Russell Branzell, President and CEO of the College of Health Information Management Executives

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Russell Branzell, President and CEO of the College of Health Information Management Executives or CHIME. They discuss the many challenges being faced by health IT executives in the quest for full adoption of electronic health records, meeting meaningful use standards, cybersecurity, and the problematic delay of ICD 10 adoption.

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Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children, an independent non-profit organization meeting the basic health, education and nutritional needs of over 140 million children worldwide. Ms. Miles discusses the myriad humanitarian crises the world’s children are currently facing in war zones, refugee camps and infectious disease outbreaks. 
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Welcoming a New Class of Residents

A sense of excitement and eagerness filled the community room of CHC in Middletown this morning. Starting at 8am, twenty individuals arrived to their newfound residency orientation. Amongst this group, ten people were selected to join the 8th class of Nurse Practitioner Residents, a national residency training program first of its kind which was created by Dr. Margaret Flinter, CHC’s Senior VP & Chief Clinical Director. Four additional residents traveled to Connecticut from Washington to train with the CHC residents this week before they start their programs in Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (3 residents) and Colombia Basin Health Association (1 resident).

CHC’s residency program is hosting training programs within these two organizations in conjunction with the National Nurse Practitioner Residency Training Consortium; they will continue the partnership throughout the year as apart of adopting CHC’s program model. One of the goals established in 2007 at the launch of this NPR program was national replication of CHC’s model of residency training for primary care nurse practitioners and this combined orientation is a perfect example of accomplishing that goal.

The breakfast orientation also included the six new members of the Post-Doctoral Psychology resident program which is in its 3rd year here at Community Health Center, Inc. The first day of a new career can be filled with much anticipation but as multiple leaders of CHC spoke to the group in combination with watching the video of Dr. Jack Geiger present during Weitzman Symposium in May, you could see the look of determination within each chair as they listened intently. These residents chose this program for a reason and passion seems to be overflowing after just witnessing day 1.

The main idea of creating and fostering residency programs is to improve the clinical skills, confidence, productivity, and job satisfaction of new providers who choose to work in an underserved community setting. Since the idea came to Dr. Margaret Flinter in 2005 to fill the gap between a quality education and quality care, the programs have seen great growth and expansion on a national level. With all the new residents traveling from across the US, including CT to start their yearlong training program, they will begin their journey to support the underserved in any capacity starting with obtaining the tools directly from CHC and we welcome you!

 

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Dr. Harvey Fineberg, President of IOM

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Harvey Fineberg, President of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Fineberg discusses the research initiatives being undertaken by IOM that are designed to improve health care and public health through policy initiatives that support evidence-based outcomes.

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Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Maryland Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene for the State of Maryland. He discusses the robust Health Information Exchange in his state, as well as the dramatic payment reforms underway in Maryland that are reducing unnecessary hospitalizations, improving chronic care management and reducing health care costs.

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Dr. Deane Marchbein: MD, President of the U.S. board of directors of Doctors Without Borders

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Deane Marchbein, MD, Anesthesiologist and President of the U.S. board of directors of Doctors Without Borders, an organization formed to offer care to millions of patients in over 60 war torn or impoverished countries around the world. 

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Special Thanks to All who Made Health Center Week a Huge Success

National Health Center Week has been celebrated for more than 30 years.  Each year, Community Health Center, Inc. works hard to plan events that not only raise awareness throughout our 13 CT sites but to also offer members of the community a chance to join in on the fun. This year, CHC’s staff worked tirelessly to organize free, family-friendly events, at various sites, to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers as local gateways to healthcare.

Each event had its own special touch that was created by a variety of CHC staff members who took on planning efforts in addition to their regular workload. Six of our sites also offered patients Free Oral Cancer Screenings in collaboration with the week of celebration. From Saturday, August 9th, to Saturday August 16th, events happened almost every day and the end result was providing patients and community members with an abundance of free services & information. From HIV & Hep C testing, blood pressure screenings, mobile dental services for kids, Oral Cancer Screenings, CHC handouts about services and local groups joining in on the effort, the week was a huge success and many people are responsible for the result.

In addition to their long history as health care homes to millions, Health Centers are also proud to maintain a more than 45 year record being ranked among the highest quality and cost effective care providers in the nation. Health Centers provide their services to all people, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status. Today, America’s Health Centers serve almost 22 million people (including 921,035 Farmworkers and more than 1,145,449 people who are Homeless) at about 9,000 delivery sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories.

Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary health care system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 130,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services.

  •  Day Street CHC –2nd annual SONO Day Out, Ryan Park, Norwalk.

