#CompassAdvocates

Compass CEO One of Six Community Panelists Talks Real Life Healthcare Challenges

Watch the August 22, 2017 Bernie Sanders Town Hall Meeting held at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. 

Portsmouth residents recently had the opportunity to conduct a town hall style discussion with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at Shawnee State University. The event included a panel of community leaders who took the time to discuss important issues in our area. One such leader was Compass Community Health’s own Summer Kirby who highlighted the work of Federally Qualified Health Care Centers (FQHC), of which Senator Sanders is an avid supporter. Kirby explained to the capacity crowd how FQHC’s work as a safety net for the community’s most vulnerable by providing quality, affordable care to all, regardless of their ability to pay.

Sanders Podium

Summer Kirby detailed how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and particularly Medicaid expansion, gave many Ohioans greater access to care, some for the first time in their lives. Kirby explained, for many expansion is a safeguard during times of difficulty or transition. She spoke of an unemployed woman who was unable to meet the costs of her diabetic prescriptions and supplies and couldn’t get in to regularly see her primary care provider. As a result, she sought medical attention only when it was critical to her survival and always via emergency care services. Thanks to Medicaid expansion coverage, she was able to afford to see her primary care provider regularly and regain control of her diabetes. Today, she is employed and has moved over to employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and routinely visits her primary care provider.

Bernie Large

In her remarks, Kirby discussed how affiliated behavioral health provider The Counseling Center has successfully assisted 1100 men in their mid-20s with addiction treatment and recovery since Medicaid expansion (prior to expansion, many low income adults ages 19-64 would not have qualified for the program). The Counseling Center’s Stepping Stone Program for addicted mothers has also seen 245 recovery babies for Scioto County and Ohio mothers, since they first started tracking the number in 2009.

Summer Podium
Photo Courtesy of Shawnee State University

Not only has Medicaid expansion given Ohioans greater access to care, it has also impacted communities economically. Since expansion in 2013, The Counseling Center has added 67 new jobs resulting in $2.3 million in payroll, much of which is cycled back into the local economy.

Historically, FQHC’s have received strong support from all sides of the political spectrum. However, Compass is always in need of voices from the community who will attest to the important work FQHC’s are doing, or how important a strong Medicaid program is to the health of the community. Sign up to be a health center and community advocate today!

#CompassCares #CompassAdvocates

 

Meet The Team

Meet Occupational Therapist Mikel Stone

Mikel Stone

 

For this week’s #LiveWellWednesday post we talked to Mikel Stone, Occupational Therapist.  Let’s get to know Mikel a little better and the services she provides at Compass.

Mikel, tell us about what made you want to become an Occupational Therapist.

Occupational therapy is a helping profession and that is what initially drew me in. I love that we are a holistic profession that focuses on the whole individual, helping them gain or return to optimal functioning. I originally began in the occupational therapy profession as an occupational therapy assistant in 1992. I loved the field and helping clients so much, that I returned to Shawnee State University to become an occupational therapist.

What do you enjoy most about working at Compass Pediatric OT?

I have had a long time love of treating pediatric patients! Since joining Compass, I am so pleased to see their commitment to the community, but my greatest joy is in serving clients and working with the wonderful staff at Compass. As well as the opportunity to work with the mothers and children of The Counseling Center’s Stepping Stone Program. 

What is most rewarding about working with children?

The most rewarding aspect of working with children is watching them progress and grow in the ability to perform the things that they need and want to do in a day, such as age appropriate self-care skills, participate more fully in social situations, or manage emotions, but the most rewarding is that we, as occupational therapy practitioners can use play with a purpose to develop those skills.

What challenges are families facing that Compass Pediatric OT can assist with?

Compass Pediatric OT can help families in a wide variety of ways, perhaps a family has a child that is having difficulty in meeting developmental milestones, such as age appropriate self-care, play, coordination or social-emotional development; evaluations can be performed to determine if a developmental problem exists, and can shed light onto why the child is experiencing delay. We then develop an individualized treatment plan with input from the parents to develop the most appropriate plan for the child.

What do you enjoy in your free time?

