Compass Recognized on National Level

This past week, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) representatives from around the nation (including a few from our very own Portsmouth, Ohio) have been in Chicago, Illinois for the National Association of Community Health Center’s Community Health Institute learning about what makes FQHC’s tick.

Among the training sessions and vendor booths, was a glimpse of the great work FQHC’s in Ohio were doing to combat Hepatitis C. Presented by the Ohio Association of Community Health Center’s (OACHC) Tiffany White, Ms. White detailed the collaboration between OACHC, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and several of Ohio’s FQHC’s to combat the disease in Appalachia. One such health center’s efforts highlighted was our very own Compass Community Health’s (CCH).

CHI Hep C Poster
Photo courtesy of OACHC (@Ohiochc)

CCH’s clinic is committed to helping those with Hepatitis and chronic illness improve their lives while maintaining the mission of making care affordable and accessible to all and is continually looking for ways to improve delivery and access to the residents of Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

If you’d like to learn more about the work health centers do and become a champion of health center rights, please consider becoming a health center advocate TODAY by clicking the link below!



Ohio Health Centers Use New Screening Tool to Improve Patient Health


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Where a person lives, works and plays can shape their overall health outcomes. And in Ohio, Community Health Centers are working to identify how social determinants may be affecting their patients.

Medical staff at the centers are using a screening tool called “PRAPARE” during routine office visits to detect social, economic and environmental variables in a patient’s life. Erin Trapp, clinical director with Compass Community Health in [Scioto] County, said by using this tool, they discovered one patient had been living in her car.

“It’s a matter of survival for her; following our care plan and getting her medication was not a priority,” Trapp said. “So, we were able to link her with different community resources, and she is one of our success stories now. She actually has a job, she has an apartment.”

PRAPARE stands for the Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks, and Experiences. It’s estimated just 20% of health outcomes are attributed to clinical care, while social determinants account for the remaining 80%.

Dr. Ron Yee, chief medical officer with the National Association of Community Health Centers, explained the goal is to connect patients to local resources and interventions that can improve their situation, whatever it may be.

“Whether it’s housing, whether it’s finding a job, whether it’s having no insurance or language barriers,” Yee said; “they are experts at tapping into the community – whether they have it there on-site themselves or they use somebody in the community – of making those linkages to address those issues.”

Trapp said they’ve had so much success with PRAPARE, they adapted the questions to use with kids.

“Do you ride a bus to school or walk, or how do you get to school? Do you have a lot of friends at school? Do you feel safe at school? Tell me about, like, a typical day – what do you have for breakfast?” Trapp explained. “Well, you quickly find out they do have a food insecurity, and maybe they have transportation barriers, so they’re always tardy.”

Yee noted social factors may indicate a person is struggling, but they don’t tell the whole story. “Our patients that we work with are some of the hardest-working people, strongest family ties, very focused on what they do,” Yee said. “And a lot of times, that gets buried in the negativity of social determinants.”

PRAPARE is also used by hospitals, health plans, and others. It was developed by a group of national and state health-center associations, including the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, and the Oregon Primary Care Association.


This article was originally posted on July 1st, 2019. To see the original post visit: Public News Service


Another year, another smack down!

OACHC’s annual Ultimate Health Center Champion competition is underway and Compass is once again duking it out in the Featherweight Division!

Last year we held strong throughout and came close to the bedazzled belt. This year, let’s show the competition what we’re made of and take the Featherweight prize for ALL OF OHIO! 

Reminder, you can vote once every day until August 17th for your favorite health center! Just click on the link beneath the picture to be directed to the voting page.

Now, get your boxing gloves on and help us knock out the competition!


Every Day is Pediatric OT Day at Compass

As April, and thus National Occupational Therapy (OT) month, comes to a close, we want to take this moment to send an extra ‘thank you’ to our Pediatric Occupational Therapy department for all of the hard work they do.

With a wealth of knowledge and seemingly unending supply of energy between them, Brian Stephenson, MOT, OTR/L; Alice Herles, COTA/L; Cara Crisp, COTA/L, and Mikel Stone, OTD, OTR/L have been able to assist numerous children struggling with general developmental challenges, self-care skills, sensory processing issues, and more with fun and innovative treatment.

