Each year OPCA takes pride in honoring the individuals and organizations of the community health center community who do outstanding work to provide quality health and health care services for people experiencing poverty and marginalization in Oregon.
This year, OPCA received more nominations than in any previous year, making it a very competitive process to select the winners. Winners were selected by the OPCA Board’s Bylaws & Nominating Committee.
Congratulations to the following individuals who took home a 2017-18 OPCA Award of Excellence, which were presented at OPCA’s Annual Meeting on April 27, 2018, in Portland.
Lacey Beaty, Virginia Garcia
Lacey Beaty, program director of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center School-Based Health Center, was nominated for her work getting policy changed to allow four school-based health centers to provide access to reproductive and birth control services, had previously been restricted by three school districts. She worked with school board members, school district administrators, community members, patient families, students, and Virginia Garcia executives to successfully change this policy.
CCC Business Intelligence Team: Malcolm Bixby, Doreen Crail, and Matt Mitchell, Central City Concern
Malcolm Bixby, senior software developer; Doreen Crail, billing director; and Matt Mitchell, senior data strategist, were nominated for their work in bringing a data warehouse to fruition, “helping CCC to answer deep questions about our patient and resident population while solving business problems to improve our daily operations.” The team also supports CCC’s efforts to maximize its use of resources through predictive modeling and has deepened CCC’s understanding of its own populations.
Erika Armsbury, Central City Concern
Erika Armsbury, director of clinical services, was nominated for leading CCC’s Old Town Recovery Center “through a period of unprecedented growth in response to community needs, while maintaining and improving quality, patient experience, and program sustainability.” The innovative Integrated Health and Recovery Treatment (IHEART) team, a program developed and led by Armsbury to blend patient-centered primary care home-inspired model with evidence-based mental health care and critical enabling services increased in capacity by 30% over the past two years.
Health Equity Award
Sandy Giardini and Miguel Angel Herrada: Board members at Mosaic Medical
Sandy Giardini, a nurse who recently retired as nursing director for the St. Charles Redmond Hospital; and Miguel Angel Herrada, health equity and diversity strategist for PacificSource Health Plans; both Mosaic Medical board members, were nominated for co-founding the Mosaic Health Equity Board Workgroup with the mission of taking a deeper look into Mosaic’s patient population data to ensure Mosaic was providing equitable care at every clinic for distinct populations. Work by this committee led to the implementation of the CAHPS “Cultural Competence Item Set,” which had never been used before; and a review of current data for health disparities, finding various degrees of disparities between patients in all health outcomes, disease prevalence, patient experience, and healthcare utilization—which will all be key focus areas of Mosaic’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan.
Health Equity Award
Multnomah County Refugee Clinic: Susanna Nor-Ashkarian, Therese Lugano, Adrienne Daniels, Tasha Wheatt-Delancy, Angela Wright, Charlene McGee, and Rachael Banks
This is the only clinic in Oregon contracted to provide medical screenings for refugees with the intention of connecting patients to a medical home. The clinic welcomed 1,443 new refugees in 2016 and 305 refugees since July 2017. In 2017, 79.6% of refugees resettled in Multnomah County. The clinic has an impressive team that includes a clinic manager, community health nurse, office assistance, certified medical assistant, nursing supervisor, behavioral health consultant, medical provide and community health worker. The team works to provide intake health screenings, medical and mental health assessments, while also understanding the social determinants when addressing health equity. Staff emphasize the importance of understanding the social and political circumstances that newly arrived refuges must contend with—often through personal experience. Two staff members at the clinic, Susanna Nor-Ashkarian and Therese Lugano, as well as Adrienne Daniels, ICS deputy director for Multnomah County Health Department, accepted the award at the Annual Meeting. Other staff who were unable to attend, but were included in the award acceptance invitation are Tasha Wheatt-Delancy, Angela Wright, Charlene McGee, and Rachael Banks.
Innovation & Leadership in Transformation Award
Sherlyn Dahl, CHCs of Benton & Linn Counties
Sherlyn Dahl, executive director of the CHCs of Benton & Linn Counties, was nominated by two staff members for her support, leadership, and vision. “She works hard to establish our clinics as places where talented and caring professionals can excel, and where people in our community can come for team-based, competent, patient-centered care. Sherlyn Dahl is constantly thinking, planning, and innovating to make that possible. While many of us are caught up in the daily efforts that make high quality care a reality, we are guided by her connection to a bigger goal—creating and modeling a space where healthcare is meaningful, sensitive to peoples’ needs, and sustainable.” In the face of funding cuts for health centers, Sherlyn Dahl continued to be level-headed and informed. She acknowledges fear and rises to make sense of what can be controlled. “In the face of uncertainty, she led staff at all levels in strategic planning efforts to help us see what we can focus on and impact health in the short-term.” Nine years ago, before community health worker and health navigation were common in the primary care setting, Sherlyn Dahl believed in the possibilities of using community health workers as health navigators embedded in the care team. With continued vision, support, and management, the health navigation program has grown from one part-time, grant-funded navigator working with one clinical team to a navigation team that has 28 full-time, primarily sustainably funded navigators working in six CHC clinics, four Samaritan clinics, three Corvallis schools, and throughout Benton and Linn counties. Dahl’s support made it possible for this now well-known program to grow and succeed. Sherlyn Dahl is also involved in the local CCO, serves on the OPCA Board, and passionately advocates for FQHCs. Sherlyn Dahl’s support and encouragement of staff was also noted in her nomination. “Perhaps the highest compliment is the fact that Sherlyn empowers others to see things the way she does. She challenges us to think outside the box, down the road, on the other side of what is obvious.”
Innovation & Leadership in Transformation Award
Rick Kincade, MD, CHCs of Lane County
Dr. Rick Kincade, medical director at CHCs of Lane County, was nominated for his leadership in the community in addressing opioid use which have led to “positive changes in our community and truly extraordinary results in reducing opioid use and improving the quality of life for our chronic pain patients.” From 2011 to 2015, Lane County saw 9.28 deaths per 100,000 people—higher than the state overdose rate of 7.15 per 100,000. Dr. Rick Kincade spearheaded a multifaceted approach in the community and at clinics to effectively address opioid use, that included community involvement, provider and patient education, peer support, controlled medication registry and oversight, prescription of Naloxone, pharmacy assistance/formulary management, initiating a Suboxone program, expanding CHC services to provide alternative treatment options. The initiatives led to a 40% reduction in the total number of CHC patients on opiates in six months, increased efforts to reduce high doses, visit volumes at the alternative medicine clinic near capacity, and the doubling of the number of Suboxone providers.