeply appreciative of Joe’s commitment, hard work and leadership in advocacy.” “Joe has been an advocate for health centers for years dating back to his days as a staff member in the U.S. Senate,” said Marc Wetherhorn, NACHC’s National Advocacy Director. “His commitment to providing access to health care for everyone is part of who he is, and what makes him someone who without question deserves to be in the NACHC Grassroots Advocacy Hall of Fame.” Joseph E. Pierle, MPA, is a native St. Louisan. He was appointed chief executive officer of the Missouri Primary Care Association in April 1999. The Association serves as a voice for the medically underserved and represents Missouri’s Community Health Centers. Prior to this appointment, he worked for United States Senator Christopher S. Bond in Washington D.C., serving as an advisor on issues concerning health, children, the elderly, and veterans. Mr. Pierle received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kansas and a Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia. Community Health Centers serve as the health care home to over 20 million people in more than 8,000 communities. Each year they save more than $1,200 per patient in total health care costs, and achieve $24 billion in annual savings from reduced emergency room visits, hospital stays and specialty care costs, including $6 billion in combined state/federal Medicaid savings With demand for health centers growing among the medically underserved and uninsured, local, state, and national support for initiatives that support and strengthen their mission is critical – now more than ever. The network of health center grassroots advocates, working in communities across the country to spread the message, help make this key support possible. Founded in 1970, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance and expand access to quality, community-responsive health care for America’s medically underserved and uninsured. NACHC represents the nation’s network of over 1,200 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) which serve over 20 million people through over 8,000 sites located in all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.


ach year, the St. Louis Business Journal showcases 40 exceptional individuals from the St. Louis area who set shining examples in their communities. The Missouri Primary Care Association was excited to hear the news that Dr. Heidi Miller, of Family Care Health Centers, was selected from this year’s highly competitive pool of nominees to be honored as one of the 40 Under 40 All Stars. Dr. Miller currently serves as a Physician at Family Care Health Centers, the nonprofit community health center where she has provided medical care to an underinsured and uninsured St. Louis area community for the last nine years. When asked how someone with an impressive educational background that includes Yale College (where she graduated Magna Cum Laude) and Harvard Medical School came to choose this specific career path, Dr. Miller responded, “I have wanted to work with underserved communities since I was a candy-striper as a kid. It's rewarding to treat patients who are ill, medically complicated, appreciative of care, and highly deserving of the best medicine. It's even more rewarding to promote patients' good health and advocate for equity in access to care. “We have a duty to deliver care in a manner that does not discriminate against patients in any way, particularly in relation to their insurance status or income. To combat healthcare inequities, we need to thoughtfully do more with less when necessary and to advocate for greater access that is, to use our resources as compassionately, effectively, and efficiently as possible both in the exam room and in the health policy arena. At community health centers, we are able to provide high quality care in beautiful facilities with comprehensive services for our deserving and often vulnerable patients. I couldn't imagine being able to help patients so thoroughly without this infrastructure.” This passion to improve the quality of life for all is why Dr. Miller’s community service has not been limited to Family Care Health Centers, but poured into statewide advocacy for the implementation of the patient-empowering health-care delivery model, the patient-centered medical home. “Because our health system is so fragmented and siloed,” says Dr. Miller, “many patients need assistance navigating from one place to another in their continuum of care. I highly support the model of patient navigation and the face-to-face, or hand-in-hand, assistance it provides patients who need it more than any other time of their lives. These navigators are essential members of the team-based approach to providing a patient-centered medical home.”

Jill Heupel Photography

Dr. Miller was featured in the January/February 40 Under 40 Special Edition on page 24.


ith more than 100 officials, dignitaries and members of the community crowding around a pile of dirt Thursday morning, A.T. Still University and the city of Kirksville took a symbolic step toward what all parties hope will ignite a vibrant economic future with the groundbreaking for the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health. ATSU President Jack Magruder was joined on stage by Alan Freeman of Grace Hill Health Centers, Inc., talks with Governor Jay Nixon