Not only are they delivering high quality and affordable therapy but they’re also constantly working with other Compass staff to help address other unmet needs. Referrals to Behavioral Health, Primary Care, and insurance assistance help both patients and their parents obtain support and care towards their overall well-being. Furthermore, they’re preparing the next generation of Occupational Therapists and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants through a partnership with local Shawnee State University.

Last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank our patients and their parents who, without them, this program wouldn’t be possible. Despite hectic work and school schedules, coupled with busy family lives, you continue to make occupational therapy a priority. Time-and-time again, we hear how excited our patients are to come in for their appointments, or how appreciative parents are of the services provided at Compass. Your energy, positivity, and openness is what ensures we’re on the right path for our patients and community. National Occupational Therapy month may only come once a year but, for us here at Compass Community Health Care Center, every day is Pediatric Occupational Therapy day thanks to you!

If you want to know more about Compass’ Pediatric Occupational Therapy program, where ‘play has a purpose’, please call (740) 355-7102 for more information.


Health Centers 101: Class is Back in Session

Following a long day of advocating on The Hill, then a rousing pep talk by HHS Secretary Azar and HRSA Administrator Sigounas, it was time to for health center representatives to put their noses back to the grindstone and partake in various educational sessions. Topics offered ranged from advocacy to compliance to Board governance and just about everything in-between.


Compass CEO, Summer Kirby, had the opportunity to represent Compass during a session highlighting Innovative Responses to the Social Determinants of Health Using PRAPARE (Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks & Experiences). PRAPARE was designed to help clinics address the various needs of their clientele.

FUN FACT: Compass was one of only five nationwide centers to receive a PRAPARE grant awarded by The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC).

Samantha Walls, O&E Specialist, attended sessions centered on advocacy including motivating special populations and sharing stories in the social media age. It was also announced during a session that this year’s National Health Center Week (NHCW) theme is ‘Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Health Care Heroes’.


Summer and Samantha look forward to discussing what they’ve learned from their respective sessions with the ‘Compass Crew’. They also look forward planning how best they might be able celebrate Compass’ heroes this coming August during NHCW, from our providers, to our nurses, our reception team, to our patients, community, and everyone in-between who makes Compass an amazing place to work and one of the most beloved health centers in the area.

If you enjoy Compass and like the job we’re doing, please consider becoming an advocate by clicking the link below:





Community Health Centers are the Future

Photo Courtesy of NACHC

During NACHC’s Friday session, advocates from all across the nation had the opportunity to hear from a few of the biggest names in healthcare. First up was the recently confirmed Secretary Alex Michael Azar II of Health and Human Services (HHS). A strong proponent of community health centers, Secretary Azar stated, “We see you not just as vital partners in our movement toward a health system that delivers quality, affordable care for all Americans—we see you as pioneers in this effort already.” (X)

He noted how health centers were leading the charge in quality data collection, improving patient outcomes, and transparency/communicating information, such as pricing. Recalling one encounter, Secretary Azar, having served as Deputy Director of HHS, was in need of an echocardiogram. While completing the registration process, he discovered he would need to be admitted in order to undergo the procedure. Knowing the, likely, high costs associated with the process being outlined for the procedure, he made several attempts to determine the overall rate but was told that information was not available. After much persistence, he was told the procedure would cost approximately $5,500. He then asked for the cost at the rate negotiated with his insurance company but, once again, was met with “that information is unavailable”.

After some individual research, he was able to find a local provider’s office that would deliver the service for around $500. Due to his profession, he had experience in accessing sites and resources with said information but noted, for your average patient, that degree of research is unfeasible, and that’s where health centers come in. Health centers work diligently to try and help ensure patients from each end of the socioeconomic spectrum receive quality care at a price that comes as close to fitting their budget, as possible.

Before departing, Secretary Azar reported he had the distinction of testifying the day before on the President’s budget yesterday and was supportive of the $400 million set aside for centers to help combat substance abuse, as well as the $150 million earmarked for under-served rural areas.