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  • CHC of Meriden – free HIV &Hep C testing at the Puerto Rican Festival

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  • CHC of Clinton – Health Walk and Litter Clean-up

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  • CHC of New Britain — healthy lifestyles fair and farmers market

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  •  CHC of Middletown – Walk from the health center to  a health, wellness and family fun festival.

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  • CHC of New London, Fresh New London and NL staff  plant a beautiful garden on the grounds of the health center.

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Take a photo tour of the past week with fabulous events throughout CT on our facebook album below!

 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152579908797931.1073741892.26414222930&type=3&uploaded=13

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National Health Center Week – Oral Cancer Screening in Meriden

Yesterday, Community Health Center of Meriden celebrated National Health Center Week by offering free oral cancer screenings to patients of the health center and community members.

About 39,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with oral cancer, a cancer that can develop in the lips, mouth, or back of the throat. With about 8,000 deaths in America each year from oral cancer, CHC has decided to educate patients about the nature of the disease and how to prevent it.

Certain risk factors can increase a person’s likelihood of developing oral cancer.  One such factor is smoking tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco.  Other risk factors include drinking large quantities of alcohol, a personal history of oral cancer, a personal history of HPV, and sun exposure.

Quitting smoking can greatly reduce the risk of developing oral cancer.  CHC offers a smoking cessation program called Rewards to Quit for eligible Husky A, C, and D members.  Reducing alcohol consumption and wearing lip balm or sunscreen can reduce oral cancer risk.  Finally, getting screened for oral cancer or visiting a dentist regularly – every 6 months- can allow providers to detect oral cancer early.

One of CHC’s dental hygienists, Beata Milewska, screened patients behind a privacy screen in the Meriden waiting room area.  Oral cancer exams are very simple, can be performed anywhere and only take about 5 minutes.  In an oral exam, a dental professional will gently check the tissue on the inside of the mouth and palpate the glands on the neck.   Beata screened 23 patients for oral cancer during the event!  Each patient was also screened to see if they needed assistance with health insurance enrollment.  Overall, our patients were very excited for a dental professional to check their mouth and educate them about the importance of oral health.

CHC patients can get comprehensive dental services at several of our health centers across the state. CHC also has a mobile dental program that travels across the state setting up a mobile dental office at locations from schools to churches to community events.

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Celebrating National Health Center Week!

Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) is currently recognizing National Health Center Week 2014 (NHCW), which is observed August 10-16, by hosting free, family-friendly events, at various sites, to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers as local gateways to healthcare.

So far this week, we have participated in & hosted four events within Norwalk, Meriden, Clinton & New Britain. Free Oral Cancer screenings are also being offered at different sites throughout the week for our patients. CHC staff members are so dedicated to patients and the different communities we serve throughout CT and this week of events would not be possible without their tireless efforts.

National Health Center Week is an opportunity for community health centers across the nation to open their doors to the community and showcase the high quality, comprehensive care that is available. As of today, we are halfway through the week and have had some amazing memories made within our communities. Two events remain, one in Middletown’s Harbor park on Friday & another in New London on Saturday. Keep an eye out for more details and updates on all of these events, especially on our facebook page– https://www.facebook.com/CHCInc?ref=hl

On Saturday, August 9th, 11am – 3pm, Day Street CHC  provided health and wellness activities, including blood pressure screenings and nutrition education at the 2nd annual SONO Day Out, Ryan Park, Norwalk.

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On Sunday, August 10th, CHC of Meriden  provided free HIV &Hep C testing from 12-4:30pm at the Puerto Rican Festival, Hubbard Park, 999 West Main Street, Meriden.

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On Monday, August 11th, CHC of Clinton hosted a Community Health Walk and Litter Clean-up, 9am-1pm, followed by breakfast and a health fair in Liberty Square.

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On Tuesday, August 12th, 11-2pm, CHC of New Britain hosted a healthy lifestyles fair and farmers market.

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The final two events of the week take place below– we also have a great photo album on facebook so please check out all the highlights. https://www.facebook.com/CHCInc?ref=hl#!/media/set/?set=a.10152579908797931.1073741892.26414222930&type=1 

Friday, August 15th, CHC of Middletown will host a Community Health Walk from the health center to Harbor Park, where there will be a health, wellness and family fun festival. Walk starts at 1, event goes until 4.

Saturday, August 16th, at CHC of New London, Fresh New London and ISSAC School will be on hand to help our staff and patients plant a beautiful garden on the grounds of the health center from 9am-12pm.

 

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Jonathan Gruber, PhD, MIT Economist

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Jonathan Gruber, Health Economist and Professor of Economics at MIT. Gruber is the key architect of the Massachusetts health reform as well as the Affordable Care Act and discusses the successes as well as legal challenges facing the health care law moving forward. 

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