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.

Meet The Team

Meet the New Behavioral Health Specialist, Lesley Jordan

Lesley Jordan For Facebook

We would like to welcome our new Behavioral Health Specialist, Lesley Jordan, LISW-S.

Lesley obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN in 1998. Then, she went on to obtain a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kentucky in 2011. She is now a Licensed Independent Social Worker with a supervision designation. Lesley explained that her professional experience is in child welfare, but that she also has experience in domestic violence, hospice, behavioral health therapy and managed care high-risk case management.  Now let’s take a moment and get to know a little more about Lesley.

Why did you want to join Compass?
The atmosphere here is like no other I have ever worked. Everyone is treated like the professionals they are. There is great respect between professionals and administrators. The patients are of utmost importance and there is absolutely no judgment on behalf of staff. Compass is a great place to work.

What do you like most about working for Compass?
Working at Compass is an exceptional experience. Working with such an excellent staff that is knowledgeable and passionate about what they do makes for a great work environment.

What healthcare advice are you most passionate about?
Of course, I will say mental health. A person’s mental health is as important, sometimes, more important than their physical health. If a person is having difficulty in their personal life, they have trouble focusing on their physical health.

What do you enjoy in your free time?
I love spending time with my family. I enjoy going to my daughter’s high school events. We like shopping in nearby Chillicothe or Ashland.

#CompassAdvocates

It’s the Final Countdown!

The U.S. Capitol may be hundreds of miles away but readers should understand the actions our leaders take have a direct and immediate impact on our community.

A case in point is an imperiled health care program that already delivers results for the American taxpayer: Community Health Centers. They now serve 1 in 12 Americans, or 27 million people.  Health centers don’t just save lives, they also lower health care costs, create jobs, and reduce hospital visits so that fewer dollars are spent on “sick care.”   But unless Congress acts by the end of this month to extend their funding, the consequences for these health centers and their patients will be drastic.

The program would be reduced by approximately 70%. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) itself has projected that the impact would be dramatic: closure of 2,800 health center locations, elimination of more than 50,000 jobs, and a loss of access to care for more than 9 million patients.  Keep in mind this is a program that has been in place for more than 50 years and enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress.  Right now more than 75 national organizations,  representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, health centers, children, patients, the faith community, financial institutions and health care industry partners, are banding together and calling on lawmakers to extend health center funding before September 30.

Please help us bring this end of month deadline to our lawmakers attention and ask them to act now. Time is running out! For information on how you can get involved and contact your elected leaders, visit www.hcadvocacy.org today.

Live Well Wednesday

Get in the Know about Pneumonia, and Get Your Vaccine at Compass

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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.

During the month of September we will be focusing on vaccinations and keeping you healthy this winter. Be sure and check back each Wednesday in September to get helpful information and tips from Compass Community Health Care Center Pharmacist Andy Pierron, on keeping yourself, and your family healthy all winter long.

Pneumonia can be a very serious illness if left untreated. One million hospitalizations occur each year due to pneumonia, and one in four of those patients hospitalized will die. Do you know the signs and symptoms of pneumonia? How to tell if you have just a common cold or pneumonia?

The most common sign is coughing, due to the lungs filling with fluid and infection. Other symptoms include, fever, chilling, difficulty breathing, chest pain and fatigue. It isn’t always obvious that it’s pneumonia, so be sure and see your provider should you experience these symptoms. More importantly, take extreme caution if you have asthma, diabetes, a heart condition, or other chronic illnesses, as pneumonia may set in faster and be more problematic those with chronic conditions.

Good news! There is a vaccine available to help prevent and reduce the chance that you and your loved one will suffer from pneumonia, and even better, this vaccine is available at Compass. Vaccinations are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm at the Compass Pharmacy, and no appointment is necessary. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans or at a very reduced cost for those paying out of pocket.

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

Live Well Wednesday

Don’t Let the Flu Get the Best of You This Winter- Get Your Flu Shot at Compass

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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.

During the month of September we will be focusing on vaccinations and keeping you healthy this winter.  Be sure and check back each Wednesday in September to get helpful information and tips from Compass Community Health Care Center Pharmacist Andy Pierron on keeping yourself, and your family healthy all winter long.

Each year the flu vaccine prevents millions of people from getting sick! Over two million medical office visits are avoided, as well as tens of thousands of hospitalizations.  According to the CDC, receiving a flu vaccination is the best way to guard yourself against getting the flu.  Don’t let the flu bug you this winter! Flu vaccinations are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm at the Compass Pharmacy, no appointment is necessary.  The vaccine is covered by most medical plans or a very reduced cost for those paying out of pocket.

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, News & Events

Compass Heads to San Diego for Training, Advocacy, and More

This week, Compass staff Summer Kirby (CEO), Eva Gitome (CFO), and Erin Trapp (Clinical Director) traveled to San Diego to attend National Association of Community Healthcare Center’s (NACHC) annual Community Health Institute (CHI) and Expo. While there they looked for opportunities to network with representatives from Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHCs) from all across the nation, as well as attend general and individualized informational sessions on topics vital to community health center (CHC) operations and interests.

During the opening general session, participants were greeted by new NACHC Board Chair Jim Luisi. Luisi took the opportunity to remind the audience of the fast approaching FQHC fiscal cliff and the important role advocates will play in the coming weeks. They also heard from a community health center patient Anna Arellano, who said community health centers were the key to helping her live a healthier life.

