Thursday, January 17, 2019

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Every year, almost 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer starts in the cervix and can spread from there. This cancer typically affects women over 30, however, anyone can be affected by it. This is a type of cancer that is closely related to HPV (human papillomavirus). It is the main cause of cervical cancer however early stages of cancer are not easily detected. People that are a risk for cervical cancer are those that smoke, have comprised immune systems, and have used birth control pills for a long period of time. 

Cervical cancer is a preventable cancer. If you are 30 years old or older, it is recommended that you get a Pap test and HPV test at least every 3 years. If your test results do not come back as normal, you should speak to your doctor about ways you can treat cervical cancer. When cervical cancer is caught early, it can be treated and cured. A preventative measure against HPV and Cervical Cancer is getting kids vaccinated around the ages of 11 to 12. However, no matter what age you are, you can still receive the vaccine.  

Learn how you can spread awareness this month: Social Media Toolkit

Learn more about cervical cancer: CDC Basic Info

Information about Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

**Also, check out our webinar recording on Cervical Cancer too!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

New Year, New You!

Its that time of year again where we all make resolutions to better ourselves and make positive changes in our lives. Is this the year you change for good? Are you unsure of what habits to change? Some things that may be a good change for you, but might not be for others.

Many people opt for a physically healthier lifestyle as their resolution. This can be achieved in many ways! You can quit smoking, quit drinking, change your diet, or change your exercise routine. Others may want to make changes to things around them ie moving, traveling more, meeting new people or even just purging some items that have been collecting dust for a long time. These changes start out small but have a major lasting impact. 

It has been shown that close to 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by February but you don't have to be so quick to give up hope! By enrolling in courses or classes, you are holding yourself accountable for completing something. Otherwise, you might feel as though you wasted your money/time. For more suggestions on how to keep your resolutions, check out these ideas!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

OACHC's 2018 Annual Impact!

2018 has been an outstanding year at the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers! Let's take a look back at all the things we accomplished as a team!

OACHC Notable Highlights:
  • Welcomed two new staff members: Carrie Farquhar, Director of Workforce Development and Jessica Schaner, Health IT Specialist
  • Promoted Tiffany White to Behavioral Health Program Manager
  • PCA Advocacy Center of Excellence
OACHC Department Highlights:

Advocacy Team provides a voice for the 750,000+ patients served in 2018:

  • Grasstops: meetings with members of the Ohio General Assembly, Kasich Administration and Ohio’s federal delegation, supplying testimony, written comments, etc. to enact KEY Health Center legislation/policies, including but not limited to:
    • SB 229 (Health Center OBOT Classification exemption)
    • SB 265 (includes authorization of Medicaid reimbursement of select   pharmacist services)
    • Stymied coordinated efforts to override Governor’s veto on the Medicaid expansion enrollment freeze
    • 340B Negotiations 
    • Medicaid reimbursement for Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Furnished at FQHCs/FQHCLAs (including FFS)
  • Grassroots: 3,764 super advocates active in digital communications/strategy
Communications & Events Team facilitated more than 30 events:
  • 2018 Annual Conference: record-setting attendance with 46/52 Health Centers attending
  • HRSA Operational Site Visit Protocol Training 
  • PCMH 2017 Standard Bootcamp Training 
  • Critical Skills for CHC Managers & Supervisors Training 
  • 2018 Fall Operations Conference: record-setting attendance with 47/53 Health Centers attending 
  • UDS Training 
  • 20 in-house webinars
Health Center Controlled Network:
  • Lean Training provided to 7 Health Centers
  • PCMH training and office hours provided
  • Meaningful Use connection with ODM; training provided
  • On-Site Visits with all 16 Members

Oral Health integrated through comprehensive care:
  • Blood Pressure Screening Program: 227,478 patients screened in our Dental Centers with 20% of the patients found to have high blood pressure and referred to appropriate care (29 Centers reported)
  • Brush, Book, Bed Program with support from HealthPath Foundation of Ohio 
  • Three new dental centers (up to 40 centers in 45 counties)

Quality Improvement Team leads the following funded projects:
  • Medication Therapy Management 
  • FluFIT 
  • CenteringPregnancy 
  • Undiagnosed Hypertension and Pre-Diabetes 
  • Wholesome Wave Initiative with ODH 
  • Community E-Connect Initiative with National Association of Chronic Disease Directors 
  • Case Management for Opioid Use Disorder Initiative
  • Hepatitis C Initiative

