Eight nurse-managed health clinics in Pennsylvania recognized for superb care

PHILADELPHIA (December 23, 2010) -- In a move that signifies a growing recognition among national policy makers of the expanding role of nurse practitioners in the primary care workforce, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has changed its policy to grant nurse-managed health clinics recognition as Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH). The first nurse-managed health clinics (NMHCs) to receive PCMH recognition are all members of National Nursing Centers Consortium and Pennsylvania’s Chronic Care Initiative.

The outstanding performance of NMHCs is conclusive evidence that nurse-led health care practices can function as well as PCMHs. The eight nurse-managed clinics that received certification include: Project Salud of La Comunidad Hispana; Eleventh Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, Health Annex and Abbottsford Falls Family Practice and Counseling of the Family Practice and Counseling Network; PHMC Health Connection, Rising Sun Health Center, and Mary Howard Health Center of Public Health Management Corporation; and the Children’s Health Center of VNA. All of these clinics are located in Pennsylvania.

Speaking on the performance of NMHCs, Ann Torregrossa director of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform said, “Recognizing and expanding the role of nurses has been at the heart of many health care reforms we've undertaken in Pennsylvania. In addition, we believe that is why many of our reforms have been so successful. For example, their work in our efforts to better manage the care of patients with chronic diseases has been critical to the overwhelming success of that initiative. This change by NCQA is smart and will pay dividends in the form of better health outcomes for patients.”

The Pennsylvania Chronic Care Management, Reimbursement and Cost Reduction Commission was created to develop a strategic plan for treating chronic disease that would improve the quality of care for those with these conditions while reducing avoidable illnesses and their costs. The Chronic Care Initiative is a PCMH project of the larger Commission involving approximately 400 primary care providers through out the state, including 50 nurse practitioners. Outcomes from the Chronic Care Initiative have been extremely positive especially for patients with chronic conditions like diabetes. 2009 data shows that diabetics participating in the initiative were 33% more likely to have control of their blood sugars, 40% more likely to have control of cholesterol levels and 25% more likely to have normal blood pressures when compared to non-participating diabetics.

“The NCQA recognition is an indication of the great work nurse-managed clinics do around the country. I am confident that NCQA’s decision combined with new funding for NMHCs created through health care reform will help these clinics make high quality, affordable primary care more accessible to the underserved. It is also my hope that NCQA’s recognition will encourage other federal and state policy makers to take similar steps to ensure that the nurse-managed model is fully supported in other areas of law and regulation. Only then will nurse-managed clinics reach their full potential as primary care providers,” said Tine Hansen-Turton, CEO of National Nursing Centers Consortium.

Nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania are also excited about NCQA’s recognition. In reaction to NCQA’s decision, Donna L. Torrisi, Director of Family Practice and Counseling Network, which has three nurse practitioner primary care practice that received NCQA recognition as Patient Centered Medical Homes, “We are thrilled to be accredited by such a prestigious organization and are spurred on now to reach level 3 Medical Home. This is an opportunity for us to reach new heights in providing the best care possible to underserved communities.”

Nancy Rothman, the Independence Foundation Professor of Urban Community Nursing at Temple University and a consultant with Public Health Management Corporation, which also has three nurse practitioner primary care practice that received NCQA recognition, added, “This is formal recognition of the quality of care provided within nurse practitioner primary care practices, while providing access to underserved populations and helping to reduce health disparities.” Executive management at the clinics are also very excited about the certifications.

“We here at the VNA are very pleased that the NCQA has recognized our nurse managed health center as a Medical Home. Seeking and receiving this qualification has improved our center, and helps us as we continue to strive for quality patient care to those most in need,” says Richard Cirko Executive Director of the Children’s Health Center of VNA Community Services.”

Margarita Queralt Mirkil, Executive Director of La Communidad Hispana, comments, “For 25 years our nurse-managed health center, Project Salud, has provided comprehensive, holistic care to the Latino population in Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. This certification is an important recognition for us. Peggy Harris, our Clinical Director, is a capable, dedicated health care provider, and I am very proud of her and our staff’s accomplishments.”

Nationally, NMHCs most often operate as safety net clinics that provide primary care, health promotion, and disease prevention services to patients who are least likely to receive ongoing health care. This population includes people of all ages who are uninsured, underinsured, living in poverty, or members of racial and ethnic minority groups. NMHCs are led by nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses who have advanced education and training that allows them to provide a broad scope of health care services similar to those of a primary care physician. NMHCs also play an important role in health professions education. More than 85 of the nation’s leading nursing schools operate nurse-managed health clinics that serve as clinical education and practice sites for nursing students and other health professionals like medical, pharmacy, social work, and public health students.