In my free time, I like to spend time with my husband, Larry and children, McKenzie, Lauren, and Parker, as well as my grand daughters, Laynie and Carver. I enjoy kayaking, fishing, and boating, anything outdoors actually, but family time is the best!

For more information about the Compass Pediatric Occupational Therapy Program please contact our office at 740-351-7102.

 #LiveWellWednesday                     #RealPeopleCompassionateCare              #CompassCares

Meet The Team

Meet Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant Cara Crisp

Cara Crisp

For this week’s #LiveWellWednesday post we talked to Cara Crisp, Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant.  Let’s get to know Cara a little better and the services she provides at Compass.

Cara, tell us about what made you want to become a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant.

I believe my passion was truly sparked when I began working as an assistant instructor for the Cirque D’ Art Theatre in 2005. Initially, I worked with mostly preschool age and also helped with a class offered for children with disabilities. I was captivated by the possibilities this program offered and how it empowered not only the students participating but everyone involved. From there, I was able to network with some wonderful people who worked at Vern Riffe School which led to the opportunity to work with our local Board of DD as a one-on-one aide. I was blessed to meet and work with various students and staff as well as offering some sign language support to those in need. Sadly, my time there ended in 2015 in order to pursue my degree in occupational therapy. I cherish the time I spent with these invaluable programs in our community and am honored to say I have been part of their teams. These organizations have helped shape who I am today and I owe my direction in life to the powerful experiences and opportunities I was afforded by being a part of them.

What do you enjoy most about working at Compass Pediatric OT?

Each day I am gifted the occasion to see the world through the eyes of a child. It is a daily perspective reset and I am reminded of what true joy is as well as the importance of celebrating the small things. Additionally, learning through play is so important for the development of all children and we sure do know how to have fun!

What is most rewarding about working with children?

I am continually in awe of our kids, how resilient, how giving, and how determined they are. We are truly blessed to be a part of their growth and in turn experience growth ourselves. It is most rewarding to see our kids grow in confidence of their abilities and witness the positive impact that makes on their lives and the lives of their families as a whole.

What challenges are families facing that Compass Pediatric OT can assist with?

I believe one of the most important services we can offer is to simply help our families know that they are not alone. Being a sounding board and haven of support in possibly some of the most challenging moments of their lives is the priority in addressing their needs.

What do you enjoy in your free time?

I am most happy when surrounded by family, friends, and nature. I enjoy spending time around a bonfire, playing cornhole, hunting/fishing, traveling, and going to concerts.

For more information about the Compass Pediatric Occupational Therapy Program please contact our office at 740-351-7102.

 #LiveWellWednesday                     #RealPeopleCompassionateCare              #CompassCares

Meet The Team

Meet Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant Alice Herles

Alice Herles head shot.jpg

For this week’s #LiveWellWednesday post we talked to Alice Herles, Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant.  Let’s get to know Alice a little better and the services she provides at Compass.

Alice, tell us about what made you want to become a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant.

“My son was born with Down Syndrome and participated in early intervention and occupational therapy.  I thought it was amazing to see my son thrive and become independent with so many self-help skills.  I worked at our county developmental disabilities (DD) program as a teacher’s assistant, and I realized I was working with students on their OT IEP goals without really knowing ‘the why’s’ of OT.  I applied to the OTA program at SSU in 2007, because I wanted to help other kids reach their full potential and independence.”

What do you enjoy most about working at Compass Pediatric OT?

“I like working with our families and helping their children with challenges that they face on a daily basis.  It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve helped increase independence and develop skills.  Our OT gym is a much needed service in our community.”

What is most rewarding about working with children?

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the smile on a kid’s face after they have accomplished something independently, for the first time.  Knowing that you’ve helped them achieve something they’ve worked so hard for is a wonderful feeling.”

What challenges are families facing that Compass Pediatric OT can assist with?

“Families are often overwhelmed when their child is diagnosed with learning disabilities- Autism, ADD, fine and gross motor skills or Sensory Processing Disorder.  We want these families to know that there is a place, here in their local community, that specializes in sensory integration and incorporating fun with treatment, and it’s a place that involves the parents in their child’s treatment plan, which can be carried over into the child’s school and/or home environment.”

