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Join us in celebration of National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February is National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month, which provides an opportunity to recognize our success and raise awareness about school-based health centers.

This year, the national School-Based Health Alliance is utilizing the theme of the month - Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies - to a topic that is front of mind for many in West Virginia and across the nation, the increasing need for mental health services for children and youth in the wake our the opioid crisis. In a state ravaged by this crisis, this is a message that resonates.


School-Based Health Centers are uniquely suited to provide care to the students and teens whose lives are impacted by this opioid epidemic.


Throughout February, school-based health care providers and advocates from across the country will highlight the mental health needs of children and the role SBHCs play in bringing much needed capacity - especially in rural communities through innovations such as telehealth.


What you can do:

  • Today (February 20) at 2:00 PM EST, the School-Based Health Alliance will be hosting a Twitter Chat utilizing the #SBHCmonth18.
  • Follow the WVPCA on Facebook and Twitter for daily information about West Virginia's School-Based Health Centers.
  • Share your SBH stories.

Check out more information and ideas for School-Based Health Care Awareness Month here.

Press Release: Free, Personalized Assistance Available for Upcoming Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period

Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Contact: Louise Reese, CEO West Virginia Primary Care Association 1700 MacCorkle Avenue, SE Charleston, WV 25314 www.wvpca.org | 304.346.0032 For Immediate Release: Free, Personalized Assistance Available for Upcoming

The WVPCA Has Gone Social!

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017
The West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA) launched our social media presence this week! Keep up to date with the latest training and events and news by following us on Facebook and Twitter! Facebook -

CHCs Welcome Zuckerberg to WV

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Contact: Louise Reese, CEO West Virginia Primary Care Association 1700 MacCorkle Avenue, SE Charleston, WV 25314 www.wvpca.org | 304.346.0032 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Community Health Centers Welcome Mark Zuckerberg to

Follow Us on Facebook!

Published: Monday, September 25, 2017
The West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA) launched our social media presence today! Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with the latest news and events!

WVPCA Seeks Director of Clinical Quality

Published: Monday, August 28, 2017
The WVPCA is seeking a Director of Clinical Quality. Key responsibilities for this position include leading quality improvement initiatives with community health centers, supporting practice transformation and PCMH


Published: Monday, August 21, 2017
The WVPCA has contracted with an emergency management services company, BOLDplanning to create a web-based emergency management system that will provide West Virginia's Community Health Centers with a full package of

National Health Center Week 2017

Published: Tuesday, August 1, 2017

National Health Center Week (NCHW) is August 13-19, 2017! How will you celebrate?


Published: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
The WVPCA has contracted with an emergency management services company, BOLDplanning to create a web-based emergency management system that will provide West Virginia's Community Health Centers with a full package of

Diabetes Prevention and Management Programs Offered in WV

Published: Thursday, April 6, 2017

The link to the Diabetes Prevention and Management Programs Offered in West Virginia 2017 is available here

2017 Educational Materials

Published: Thursday, March 9, 2017
In an effort to educate the broader community about the important role Community Health Centers play in the health care delivery system, the WVPCA has compiled a list of resources below. The WVPCA is proud to share

WVPCA Pleased to Announce Merger with WVSBHA

Published: Thursday, December 1, 2016
In August, the West Virginia School-Based Health Assembly (WVSBHA) and the West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA) announced a merger scheduled for December 1. The WVPCA and WVSBHA have worked collaboratively for many

New Job Posting!

Published: Thursday, November 3, 2016

See the Career page for employment opportunities at the WVPCA!

Free, Personalized Assistance Available for Upcoming Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period

Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Beginning today, West Virginians will have the opportunity to enroll or re-enroll for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. State residents who have questions regarding the updated health insurance

Find Local Assistance for OE4

Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2016

FamilyCare participant in Million Hearts CVD Risk Reduction Model_copy

Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2016
FamilyCare Health Centers selected to participate in new national initiative to prevent heart attacks and strokes FamilyCare Health Centers (WomenCare, Inc.) has been selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid

Get Covered Academy Coming to the Mountain State

Published: Friday, July 15, 2016

TheWVPCA is pleased to announce the recent receipt of Enroll America’s Get Covered Academy Leadership Endowment Program

Health Centers Serving Increased Need

Published: Monday, July 4, 2016
Health Centers Serving Increased Need In the wake of tragedy and devastation, the spirit of community only shines brighter in West Virginia. Over the past week, we have seen communities rally around those impacted the most

Flood Relief Updates - June 29, 2016

Published: Thursday, June 30, 2016

Find Quick Links to locations of Disaster Recovery Centers. 

How to Help - WV Flood Information

Published: Monday, June 27, 2016

Find Quick Links to Emergency Management contact information, shelter locations and ways to get involved. 

New Job Postings!

Published: Thursday, January 21, 2016

See the Career page for employment opportunities at the WVPCA!