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon; Dr. Craig Phelps, ATSU’s next president; Dr. Chris Halliday, dean of MOSDOH; and Clyde Evans, chairman of the ATSU Board of Trustees, beneath a brilliant blue sky and unseasonably warm temperatures, to

mark a start of construction on an $18 million, 61,000-square-foot building that will house the new dental school. The ATSU Board of Trustees approved a $26 million bond issue last October to fund the project. The remaining funds will go toward purchasing state-of-the-art equipment ATSU officials say will make the school unmatched in the nation. The university estimates a $40 million annual economic impact on the Kirksville area as a result of the school. Nixon credited Magruder for his efforts in bringing the school to Kirksville and helping the city win a nationwide competition. ATSU was examining both California and Florida as possible homes for the new dental school. “The legacy you’ve done to this community, for Missouri, the universities you’ve worked with, the students’ lives you’ve affected with a positive, focused vision for the future…today is a testament to your career and a capstone in many ways to the faith that people in this community, this state, and quite frankly people in this country have in your leadership,” Nixon said. “No where else in America is having a groundbreaking today. No where else in America has this moment we have here today. This is a capstone of excellence that will lead to opportunities in the future.” Just prior to welcoming all the assembled guests to dig into the dirt with their own shovels, Magruder, who will retire effective June 30, shared the personal importance of the moment as well as a message about what was to come. “The sun is shining, the sky is blue, it’s a fantastic day here. I’ve had many happy days, many happy days, and this is one of the happiest days of my life,” he said. “I honestly believe that this is a God-given piece of earth for us, right here, entrusted to the citizens of this community and A.T. Still, to cause it to bring forth fruit. Amen,” he said. “That fruit is for persons in need to live better lives, be healthier, increase wellness, lessen pain and suffering in our own community and throughout the world. We can bring forth the fruit that’s similar to spirit of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still when he told the citizens of this community that it was his great desire to extend the touch of a soft hand, of human kindness, to those in need. Friends, every one of us knows everybody is in need some way or another.” (continued on page 10)


n April 4, 2012, Senator Roy Blunt toured Katy Trail Community Health, Warsaw, as a part of his statewide tour to meet with local leaders and job creators. He met community leaders who have partnered to create Harbor Village, a community health and wellness center dedicated to improving the health of Benton County Residents. Katy Trail Community Health, Care Connections for Aging Services, Pathways Community Health and the Warsaw Senior Center have been working since 2008 to create Harbor Village, which will generate almost 15 permanent full time jobs in the Warsaw area. It is estimated that the construction will generate at least 50 jobs. “Harbor Village is a unique and innovative partnership dedicated to insuring Benton County residents have access to comprehensive health, wellness and social services from a single accessible location,” said Katy Trail Community Health Board Vice President, Mary Nell Strautman. “It is a true health home.” Harbor Village board members, Katy Trail Community Health Board members and staff, as well local elected officials thanked Senator Blunt for his continued support for the Benton County Region and for Harbor Village. Katy Trail Community Health was awarded $2.9 million dollars under the Health Resources and Services Administration Capital Development Program to support the construction of Harbor Village. The partners all received a total of $1.38 million dollars from the Missouri Department of Economic Development Neighborhood Assistance Program as well. Katy Trail Community Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving west-central Missouri (including Sedalia) with comprehensive health, behavioral health and dental services. With a focus on improving health for its patients as well as building healthy communities, KTCH Trail Community Health accepts all health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare and offers a sliding fee discount to eligible patients. Their mission is to be the health home for people living in West Central Missouri.


(Shoveling Smiles, continued from page 8)

He also took a moment to thank his wife Sue, joking she wouldn’t be happy that he dedicated part of his speech to her, but he was “old enough to make up [his] own mind.” The event was largely full of praise for the many who contributed to bringing the dental school to Kirksville, as well as lighthearted moments. While introducing Nixon, Magruder noted the governor held multiple degrees from the University of Missouri before he “finally got a high-quality degree when he got an honorary doctorate from ATSU.” He then introduced the governor as “Dr. Jay Nixon.” Nixon responded in his remarks. “I’ll be glad to have these graduates [of the dental school] join me as doctors in Missouri, Jack,” the governor said. “Those of you who seek medical care from me should be extremely concerned.” The speakers also touched on serious tones, appropriate given the serious shortfall of dentists in Missouri and across the nation. ATSU hopes to address the gap between the number of dentists who retire each year (70 in Missouri) and the number of new dental graduates who begin work in the state annually (between 45 -50). Missouri ranks 47th in the nation in access to dental care, 49th in access for children. “It’s a tremendous story for the community, the entire state and the health care needs in this country,” said ATSU President Emeritus Dr. Fred C. Tinning. Evans said he hopes the school addresses that shortfall, thinking “of all the children who can’t concentrate in school because of a toothache, or other disease or infection.” The first MOSDOH class of 40 students is expected to begin in Fall 2013. Students will spend their first two years on the Kirksville campus, their third year in a St. Louis clinic, and half of their fourth year on rotations with community health centers. The school will also partner closely with the Northeast Missouri Health Council, which is currently constructing a new dental clinic building adjacent to the future MOSDOH structure.