What do you enjoy in your free time?

“I love spending time with my family and friends, reading, going to concerts, and shopping.  I also enjoy supporting our Scioto County Special Olympics and our County Board of Developmental Disabilities.”

For more information about the Compass Pediatric Occupational Therapy Program please contact our office at 740-351-7102.

 #LiveWellWednesday                     #RealPeopleCompassionateCare              #CompassCares

Meet The Team

Meet the New Director of Occupational Therapy Brian Stephenson

Brian headshot.jpg

Brian Stephenson is the new Director of Occupational Therapy at Compass Community Health Care Center. He holds his Masters in Occupational Therapy and a Bachelors of Science from Shawnee State University. As a graduate of Wheelersburg High School with many local ties, Brian is committed to helping his community.

For this week’s #LiveWellWednesday, let’s get to know Brian a little better and learn about his plan for the Compass Occupational Therapy Program.

Brian, tell us a little about why you decided to become an occupational therapist.

“From a very early age, I have always been interested in helping others, and caring for others.  Being an occupational therapist gives me that opportunity to assist in the growth and development in an individual’s daily life.  Being able to develop relationships with individuals, and collaborating with them to develop skills and become more independent is a very enjoyable and rewarding part of being an occupational therapist.”

What are your plans for the program?

“I look forward to helping this program grow from what it has already become, which is a staple in the community in an effort to assist children and their families live and lead more independent lifestyles, despite any difficulties they may face.  A very good team is already in place, and I believe that this program can grow and spread to other areas as well, in hopes to reach out to a variety of individuals who may need services.  Continued growth and development of the program, while providing top-level care and education to our families is a primary goal for the future.”

What do you feel is most rewarding about interacting with children?

“There are numerous instances in which interacting with children can be rewarding.  Simply being in the presence of these children, and being able to witness their joy of daily life can be very contagious.  Participating in therapeutic activities with children is rewarding in itself, but seeing a child smile after they accomplish something for the first time, independently, and knowing that you played a part in that, there is no greater reward.”

What are some challenges that families are facing that the Compass Pediatric OT program can help with?

“Compass Pediatric OT can assist families in a variety of ways.  Many of our families may face hardships in daily life when assisting children with developmental disabilities.  With help from out staff, we hope to assist these families in finding ways to promote independence and improve quality of life for the entire family.  Whether it may be strategies to assist children in daily tasks that involve improving gross and fine motor skills, or increasing interaction and communication, our staff can provide the necessary assistance for both the child and the family.”

“Our families may also have children that experience sensory processing difficulties, which, at times can be very difficult to understand and also address.  Not only do we strve to help address the needs of the child by providing sensory strategies, but we also focus on educating the families about therapeutic activites and home programs to assist with their needs.”

For more information about the Compass Pediatric Occupational Therapy Program please contact our office at 740-351-7102.

#LiveWellWednesday                     #RealPeopleCompassionateCare              #CompassCares

 

#CompassAdvocates

CRITICAL ALERT: Healthcare Legislation Update – A Word from Our Partners

CCH First Do No Harm

#CompassAdvocates Alert!  All advocates should continue to call your Senators today and let your voice be heard!

NACHC Banner

July 25, 2017

Your Weekly Source for Health Center Policy Updates

Senate Moves Ahead to Health Debate, Endgame Unclear

Just after 3pm on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted on the “Motion to Proceed” to debate over health reform legislation. The vote, which has been considered a key hurdle in the Congressional process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was 50-50, with two Republican Senators (Murkowski and Collins) voting no, and with Vice President Pence stepping in to break the tie.

What will happen next is very unclear. Reports this morning indicate that Senate leaders do not believe they have the necessary votes to pass either a “repeal and delay” bill along the lines of what passed in 2015, nor a version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) that’s gone through several iterations in the Senate so far. They are rumored to be planning a vote on a “skinny” repeal package that would include three elements: repeal of the individual and employer mandates, as well as the medical device tax put in place by the ACA. Under this circumstance, this would be considered a “lowest common denominator” necessary to get the votes to pass the Senate, and key details of a final package would be left to be negotiated with the House in a conference committee.