In his role as Secretary, Mr. Azar is looking forward to seeing, as well as assisting in, the continued expansion of health centers and is hoping we can set a goal of assisting 30 million patients nationally (up from 27 million) by year’s end.


Next to take the stage was Dr. George Sigounas, Administrator of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Like Secretary Azar, Dr. Sigounas spoke very highly of community health centers. Dr. Sigounas specifically spoke to health centers and telehealth. Stating he had worked with HRSA since telehealth department was in its infancy and the concept was still very much considered “science fiction”, he was proud to see 57% of health centers already utilizing or were in the process of implementing telehealth in some way. As is one of the tenets of community health centers, quality affordable care should be accessible to everyone, and if that means combating barriers such as geography or lack of suitable transportation, community health centers will attempt to do all that they can to address those issues.

If you haven’t signed up to be a health center advocate, we’d appreciate having you as a part of our team. You can sign up by clicking on the following link:



You Don’t Need a Coat When it’s Summer on the Hill

**Please take a moment to consider becoming an advocate for quality affordable healthcare for all by joining the Health Center Advocacy Network.**

Following a strategy session with Ohio’s Primary Care Association, which included a pep talk from Board Chair and Community Health Services CEO Joe Liszack, Ohio’s advocates (including Compass CEO, Summer Kirby and Outreach and Enrollment Specialist, Samantha Walls) turned out in force to help spread the message to the Buckeye state’s legislators about the crucial services health centers provide for their constituents.

The morning started early with a meeting with Abigail Duggan, Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Sherrod Brown, and ended with advocates getting a few moments with the Senator, himself. Advocates opened with a ‘thank you’ for the Senator for his continued support of health centers and their funding. It was asked that the he continue to support the 340B program, a program which helps lower the cost of prescriptions for patients, as well as allows health centers to reinvest incoming funds back into their local communities. Furthermore, he was asked to support a Telehealth bill that would allow reimbursement for such services which would be extremely beneficial for clinics, such as Compass, who service patients where it may be difficult to travel in-town for care due to geography or for elderly patients who have difficulty traveling due to disabilities.

Brown 1
Photos Courtesy of OACHC

Next on the agenda was a meeting with Gregory Brooks, Legislative Director for Representative Brad Wenstrup. As with Senator Brown, the similar set of asks were delivered. An extra ask was that the Congressman sign the House’s annual health center support letter, known as the Bilirakis-Green letter. Mr. Brooks assured Ohio’s advocates that the letter was on Dr. Wenstrup’s list of “Things to Do” and, later that evening, it was reported, that he had signed the letter before the 5:00 PM deadline. (If you have a minute, maybe you could take to social media and thank Congressman Wenstrup for his support! Tell him @CompassOhio sent you!)

wenstrup 1

The final meeting of the day was with Seth Gold, Legislative Assistant to Senator Rob Portman. While advocates spent some time delving into the same asks, many also spent time discussing several budget initiatives promoted to help combat the opioid epidemic, a cause near-and-dear to the Senator’s heart.

portman 1
Photo Courtesy of OACHC

All-in-all, Ohio’s advocates wrapped the day up successfully with an added signature on the House’s health center support letter, as well as words of encouragement from the state’s legislators for the work that health centers and their staff do.

Also, not to brag, but we’ve decided the Buckeye state has the best looking group of advocates out there!

portman 2
Photo Courtesy of OACHC

Heart Disease “ABCS”


At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday evening, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

Today’s topic is Heart Disease ABCS, by Paul (PJ) Adkins, Compass Community Health Care Center Family Nurse Practitioner.

Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States.  Together, these diseases cause 1 in 3 deaths.  The good news is that you can reduce your risk by following the ABCS! Following the ABCS is a way to help prevent the risk of heart disease and stroke.


Take aspirin as directed by your health care professional.

Be sure to tell your health care professional if you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, and mention your own medical history.

B=Blood Pressure

Control your blood pressure.

Blood pressure measures the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. If your blood pressure stays high for a long time, you may suffer from high blood pressure (also called hypertension). High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack or stroke more than any other risk factor. Find out what your blood pressure numbers are, and ask your health care professional what those numbers mean for your health. If you have high blood pressure, work with your health care professional to lower it.