Workforce Development Team fosters the next generation of primary care:
In year three of the Ohio Primary Care Workforce Initiative (OPCWI):
  • 38 FQHCs and 70 health professional training programs participated
  • Nearly 1,100 health professional students participated 
  • About 132,000 student clinical hours were experienced 

OACHC Noteworthy Ventures:
  • Clinical Learning Collaborative: monthly opportunity featuring content experts and Health Center best practices (CME provided)
  • Comprehensive Primary Care Program: 26 FQHCs/80 Sites in second round
  • Created online peer-to-peer networking sites (online collaboration hubs for preceptors, OPCWI, HR, QPN, O&E and OMON)
  • Data Dashboard developed for all measures (medical, non-medical, dental): 35 FQHCs are sharing data with OACHC
  • Implemented session scanning feature for major conferences to better streamline attendance data for Continuing Education Credits
  • Infant Mortality Taskforce
  • OHIO DATA INTEGRATION PLATFORM (ODIP): Contracted with Azara Healthcare DRVS to provide a common population health/data analytic reporting tool. Three Health Centers LIVE, seven in Implementation
  • Pathways for Workforce Development: HealthPath Foundation grant to encourage young patients in FQHCs to consider careers as health professionals working in FQHCs
  • Ohio State Division of Cancer Prevention and Control for a Rural Cancer Grant: Partnering with FQHCs and community partners (health departments) in Defiance, Williams, Pike and Jackson 
  • Team Care Medicine: Initiated team-based models of care pilot to support clinical teams experiencing provider burnout

OACHC Members Recognized:
  • Health Center Quality Improvement Grant Awards: 47 FQHCs received 156 awards; two Health Centers received National Quality Awards
  • Healthy People 2020 Awards: six Ohio Health Centers surpassed 4/8 measures
  • Technical Assistance Grants from Safety Net Solutions: Centerpoint Health and Rocking Horse Community Health Center
  • Ohio’s first GOLD status Advocacy Center of Excellence: Compass Community Health

OACHC Community Partnerships:
The following are organizations, partnerships, and coalitions of which OACHC team members are active, and in many cases, are in positions of leadership:
  • 3RNet and 3RNET Academy
  • Advocates for Ohio’s Future
  • American Cancer Society
  • Better Health Partnership
  • Executive Committee of Ohio Partners for Cancer Control 
  • Health Policy Institute of Ohio
  • Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus
  • HPV Vaccination Committee and Workgroups 
  • LARC Access Ohio
  • National Association of Community Health Centers – multiple committee appointments 
  • National Oral Health Innovation and Integration Network (NOHIIN), State representative for Regional Team
  • OHT/ODE School Based Workgroup
  • Ohio Collaborative to Prevent Infant Mortality (OCPIM)
  • Ohio Health Professions Affinity Community (HPAC) Program
  • Ohio Parity at 10 Coalition
  • Ohio Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative 
  • Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative
  • Ohio Primary Care Physician Workforce Collaborative (OPCPWC) 
  • Ohio Statewide Health Improvement Program
  • Oral Health Ohio 
  • Rural & Appalachian Ohio Community Advisory Board (CAB)

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Happy Holidays!

Over the course of December, many holidays will be celebrated. In addition to many celebrations of fun national days like National Cookie Day, Brownie Day and Cupcake Day we also celebrate traditions that have been happening for generations. 

This year, Hannukah began on December 4th and ended on December 10th. Hannukah is an 8-day celebration in which a candle is added the menorah after sundown. The ninth candle, the shamash, is used to light the others. Learn more about Hannukah here!

Lots of people like to celebrate Winter Solstice, which is the changing of the seasons and happens on December 21st. It is also the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. The solstice is important as is only happens twice a year including June. In many cultures, the solstice holds important meanings

Festivus is celebrated on December 23rd. This celebration was made popular by an episode of Seinfeld in the 90s but has been celebrated for many many years prior. This is a holiday that is considered an alternative to others to help those escape the pressures of the over commercialized holiday season. One activity that takes place is the "airing of grievances." 

Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. It is an ancient holiday that tons of people partake in, in many different ways. People like to spend time with family and friends as well as exchanging gifts.