CHI Group I
(L to R) Summer Kirby, Jim Luisi, Erin Trapp, Eva Gitome

At the following general session, attendees were given the opportunity to hear from Erik Wahl, an internationally recognized graffiti artist and author. Wahl discussed how organizations who embrace creativity and “disruption” will flourish, while those who don’t make innovation a top priority will fall behind.

Individualized session topics included discussions on how to improve work flow to identify and address the socioeconomic needs of patients, either through in-house means or through referral sources. Another session focused on how to reduce dependency on grant funding should reductions to the federal budget be ratified. There was also a session on up-to-the-minute updates from Capitol Hill, with special emphasis on funding, Medicaid, telehealth and more.

 

 

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(L to R) Eva Gitome, Summer Kirby, Jim Macrae (HRSA), Erin Trapp

One overarching theme of the convention has been the pressing reality of the upcoming FQHC fiscal cliff. If Congress does not act by September 30, 2017 community health centers stand to lose upwards of 70% of their funding. This funding is vital to ensuring community health centers can continue to deliver high quality, affordable health care to all members of the community, regardless of their ability to pay.

That’s why it’s imperative you sign up as an ADVOCATE TODAY, and tell your legislators that good health and FQHC funding is important to you.

#CompassAdvocates

Compass CEO: Behind the Scenes with Senator Bernie Sanders

By Summer Kirby, CEO Compass Community Health

On Tuesday, August 22, 2017, I was honored to receive an invitation to meet and speak with Senator Bernie Sanders who was invited to come here to hear about some of the issues we are facing together. Organizers worked hard to coordinate with the Senator’s staff, so that many representatives from our community would have a chance to speak.

After arriving at the Vern Riffe Center on the campus of Shawnee State University, and being introduced to the panelists, it was clear the atmosphere was filled with excitement. This event created an opportunity to hear real life experiences from real people that were there to advocate and educate on behalf of our community with one of our nationally elected, political leaders.

Each panelist shared their account of specific topics, including one father’s personal story of caring for a special needs child, another speaker was a behavioral health counselor who works with the addicted population, there was a union leader who talked about the value of work to a person’s self esteem and more. Senator Sanders embraced all of the speakers and topics, added his views, and opened up the discussion to those in the audience who also had a chance for their voice to be heard. I was asked to speak on the topic of Health care, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the opiate epidemic. Below is the text of the healthcare story I shared with my community that day.

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Summer Toni Dengel close up

I am a native resident. After graduating from Notre Dame High School, I moved to Columbus and completed my undergraduate degree while working full-time as a college student. My husband and I came home to Scioto County from the Dayton area where I worked for Wells Fargo, and we had our first child. Now, our family and home is back here in Portsmouth. After spending 15+ years in the financial industry and volunteering in various organizations in our community, my path transitioned to Compass Community Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center, where we are bound by federal statute and our guiding mission to care for all patients, regardless of their insurance status.   

My understanding and perspectives have changed. 

Healthcare issues, specifically the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the opiate epidemic and substance abuse, are commonly misunderstood topics. The importance of these issues extend beyond party lines and impact all constituents, regardless of one’s education, upbringing or religion. Medicaid expansion was, is, and continues to be, a significantly positive impact in communities all across Ohio and the United States. While we may be at the center of the opiate epidemic, we are not unlike other communities across the nation.    

Medicaid expansion enables access to care for services like primary care, mental health, addiction treatment recovery and general healthcare needs. It is common practice to connect with individuals who have not been able to access these services for core health needs, some results included an inability to maintain employment, addiction, and overusing emergency rooms and urgent care facilities to serve as a primary care provider. In my daily work, I see improvements in health outcomes due to the ACA and the commitment to Medicaid expansion. 

Some highlights include:

  • 1,100 men, in their mid-twenties, were able to access treatment services with The Counseling Center, a 35+ year alcohol and drug treatment agency serving residents from many Ohio counties.
  • That same organization celebrated 245 births for recovery babies (born to mothers in recovery).
  • One provider speaks of his patient finding herself unemployed for the first time in her life as a result of the economic downturn. As a diabetic that lost her coverage, she found herself in the ER due to lack of access to medical needs.  She was able to regain access through Medicaid expansion and is now reporting her diabetes is controlled.
  • Employed individuals working in entry level positions also have access to healthcare through Medicaid expansion.    

Cost, economic impact and sustainability of the program are core components of this discussion. One of the points commonly overlooked is the economic engine this program creates.

  • Medicaid expansion enabled my organization to hire additional providers, expand care for primary, mental health and women’s health as well as supplemental clinical and support staff.
  • The organization previously noted, The Counseling Center, added 67 jobs equating to $2.3 million in additional payroll.

These are but a few examples of investments; dollars that support our economy, goods being purchased, individuals seeking higher education and overall enhancements to the good health of the community. 

Simply put, it’s a complex equation. The real impact for individuals with access to health care enables employment, healthier lifestyles and community support that is a positive health and economic driver.

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Compass CEO Summer Kirby speaks to a capacity crowd that gathered to hear and share our community’s perspective on health care issues with Senator Bernie Sanders

 

#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