#CompassAdvocates

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.

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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’.

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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:

I HONK (& ADVOCATE) FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

 

 

#CompassAdvocates

Community Health Centers are the Future

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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.

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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:

I ❤ COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

#CompassAdvocates

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.

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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!)

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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.

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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!

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Photo Courtesy of OACHC
Uncategorized

Heart Disease “ABCS”

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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.

 A=Aspirin

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.

C=Cholesterol

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.

#CompassAdvocates

Advocacy Update – Good News Friday!

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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.

#CompassAdvocates

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

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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.

News & Events

Stephenson speaks on Pediatric OT

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On Monday, Brian Stephenson, Director of Occupational Therapy at Compass Community Health Care Center was the guest speaker at the Portsmouth Rotary luncheon in the Shawnee State University Sodexo Ballroom.

Stephenson opened by explaining not only rehabilitation and geriatric patients have a need for occupational therapy, but children do sometimes, as well.

“Children have certain things they need to do independently, too,” Stephenson said. “We want to help them have functional independence and quality of life.”

When occupation is mentioned most people think of a career: professor, banker or employment of some kind.

“A child’s occupation is play,” he said. That is how the therapy is designed, keeping children in mind.

To read more on this article, visit the Portsmouth Daily Times.

Uncategorized

Compass Community Health receives Award

Compass Community Health (CCH) announces the receipt of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) PRAPARE Health Center Engagement and Innovation Award.

PRAPARE (Protocol for Respond to and Assessing Patients Assets, Risks and Experiences) is a national standardized assessment tool that allows health centers to collect data on the social determinants of health such as neighborhood safety, environmental quality, transportation needs, housing availability, employment, access to food, and a patient’s health risk for chronic conditions.

The Engagement and Innovation Award purpose is to identify, support, and learn from health center’s unique uses of PRAPARE and to disseminate those models and lessons learned to enhance the use of PRAPARE across health centers and more patients.

To read more on this article visit Portsmouth Daily Times by clicking here. 

#CompassAdvocates

Tell Congress no more delays! The time to act is NOW!

Despite progress in early November in the form of Houses’s Championing Healthy Kids Act, the community health center’s “Fix the Cliff” issue is still far from resolved. And now, it seems, there’s talk of another delay to the critical safety net funding until after the first of the year.

Understandably, Congress has had a rather full plate moving into the new year. However, the lack of movement concerning health center funding is continuing to take its toll on the nation’s health centers and the communities they serve. Presently, health centers are reporting difficulty recruiting providers and purchasing equipment with some sites discussing closure due to funding uncertainty. (X)

Recent estimates suggest 27 million, or 1 in 12 Americans, receive care from a community health center. For many of these Americans, health centers are the only viable option within a considerable distance. Because health centers provide care for anyone, regardless of their ability to pay, the inability to properly staff or equip a center, or the closure of even one site could be the difference of life or death for many in a community.

That’s why it’s as important as ever that you take action TODAY and demand your Members of Congress recommit to fixing community health center funding before the end of the year.

TELL CONGRESS TO “FIX THE CLIFF”

Fix Cliff

Live Well Wednesday

The Cost of Treating Diabetes

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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, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

Today’s topic is The Cost of Treating Diabetes by Andy Pierron, Compass Community Health Care Center Pharmacist.

In honor of November being Diabetes Awareness Month, we will be highlighting ways to help keep you on the road to good health, all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Be sure and check back each Wednesday afternoon for more information on diabetes provided by Compass Community Health Care Center Providers. 

As of January 1st Novolog, Novlin, and Levemir are all just $8.00 in multi-dose vials with a prescription from one of Compass Community Health’s providers.  In addition, Actos is just $14.00, Januvia is $3.50, Invokamet XR is $33.00 and Bydureon is just $18.00.  Not to mention the already low cost of glimepiride, glipizide, and metformin already offered.

This range of diabetic medication can be beneficial to all diabetics regardless of type of progression.  If you are newly diagnosed or have had diabetes most of your life, these affordable medications can help you.

Maintaining a normal blood sugar takes a lifetime of commitment but can reduce the likelihood of stroke, heart attack, blindness, neuropathy, and even amputations.  The team at Compass Community Health would like to help you with this commitment and your commitment to your health.  For more information on this topic or the Compass Pharmacy contact us at 740-351-1500.  You can also email the Compass Pharmacy at refills@compasscommunityhealth.org.  Our healthcare providers and team can be reached at 740-355-7102.