December 26th is the start of Kwanzaa. This holiday is celebrated by millions of people worldwide. Kwanzaa honors it's seven principles which are Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, and Imani. 

Lastly is New Year's Eve on December 31st! This day is meant for reminiscing on the past years' events and bringing in the new year! Break out the pots and pans and let's make some resolutions for 2019!

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Seasonal affective disorder, commonly known as SAD is a type of depression that is related to the changes in the seasons. Most people with SAD tend to develop symptoms in the fall and they continue onward until the end of winter. This can be due to multiple factors including a lack of sunlight, colder temperatures and reduced activity due to the aforementioned. 

Symptoms of people that have SAD may start out mild but then gradually increase. These can include:

  • loss of interest in activities
  • having low energy
  • having trouble sleeping
  • inability to concentrate
  • appetite changes
  • anxiety
Is it important to know when you or someone around you is being affected by SAD and to take the necessary steps to get help. Self-care is highly important, particularly around this time of the year. SAD can be treated in several ways. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Produce Connect at PrimaryOne Health®

As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” PrimaryOne Health (P1H), in partnership with Mid-Ohio Foodbank, did just that in a produce prescription initiative called Produce Connect. Produce Connect allows PrimaryOne Health to screen patients for diabetes, weight loss, and other health factors as well as food insecurity. In order to address food access as a social determinant of health, patients are connected to healthy food options through Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s Partner Agency pantries. These pantries are considered “Choice Pantries” as patients are able to choose culturally appropriate foods in quantities that fit their households. Patients were tracked through the Foodbank’s proprietary software, PantryTrak, to record the number of visits and demographic information on the household per Feeding America and state regulated standards. Identified patients were given a key card, very similar to a Kroger Plus or Giant Eagle Rewards card that, on one side scanned their information into the PantryTrak system, but on the reverse, allow them discounts via P1H’s 340B program, as these patients often overlap.

First initiated in 2011, with food boxes being picked up onsite, this program began to grow with grant funds from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Starting at one health center site and partnering with three pantries in 2015, has now grown to be offered at all ten of P1H’s health centers with a list of 12 pantry locations. With approximately 40% of P1H patients screening as food insecure, nearly 10,000 unique patients have come through the program with a fill rate of 41%. Diabetic patients tended to visit either less than twice in one year or went to the pantry on average of 13+ times a year. These patients saw a more than 1% decrease in their A1c numbers. Weight loss patients saw decreases in weight coinciding with increased pantry visits, 0-2 visits saw .2 pounds lost, 3-12 visits saw 5.8 pounds lost, and 12 or more visits saw 11 pounds lost.

This work clearly shows that when our patients know better, AND have access to services, they do better. In thinking of patients as an iceberg, what is treated is what is seen above the water, but what lies beneath, are the conditions in the environments in which they are born, live, work, play, and worship that affect their health, functioning, quality of life and risks, which account for over 80% of overall health outcomes. PrimaryOne Health in partnership with Mid-Ohio Foodbank is doing a small part to help patients get the services that they need to lead holistically healthy lives.

Post submitted by:
Yolanda Owens | Associate Director of Marketing & Development
PrimaryOne Health

Thursday, November 15, 2018

It's Thanksgiving time!

Thanksgiving is a great time to gather with friends and family to reflect on the year and what everyone is thankful for. It is also a great time to try out new recipes and to spend some quality time with those you really enjoy. 

On Thanksgiving day, many Americans will consume nearly 4,500 calories on dinner! This is more than double the daily recommended amount of 1,600 to 2,000 for most people. It can be hard to not want to try at least a little bit of everything, so a few suggestions would be:

  • smaller portions
  • don't skip breakfast or lunch
  • eat slowly
  • stay active
  • pick lighter options
Staying active on Thanksgiving can be a struggle. Turkey contains tryptophan which automatically makes us all very sleepy. Before loading up on turkey try unloading on an activity. Lots of organizations hold food drives or serve food on Thanksgiving Day. Not only that, but there are activities for people who want to get their heart rate up too! If you just want to stay in the whole day, nothing wrong with that! Try out a game of flag football or Frisbee to burn off those extra calories!

Whatever you do to celebrate the holiday, have fun!

Healthy recipes
Fun things to do on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Facts