A patient receives care at CommunityHealth of Chicago, which recently achieved recognition as a patient-centered medical home. Photo courtesy of CommunityHealth.
Stamford, Conn. – Aug. 15, 2019 ‘ CommunityHealth of Chicago is the first health facility to achieve patient-centered medical home recognition through the Americares/BD Advancing Community Health Program.
Americares, the health-focused relief and development organization, launched the program in 2018 with support from global medical technology company, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), to help improve the quality of patient care at free and charitable clinics.
“We are incredibly proud of CommunityHealth for achieving this important milestone and putting patients at the forefront of care,” said Americares Director of Quality Improvement & Behavioral Health Christina Newport. “As a designated patient-centered medical home, CommunityHealth is now better positioned to provide low-income patients with a higher level of care.”
The program awards $100,000 grants, funded by BD, to support the patient-centered medical home recognition process through the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Clinic staff is trained to build strong relationships with patients, while also receiving technical support from the Americares in-house quality improvement team and industry experts.
“We partnered with Americares to develop a program that recognizes the hard work of health care workers in underserved communities and further their ability to improve the quality of care to this vulnerable population,” said Jennifer Farrington, senior director of BD Social Investing and vice president of the BD Foundation. “We proudly extend our congratulations to CommunityHealth of Chicago on this important milestone, and rally behind them as they continue to improve access to care to more patients in their community.”
To qualify as a patient-centered medical home, clinics must actively engage patients in their care plans by connecting them with medical and social resources in their communities, offering easy access to care according to patient preferences and providing a comprehensive approach that addresses primary care and mental health needs. Becoming a patient-centered medical home also increases communication at the clinic level and allows providers to offer coordinated care to patients including prevention, wellness, acute and chronic care.
As a result of the accreditation process, CommunityHealth recently implemented a 24/7 phone consultation service for patients to speak with a clinician outside of business hours and instituted daily urgent care appointments.
“We are honored to be recognized for our commitment to continually improving the health of low-income, uninsured patients,” said CommunityHealth Director of Clinical Services Emily Hendel. “This recognition elevates the level of care our staff and volunteers provide to patients.”
Founded in 1993, CommunityHealth is the largest volunteer-based free medical facility in the nation dedicated to serving the uninsured and underserved in Chicago and surrounding communities. CommunityHealth and Americares have worked together to improve health outcomes for patients and communities since 2006. To date, Americares has supported the clinic with more than $1 million in donated medicine and supplies. More than 8,000 patients rely on the clinic annually for primary care services.
Americares saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster worldwide so they can reach their full potential. In the U.S., Americares is the largest nonprofit provider of medical aid to organizations serving low-income and uninsured patients. Americares provides medicine, supplies education and training to a network of more than 1,000 partner health clinics nationwide. Americares U.S. Program helps partner clinics increase capacity, provide comprehensive care, improve health outcomes and reduce costs for patients.