Resources for Children’s Health presents Strengthen a Child’s Tomorrow Today

PHILADELPHIA-(November 3, 2010). Resources for Children’s Health (RCH) will hold its annual gala Strengthen a Child’s Tomorrow Today on Sunday, November 7, 2010 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Oaks Cloister, 5829 Wissahickon Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144. The evening will include a wine tasting, generous hors d’oeuvres, house tours, a silent auction, live music and more.

Proceeds from the event will benefit RCH programs that promote positive parenting, healthy pregnancies and the health and well-being of children and families. Tickets are available for $75 and $100 by visiting www.regonline.com/rch2010. The $100 VIP ticket includes a champagne reception and private tour of the mansion. Please join RCH to gather at the beautifully-restored, turn-of-the-century Oaks Cloister mansion to celebrate the organization’s past work and prepare for its future.

RCH was founded in 1985 in response to the high rate of infant mortality in Philadelphia, and it began providing community outreach to educate young parents about pregnancy, perinatal and well-baby care. Over time, the agency expanded its mission to focus on parenting by providing parents with the information, skills and resources they need to raise healthy and happy children. In support of its mission, RCH provides collaborative, community-based services to support parents in their efforts to develop and sustain an active and positive parenting role.

“Our annual gala is a time to celebrate our past accomplishments and raise funds for future programs,” said Jeanne Ciocca, executive director of Resources for Children’s Health. “The funds raised from the annual gala help maintain services that provide parents with the support, education and resources they need to raise their children. We are pleased that the Oaks Cloister is the host location this year which makes this event even more special.”

The Oaks Cloister is one of the most magnificent and historic private residences in Philadelphia. Designed in 1900 by Joseph Miller Huston, the architect of the Pennsylvania State Capitol, this elegant Tudor estate stands on a hill overlooking the greenery of Fairmount Park. Superbly restored under its current owners, Dr. Russell Harris and Mr. John Casavecchia, the Oaks Cloister has the distinction of achieving historical certification as one of Pennsylvania’s treasured landmarks. Please join Resources for Children’s Health for a unique evening as this home is open only by special invitation.


About RCH

Resources for Children’s Health (RCH) is a nonprofit agency dedicated to promoting positive parenting, healthy pregnancies and the health and well-being of children and families. Our unique programs support parents of children with special health care needs, parents of young children ages birth to five, and fathers and other male caretakers.

About PHMC

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that builds healthier communities through partnerships with government, foundations, businesses and other community-based organizations. It fulfills its mission to improve the health of the community by providing outreach, health promotion, education, research, planning, technical assistance and direct services. PHMC has served the Greater Philadelphia region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit www.phmc.org.





WASHINGTON, DC – (September 30, 2010). Nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses and registered nurses from across the United States will celebrate National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week, October 3-9, 2010. Senate Resolution 643, co-sponsored by Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D), and Senator Lamar Alexander (R) officially designates the week beginning October 3rd as National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week.

Nurse-managed health clinics serve as crucial health care access points for vulnerable and underserved patients in rural, urban and suburban communities throughout the country. This designated week will provide a national forum to promote the services offered by the 250 nurse-managed health clinics in the United States and recognize the contributions of nurse-managed health clinics throughout the nation.

“National Nurse Managed Health Clinic Week celebrates the work of nurse-managed health clinics operating in the United States. It also highlights the need for policymakers to appropriate $50 million to the new nurse-managed health clinic funding program that was authorized by the Affordable Care Act,” said Tine Hansen-Turton, chief executive officer of National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC).

Earlier this week, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced $14.8 million in new funding for nurse-managed health clinics as part of its ongoing efforts to increase primary care access and develop the health care workforce. This funding, provided by the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act, will support access to primary care for approximately 94,000 patients and training for more than 900 advanced practice nurses. However, a $50 million Affordable Care Act program for nurse-managed health clinics and authorized by Congress in March still needs appropriations.

“Nurses are ready, willing and able to step up and meet our country’s primary care needs. By authorizing investment in nurse-managed health clinics, Congress has shown that it understands the ability of nurse practitioners to provide cost-effective primary care. Nurse-managed health clinics will use this funding to provide health care to patients who are most in need, and to increase educational opportunities for the next generation of primary care providers,” said chair of NNCC board of directors Kenneth P. Miller, PhD, RN, CFNP, FAAN.

Nurse-managed health clinics are led by advanced practice nurses, most of whom are nurse practitioners who act as primary care providers for patients. They provide primary care, health promotion and disease prevention services to patients least likely to receive ongoing health care services. This population includes patients of all ages who are uninsured, underinsured, living in poverty or members of racial and ethnic minority groups. More than 85 of the nation’s leading nursing schools operate nurse-managed health clinics, enhancing learning and practice opportunities for nursing students and other health professions students.