ike many other independent contractors, Doug Mitchell and Susan Gottschall say they earn enough to pay their bills but not enough to afford health insurance. But their access to affordable medical care may be about to change. Over the weekend they heard about a Susan Gottschall, Doug Mitchell new program through which some local health centers will allow certain uninsured St. Louis and St. Louis County residents to get access to health services at unbelievably inexpensive rates — ranging from 50 cents to $3 for doctor visits, dental visits and generic prescription drugs. That explains why the two St. Louis County residents — she’s a music teacher and he’s an assistant surveyor — wasted no time getting to a Grace Hill health site on the south side on Monday to apply for the program. Residents also can sign up at St. Louis ConnectCare, Myrtle Hilliard Davis Health Centers, Peoples Health Centers, Family Care Health Centers and St. Louis County Health Department.The project is coordinated by the St. Louis Regional Health Commission. About 17,000 patients are expected to be served by the new program, which starts this summer. Uninsured patients with ties to the health centers have been eligible to sign up since last November. The program was opened Monday to uninsured patients who are not now patients at any of the participating clinics. Called Gateway to Better Health, the program is part of a federal demonstration grant intended to help the federal government and local providers figure out the best and most effective way to spend what used to be a health-care block grant. In other words, the funding isn’t new but is part of federal block grant dollars already coming to the Regional Health Commission for clinic services.The demonstration program is expected to run for 18 months, ending at about the time that all benefits of the Affordable Care Act are to take effect. The act itself is being contested. At some point in June, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling on the validity of parts or all of the health-care law. Eligibility for the low-cost Better Health program is limited to uninsured city and county residents who are between the ages of 19-65, are ineligible for Medicaid or Medicare, and have income at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. That means an income no higher than $14,484 for an adult living alone. Assuming Gottschall, the music teacher, meets the eligibility guidelines, she says it will be easier to afford a co-pay of $3 tops for a medical, dental or prescription service she might get at a participating clinic. “I haven’t had health insurance for about five years, haven’t had a mammogram or pap smear because I can’t afford them,” says Gottschall, 44. “I’m not at child-bearing age, but I want to keep myself away from as much risk as possible.” She also praises the low-cost medical services because “it will give me access if there is an emergency and it provides prevention. I’ve had friends in the past who didn’t have health insurance and passed away way too young.” Mitchell, 53, agreed, saying his lack of health insurance is a constant worry. “If there is an accident, there is no way I’d be able to pay for the care,” he says. “This program sounds good because there is no other way I can afford health care.” At the entrance to the Grace Hill Soulard-Benton Health Center, 2220 Lemp Avenue, workers were distributing small gifts, such as scarves and ink pens, to people who dropped by to enroll. Yvonne Buhlinger, Grace Hill’s vice president of community health services, says the token gifts are helpful to get people in the door. Some wouldn’t show up even though they lack access to inexpensive health insurance. “Some people are making little money and their budgets are already stretched,” Buhlinger says. “They have challenges in life that many others among us may not have. They may have to use more than one bus just to get here. So the gifts are to recognize their diligence and say thanks for coming.” She says eligible residents have until June 30 to sign up for the program. Eligible people who miss the deadline can still get medical services at health centers for as little as $15, she says, adding that even that low rate can be unbearable for some. She says that is one reason the new program is so important. “Some will be disappointed if they didn’t enroll and have to pay $15 for a visit,” she says. “Grace Hill is here to provide high quality of care. Where else can you get that for $3?” Yvonne Buhlinger


May Mental Health Month Mental Health America www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/may National High Blood Pressure Education Month National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Information Center www.nhlbi.nih.gov May 13-19, 2012 Women’s Health Week Office on Women’s Health www.womenshealth.gov/whw

June National Safety Month National Safety Council www.nsc.org

June 3 National Cancer Survivors Day National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation www.ncsd.org June 11-17 Men’s Health Week Men’s Health Network www.menshealthweek.org/week

The Health Center Spring 2012  
The Health Center Spring 2012  

Quarterly Newsletter of the Missouri Primary Care Association

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