Click here and here for good summaries of where things stand, and keep an eye on the NACHC blog for the latest developments. In the meantime, advocates should continue to weigh in with Senators, as health centers’ concerns over these proposals remain unchanged.

If you aren’t signed up to receive NACHC’s weekly ‘Washington Update’ you may do so here.

UPDATE: Last night, the Senate voted on a modified version of the BCRA. This did not receive the required votes to pass.

UPDATE: Today, the “repeal and delay” option was introduced. This did not receive the required amount of votes to pass.

Live Well Wednesday

Don’t Bug Me- Keep the Ticks Away While You Play!

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.

During the month of July we will be focusing on a new summertime weekly topic that addresses important seasonal issues.  Be sure and check back each Wednesday in July to get helpful information and tips from the Compass Community Health Care Center providers on keeping yourself, and your family healthy all summer long.

With the peak of the summer season upon us, and daylight hours lasting longer, our outdoor fun and activities keep us outside well into the evening hours.  Swimming, hiking, boating and soaking up the sun are enjoyed by many, but there are occasionally some uninvited guests.  Ticks are always present in high grass and forested areas, as well as neighborhood back yards.  Here are some tips to insure those tick pests don’t derail your summer fun.

Prevent tick bites by applying a repellant that contains DEET.  The amount of DEET should contain at least 20 percent for adults, but no more than 30 percent for children.  Consider wearing permethrin-treated clothing and avoid high grass and heavy brush areas when hiking.  Check your body thoroughly everyday, paying special attention to places bugs like to hide, like armpits, behind ears, in your hair, between the legs and even inside the belly button.

Should you find a tick, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it and pull upward slowly and steadily.  Do not twist, as this can leave the tick’s head in your skin.  Finally, dab the area with alcohol to disinfect.

Be aware to watch for signs of inflammation after the removal of a tick, and visual symptoms like a rash, or fever, fatigue, or flulike symptoms.  If you notice any of these, seek medical attention.  Keep in mind that Lyme disease often causes a “bulls-eye” rash.  Should your tick bite develop into anything like this picture, contact your doctor or visit the emergency department or urgent care nearest to you.tick2.jpg

For additional information on this topic, or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers please contact our office at 740-351-7102.

#LiveWellWednesday                           #CompassCares                                    #RealPeopleCompassionCare

 

 

Live Well Wednesday

Ask the Experts- What’s the best Way to Protect Yourself from Harmful UV Rays?

megan-whisman                                        Ryan green tie 2 THP_2548_ppv

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.

During the month of July we will be focusing on a new summertime weekly topic that addresses important seasonal issues.  Be sure and check back each Wednesday in July to get helpful information and tips from the Compass Community Health Care Center providers on keeping yourself, and your family healthy all summer long.

This week we asked our providers at Compass Community Health Care Center…

“What do you do with your own family to protect your skin from harmful UV rays?

Megan Whisman, FNP: “Use sunscreen everyday, even on cloudy days, and reapply every couple hours.  Big hats will also limit the amount of skin exposure, and are super fun.”

Ryan Carpenter, FNP-BC: “When in doubt reapply your sunscreen.  Most people have a false sense of protection, especially ‘waterproof’ that isn’t really waterproof and wears off quickly.  Another often misconception is that 100 SPF gives you twice the time and protection as 50 SPF and that isn’t the case.”

Thea Floyd, RN: “I make sure my family uses a sunscreen of SPF 50 or higher, reapplying at least every hour while in direct sun, wear protective clothing, umbrellas, and avoid early afternoon sunlight.”

For additional information on this topic, or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers please contact our office at 740-351-7102.

#LiveWellWednesday                           #CompassCares                                    #RealPeopleCompassionCare

#CompassAdvocates

#CompassAdvocates @ The Ohio Statehouse

Following the introduction of the Ohio Senate’s version of the state budget early last week, Governor Kasich issued a line-item veto later that same week for the provision which would freeze enrollment for the expanded Medicaid group come July 2018. It was then heavily rumored that the Ohio legislature would seek to override the veto.