About National Nursing Centers Consortium
The largest organization of nurse-managed health clinics in the United States, National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC) works to advance nurse-led health care through policy, consultation, programs and applied research to reduce health disparities and meet people’s primary care and wellness needs. The nation’s 250 nurse-managed health clinics reduce health disparities by providing high quality comprehensive primary health care, health promotion and disease prevention services to uninsured, underinsured and vulnerable patients in rural, urban and suburban communities.

NNCC members and nurse-managed care will be highlighted in the final report of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Medicine, to be released in Fall 2010.


Public Health Management Corporation to help bring 5th Annual Jumpstart’s Read for the Record to Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – (October 4, 2010). Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) today announced its participation in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record™ on October 7, 2010—the official date of the nation-wide campaign to set a new world record for the largest shared reading experience on a single day.

The Management Services component of PHMC will join with Jumpstart to read “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats to more than 2.5 million children that day. Approximately 75 family, group and childcare centers participating in Keystone STARS and Out of School Time sites in Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties will participate.

PA Representative Tony J. Payton, Jr. of the 179th Legislative District and PA Representative Louise Williams Bishop of the 192nd Legislative District will join other political and business leaders, athletes and celebrities as guest readers to the young children. In the process, PHMC intends to help draw attention to the importance of incorporating literacy opportunities into quality childcare and out-of-school time programs. Today half of children from low-income neighborhoods start school one to two years behind their peers. When these children start behind, they stay behind.

“Through the SERK and other family programs, PHMC helps to ensure that children are prepared for kindergarten and able to attain 21st century learning skills as they progress in school,” said Amy Friedlander, PHMC’s vice president of management services and special initiatives. “Early childhood education initiatives such as SERK prepare children for educational success, which ultimately leads to life success.”

Presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record brings individuals together to show how early childhood education can be immediately improved. Last year, more than 2,000,000 children and adults helped set the current world record by taking part in one-day local events across the country. In the process, participants help spread the word that reading and engaging with children before they enter kindergarten can improve their chances of graduating from high school by as much as 30%.

Now in its fifth year, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record also celebrates the opening of Jumpstart’s school year that helps prepare preschool children in low-income neighborhoods for success in kindergarten and life. Jumpstart’ connects children in need with trained adults who work with them year-round to ensure they enter school ready to succeed.

In partnership with Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation, PHMC supports early education and literacy development and encourages the entire community to participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record on October 7, 2010. Anyone can do so by pledging to read at www.readfortherecord.org. The Snowy Day can be read online at www.wegivebooks.org. Learn more at www.readfortherecord.org.

PHILADELPHIA – September 7, 2010. Public Health Management Corporation, a nonprofit public health institute that builds healthier communities through partnerships with government agencies, foundations, businesses and other community-based organizations, has been named Agency of the Year by the national membership association Alliance for Children and Families.  Three agencies received this honor, with PHMC earning the distinction at the large agency level.

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) was chosen to receive the award because of its demonstrated excellence in board participation and support; impact through advocacy efforts on local, state or national levels; and innovative programming. Representatives of PHMC, including President and CEO Richard Cohen, will accept the award at the Alliance National Conference Oct. 20-22 in Milwaukee.

“The Alliance and our nearly 350 members benefit from having PHMC in this network of nonprofit human service providers,” said Peter B. Goldberg, president and CEO of the Alliance. “It continues to be an innovative leader with cutting-edge practices, all while living its mission each day.”

“This distinction recognizes PHMC as one of the leading public health institutes in the nation and one of the most effective and impactful community service organizations at the local and regional levels,” said Richard J. Cohen, president and CEO of PHMC.

Since 1972, PHMC has served the greater Philadelphia region and beyond as a facilitator, developer, intermediary, manager, advocate and innovator in the field of public health. It is one of the most comprehensive public health institutes in the nation, with nearly 1,500 employees, 250 programs, 10 subsidiaries and 123,000 clients served annually.

In the past year, a PHMC affiliate, National Nursing Centers Consortium, was instrumental in assuring that nurse-managed health care centers were included in this year’s health reform bill. In addition, PHMC expanded health care services to the homeless through prudent and strategic use of federal stimulus funds and secured a state level contract to provide quality improvements and professional development supports for early childhood education. PHMC also became the management arm of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force that works to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from catastrophic disasters. These are just some of the initiatives that reflect the fiscal, programmatic and capacity-building strengths that organizations and residents across the Southeastern Pennsylvania region rely on PHMC to provide.