FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2016
Contact: Mary Ortega, 215.434.7195 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public Health Management Corporation Celebrates National Health Center Week

(PHILADELPHIA, PA)Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), along with public health organizations across the nation, is celebrating National Health Center Week (NHCW), August 7-13th. The campaign works to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers. More than 50 years ago, health centers started as a pilot project during President Lyndon Johnson’s War on poverty. PHMC provides direct care through the PHMC health network, comprising five Federally Qualified Health Centers.

The theme for NHCW 2016, "Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Innovators in Community Health," underscores how local health centers transform health care by offering wrap-around programs and services that complement the high-quality physical care provided to individuals in the most vulnerable communities.

PHMC’s health network reaches beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address factors that may cause poor health, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and addiction. PHMC understands that poor health can be caused by poverty, unstable housing, poor nutrition, lack of education and language barriers.

The network plays a critical role in assisting underserved communities, particularly public housing populations and individuals experiencing homelessness, by providing high-quality, patient-centered care across the region. Each of the five centers in the PHMC health network is recognized as a patient-centered medical home, where individuals are cared for by a team of experts organized around their needs.

Free Health Center Week Programs:
On August 13, PHMC’s Care Clinic will participate in the 4th Annual Summer Street Festival at Chew Playground, 1800 Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia, offering free health screenings and providing information on services available at the community health center.

Care Clinic, located at 1200 Callowhill Street, offers enabling services that remove barriers to care and improve the community health and economic wellbeing. Health centers, like Care Clinic, provide innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in their communities.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
This fall, Care Clinic will launch a one-of-a-kind enhanced MAT program. No such program exists in the Philadelphia area. More than 72 percent of Care Clinic patients have a history of substance abuse disorders (SUD). A recent study revealed more than 93 percent had a prior history of incarceration, 40 percent are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and 28 percent have a co-occurring mental health and SUD diagnosis.

The MAT program will allow patients to receive treatment for drug or alcohol abuse while receiving care for any chronic illnesses, as well as proactive health management. MAT is conducted in three phases: Induction Phase, Stabilization Phase and Maintenance Treatment Phase. The Induction Phase determines if the patient is eligible for the program and which medication is most appropriate. During the Stabilization Phase, patients will have six screenings conducted over two weeks, three times per week. Following this period, the patient will be seen weekly for six weeks and will transition to monthly visits. During Maintenance Treatment, the patient is referred to recovery services for on-site or individual consultations.

Along with the standard medical team, treatment includes peer mentoring, recovery resource connection and recovery groups with Peer Recovery Specialists. The specialists are successful recovering addicts.

In Southeastern Pennsylvania, hundreds of thousands of adults use community health centers or clinics as their regular or primary care source. Health centers prevent illness and foster wellness in the most challenging populations.

TeleTriage Pilot Program
PHMC is launching a first-of-its-kind teletriage pilot program with Hahnemann University Hospital and funded by Independence Blue Cross Foundation. Hahnemann is one of the busiest emergency departments (ED) in Philadelphia. Here is how it works:

When patients who are high utilizers of the ED present for treatment, they are evaluated by medical staff. Assuming they are not admitted for additional tests or treatment and are not connected to a primary care provider, they are escorted to a private area where they will speak via live video chat with a registered nurse care manager at a PHMC Federally Qualified Health Center (Care Clinic or Health Connection) located in central and north Philadelphia. The centers provide integrated physical and behavioral health care services, and served more than 5,500 patients in 2015.

The PHMC nurse care manager complements the ED’s discharge instructions by coordinating follow-up care at the health center. If necessary, the care manager can arrange for same-day transportation to bring the patient directly to the health center. Care managers and social workers help patients overcome additional barriers to achieving health, through interventions such as behavioral health services or health education.

The goal is to establish the health center as the patient’s primary medical home. The program is designed to reach individuals without a primary care provider, including homeless patients and people who overuse the emergency department for chronic conditions or ones that can be treated and managed in a non-acute primary care setting.

The project is designed to decrease unnecessary utilization at urban-based emergency rooms and connect individuals to primary care providers for ongoing care management.

# # #
About PHMC Health Network
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. The PHMC health network consists of five nurse-managed, federally qualified health centers offering affordable, high-quality, patient-centered health services to communities throughout the Philadelphia area, including public housing populations and individuals experiencing homelessness. They share a simple mission: to provide comprehensive primary and behavioral health care, family planning, disease management, social services and more to men, women and children through an interdisciplinary, team-based approach to care. The PHMC health network is committed to its Beyond Care concept, a holistic, patient-centered approach to quality care provided by experts who organize care around the community's needs. The network has Joint Commission Ambulatory Care accreditation and Primary Care Medical Home certification, and three locations have certification by the National Centers for Quality Assurance as a Patient Centered Medical Home. PHMC is also home to the National Nursing Centers Consortium, a network of more than 250 nurse-managed health centers nationally. For more information, visit www.phmc.org and www.phmchealthnetwork.org.