173622 Community driven: The success of the health center model

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 1:00 PM

Shira Gitomer, BA , Programs and Policy, National Association of Community Health Centers, Washington, DC
The national network of Community Health Centers provides high quality, cost-effective, accessible, and affordable care, and currently serves 17 million patients in every state and territory. Constantly seeking new and innovative methods to complete the overall health center mission, many in the health center community often ask – what more can we do? In response to the unending need to provide greater access to primary and preventive care, several health centers have begun working with communities abroad, as well as healthcare advocacy groups, and academic centers with a common goal to share and develop the health center model for those most in need. Health centers are in a highly unique position to provide not only preventive medicine but also dental care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, and community outreach services, all under one roof. With a mission to provide comprehensive health care, by engaging in quality improvement initiatives, delivering patient-centered care, and a “team based approach” to health care, health centers have been able to make extraordinary strides in improving screening rates and health outcomes, in addition to reducing overall disparities for their patients. This model of care is driven by and tailored to the needs of the specific community being served, thus applicable to all communities whether national or international. This session will highlight the work of health centers at both a national and international level, the long term sustainability of these projects, and the pivotal role the health center model plays in providing a sustainable health care option in underserved areas.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the ability of Community Health Centers to provide cost-effective and quality primary health care to all, despite social, economical, or cultural differences. Describe how the Community Health Center model can be applied nationally and internationally. Discuss how Community Health Centers fit into the safety net system.

Keywords: Community Health, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Research and Data Specialist for the National Association of Community Health Centers where I provide research and data support, while also helping develop NACHC reports, fact sheets, and other resources. I am the main contact person for data requests on health centers. In addition, I am the staff chair for the International Health Center workgroup at NACHC. Previously, I worked as a Policy Research Assistant at the National Conference of State Legislatures. While at NCSL I focused on maternal and child health, primary care, and rural health. I have also worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Congressman Jim Davis, and Project C.U.R.E. This past summer I worked at a grassroots level in Meru, Kenya working with women and children with HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Lastly, I recieved my B.A. in Public Policy and International Relations from the University of Denver.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.