Local health clinic receives quality improvement award of $112K

photo by: Ashley Hocking

The entrance to Heartland Community Health Center, 346 Maine St., Suite 150, is shown Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.

Lawrence’s Heartland Community Health Center was one of 18 federally qualified health centers in Kansas recognized for improvements made throughout the year — in Heartland’s case, doubling the number of patients treated at the clinic, among other achievements.

Heartland, at 346 Maine St., was recognized as a Quality Improvement Award winner and granted $112,334, according to a news release from Community Care Network of Kansas in Topeka.

Collectively the 18 clinics were given $1,259,650 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to further improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the health care delivered to the communities they serve, according to the news release.

Heartland anticipated receiving some monetary award, said Robyn Coventon, Heartland’s CEO, but the amount it received was almost double what it was expecting.

“We have made vast improvements. We knew we had done well leading the charge with asthma screening, child teeth sealants, tobacco screening and depression screening, diabetes management, and ischemic vascular disease,” Coventon said.

Moreover, the clinic has also managed to double its patient load in the past year.

“We have doubled in size,” Coventon said. “We saw 6,000 patients in 2018, and we hit that number at the end of July of this year.”

The clinic was also recognized for offering comprehensive care for the patient’s entire well-being.

“It’s wrapping around every service a person needs and treating the whole person,” Coventon said. It’s an approach to providing physical, mental, social and spiritual health care that creates relationships between patients and their personal provider.

Coventon said the clinic would use the award for training its staff and improving the team-based health care it provides.

“We see anyone who walks through the door regardless if they can pay,” Coventon said. About 50% of the clinic’s population is uninsured.

Every year, the awards recognize the highest performing health centers nationwide, according to the news release. This year it includes GraceMed Health Clinic in Wichita, which received $202,476, and PrairieStar Health Center in Hutchinson, which received $166,637. Both of those clinics received the National Quality Leadership Award, placing them among the top 1% to 2% of all such health centers in 2018.

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