Manage your cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver and found in certain foods. Your body needs cholesterol, but when you have too much, it can build up in your arteries and cause heart disease. There are different types of cholesterol: One type is “good” and can protect you from heart disease, but another type is “bad” and can increase your risk. Talk to your health care professional about cholesterol and how to lower your bad cholesterol if it’s too high.

S=Smoking cessation

Don’t smoke.

Smoking raises your blood pressure, which increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. If you smoke, quit. Talk with your health care professional about ways to help you stick with your decision. It’s never too late to quit smoking. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW today.

High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke in the United States. It can also damage your eyes and kidneys. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, and only about half of them have it under control.

High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke in the United States. It can also damage your eyes and kidneys. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, and only about half of them have it under control.

How is blood pressure measured?

Two numbers (for example, 140/90) help determine blood pressure. The first number measures systolic pressure, which is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats. The second number measures diastolic pressure, which is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart rests between beats.

When and how should I take my blood pressure?

Take your blood pressure regularly, even if you feel fine. Generally, people with high blood pressure have no symptoms. You can take your blood pressure at home, at many pharmacies, and at your doctor’s office.

How can I control my blood pressure?

Work with your health care professional to make a plan for controlling your blood pressure. Be sure to follow these guidelines:

  1. Eat a healthy diet. Choose foods low in trans fat and sodium (salt). Most people in the United States consume more sodium than recommended. Everyone age 2 and up should consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. Adults age 51 and older; African Americans of all ages; and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease should consume even less than that: only 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
  2. Get moving. Staying physically active will help you control your weight and strengthen your heart. Try walking for 10 minutes, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
  3. Take your medications. If you have high blood pressure, your health care professional may give you medicine to help control it. It’s important to follow your health care professional’s instructions when taking the medication and to keep taking it even if you feel well. Tell your health care professional if the medicine makes you feel bad. Your health care team can suggest different ways to reduce side effects or recommend another medicine that may have fewer side effects.

For additional information on this topic check out the American Heart Association at www.heart.org or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office 740-355-7102.                  #LiveWellWednesday             #CompassCares

Article information data compiled by the US Department of Health and Human Services.


Advocacy Update – Good News Friday!


In case you haven’t already heard, a deal over the budget has been struck by both the House and the Senate. It was then signed into law by the President a few hours later. Part of the package includes an extension of Community Health Center funding for two years!

To say this was a long, hard fought battle is an understatement. Between the media conferences, phone calls, emails sent, rallies attended, and the red shirts worn, advocates here at home and across the nation have been responding in force and showing up in droves to represent Community Health Centers and, more importantly, the approximately 27 million Americans they serve.

We think it’s safe to say, on behalf of the nation’s Community Health Centers, thank you for supporting us and helping ensure we can continue to do what we enjoy which is helping ensure every member of a community has access to affordable quality healthcare.


Why We’ll Be Wearing Red Tuesday, February 6th


We wear red for the more than 2000 patients we have the privilege of providing care for. We wear red for the patients who, many for the first time in years, can afford to see a provider because of the sliding fee program we’re able to offer. We wear red for the patients who successfully completed integrated substance abuse treatment with and for those still working to achieve their goals of an addiction-free life. We wear red for the children who have and who are overcoming challenges and improving their daily lives through our pediatric occupational therapy program.

We wear red because, since the expiration of Community Health Center funding starting October 2017, 9 million Americans have been at risk of losing access to affordable health care. We wear red to show Congress that Community Health Centers are important staples of healthy communities and that there can be no more waiting for the millions of Americans who rely on Community Health Centers for their care! We will be wearing red tomorrow to show our support for the 2000 Southern Ohioans and 27 other million Americans who depend on Community Health Centers for their care.

We encourage you to show your support for Compass and the nation’s other Community Health Centers and all of the services they help provide by wearing red tomorrow Tuesday, February 6th. Share your pictures via social media with the hashtag #RedAlert4CHCs and don’t forget to tag your Members of Congress. For more information, please visit The Health Advocacy Network.