With hundreds of thousands of lives depending on expanded Medicaid, representatives from Compass Community Health and The Counseling Center travelled to Columbus, Ohio yesterday to partake in a rally outside the statehouse. There, they showed their support for the cause alongside OACHC and representatives from other Federally Qualified Health Centers, as well as many other Medicaid advocates.

Crowd OACHC
Photo Courtesy of OACHC (Facebook)

Among the group of representatives was Chuck Oliver, a counselor at TCC, who not only went in show of support, but also spoke to the large crowd about what Medicaid expansion meant for him. Oliver, who also spoke during last month’s press conference, explained that, because of expansion, he was able to enter addiction treatment services, receive treatment for chronic conditions he was unaware he had, and then attend school in order to become a counselor. As a result, he now pays it forward and sees how expansion makes a positive impact in the lives of the clients he serves each and every day. “Without expansion, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Oliver explained.

Other speakers included a retired mother who, due to divorce, was finding it difficult to provide for the needs of her mentally ill son. Through expansion, he was able to receive in-home care, counseling, and prescription coverage. She now worries what might happen if he were to lose access to the program.

Next, a provider told the story of a patient of who had lost her job due to the recession. Being diabetic, she was unable to afford the high cost of her prescriptions and would wind up in the ER when the need arose. Because of expansion, her diabetes is now under control and she has since re-entered the workforce.

He also spoke of a male patient who, because of an illness (and no coverage), wound up in the ER where they found a spot on his lung. He eventually received assistance through expansion and started seeing his primary care physician. Fortunately, they found the spot in question hadn’t progressed and was treatable.

He also stressed the cost saving measures of expanded Medicaid, as exemplified by his patient stories; when people can’t afford to go to a primary care provider, especially for chronic conditions, they seek care from Emergency Rooms which ends up costing everyone more.

Save Lives

The rally was a chance for Ohioans affected by expansion to share their stories publicly, as well as for others to show their support for the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who now have access to coverage thanks to expansion.

While each person’s experience with expansion is unique, one theme rings true among all the stories shared by yesterday’s speakers, as well as those stories shared by patients in exams rooms all across the state of Ohio, each and every day, and that is that expanded Medicaid saves lives.

If you are interested in helping advocate for quality affordable health coverage, sign up to be an advocate TODAY!

Protect Medicaid
Photo Courtesy of OACHC (Facebook)

 

A big THANK YOU to Chuck for sharing his story!


BREAKING : Due to the commitment to advocacy in the past several days from Ohioans all across the state in the form of calls, emails, tweets, and more, as well as the presence at yesterday’s rally, the Ohio House of Representatives has decided to forego overriding Governor Kasich’s veto of the expansion freeze. While the discussion of an override is “pending” and there is talk of the Ohio House bringing the conversation back up this fall, it all indications are that your voice has been heard. Strong advocacy works and you all are to thank for making a difference in the lives of not only the patients and clients of CCH and TCC but those of Ohioans all across the state.

Live Well Wednesday

Ask the Experts– What’s the best way to stay hydrated in the summer?

megan-whisman                         Ryan green tie 2 THP_2548_ppv

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.

During the month of July we will be focusing on a new summertime weekly topic that addresses important seasonal issues.  Be sure and check back each Wednesday in July to get helpful information and tips from the Compass Community Health Care Center providers on keeping yourself, and your family healthy all summer long.

This week we asked our providers at Compass Community Health Care Center…

“What do you do to keep yourself and your family hydrated during these hot summer days?”

Megan Whisman, FNP: “A few good tips to keep hydrated on hot summer days for my family is flavored ice cubes and fruit smoothies consisting of fruits high in water and yogurt.  Staying hydrated through what we eat is also important, watermelon is one of our big go to fruits.  And last but not least are homemade popsicles, our favorite summertime treat!”

Ryan Carpenter, FNP-BC: “Our family hiked through Death Valley last year and used hydration backpacks filled with water and frozen bottles of water.  I noticed that when water was readily available that my family stayed well hydrated.  Here’s an example of the hydration pack we used.”

hydration pack

For additional information on this topic, or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office at 740-351-7102.

#LiveWellWednesday                 #CompassCares                 #RealPeopleCompassionateCare