Published: Sunday, November 15, 2015
The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) developed a guide for primary and behavioral healthcare professionals serving veterans and their families. All of these resources and more are available from

Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Risk Management Virtual Conference

Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Risk Management Virtual Conference September 10, 2015 FREE Annual Virtual Conference from ECRI Institute on behalf of HRSA The 2014 FTCA Risk Management Virtual Conference earned rave

Helping Your Provider Understand Military Culture

Published: Thursday, July 16, 2015
The Veterans Chose Program, is making it easier for thousands of Veterans to receive their health care from providers outside of the VA system. Many community providers are not trained or experience in treating this unique

MCO Webinar Series: Session 1

Published: Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The WVPCA, in collaboration with UniCare/Anthem, offers a one hour webinar and Q&A session discussing UniCare's Incentive Program history and the new incentive program in use currently. This webinar is the first in a

West Virginia CHCs cited in Modern Healthcare Daily Dose

Published: Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Journalist Joseph Conn highlights two approaches to Medicaid managed care in his recent article 'Community health centers split on whether to start their own Medicaid plans'. One approach used in Washington state and a

Welcome aboard, Community Care of West Virginia's TEN new SBHCs

Published: Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Congratulations to the staff at CCWV, including CEO, Rick Simon, Brock Malcom, Angela Anderegg, and especially Trish Collett (School-Health Director and member of the WVSBHA Board of Directors), on the newly established

Brown Consulting Associates, Inc. ICD-10 Coding Selection In the EMR Webinars

Published: Tuesday, July 7, 2015
The following disease-focused ICD-10-CM clinician training sessions have proven to be the most valuable for Family Practice, Pediatric and Internal Medicine clinicians. All sessions are presented in a live webinar format.

WVPCA is Hiring a Recruitment Specialist

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015
The WVPCA is seeking an individual to be a full-time recruiter for community health centers. This individual will strengthen our relationship with the medical schools, medical residency programs and graduate programs

High Court Upholds Health Law Subsidies

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015
In a victory for the White House, the Affordable Care Act survived its second Supreme Court test in three years, raising odds for its survival but by no means ending the legal and political assaults on it five years after it

Capito Protects Funding for Key Health, Education and Transportation Priorities in West Virginia

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2015
"From infrastructure programs to black lung clinics and career training for our displaced coal miners, these two bills secure funding for many of our state's key health, education and transportation programs." - Senator

The Rising Tide of Overdose Deaths Across America: West Virginia Tops Study of States with the Most Fatalities

Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2015
West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the U.S., according to a report released Wednesday, further spotlighting Appalachia's festering drug abuse problem that is also fueling a rise in hepatitis C in one of

How West Virginia Residents May be Affected by the Supreme Court Obamacare Case: King v. Burwell

Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2015
On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in King v. Burwell, a case that could decide the future of the Affordable Care Act. The central question before the court is whether residents of states that

Level 3 NCQA Recognition for Rainelle Medical Center

Published: Monday, March 30, 2015
The Rainelle Medical Center has been awarded Level 3 recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)- Patient Centered Medical Home Program (PCMH)! This is a huge achievement as they were initially

Successful Meaningful Use Workshop

Published: Thursday, March 19, 2015
In collaboration with Qualis Health, the WVPCA recently hosted a two location, Meaningful Use (MU) Workshop with 35 participants representing 17 health centers! The workshop provided participants with a better

The New FQHC PPS Rate for Medicare: A close look at Medicare's New G Codes

Published: Thursday, March 19, 2015
On March 5 and March 13, 2015, the WVPCA in conjunction with Priority Management Group (PMG), provided two educational opportunities on the new FQHC PPS rate for Medicare. Approximately 60 participants learned about the

Robert C. Byrd Clinic Gets Recognized

Published: Thursday, March 19, 2015
The Robert C. Byrd Clinic in Lewisburg, WV has been awarded a level two recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance- Patient Centered Medical Home Program. In 2011, RCBC was first awarded with a level one

2015 Outreach & Enrollment Wrap-Up Event

Published: Thursday, March 19, 2015
Please join the WVPCA, as we host an Open Enrollment - OE2 state-wide debriefing meeting, on Thursday, April 30, 2015, at the NiSource building (Old Columbia Gas Building) in Charleston, WV. Be sure to watch your email, the

Second Successful CHC LEAD Certificate Program

Published: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
As the nation grapples with a shortage of primary care professionals, West Virginia health centers are playing a direct role in strengthening the state's health care workforce. However, like other community based

2015 WVSBHA Annual Meeting, April 9th at Coonskin Park

Published: Monday, March 16, 2015
Please mark your calendar; the 2015 WVSBHA Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 09 at Coonskin Park in Charleston. An invitation is attached. Lunch will be served at noon. Keynote speakers include Dr. Rahul

New EHR Attestation Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals: March 20, 2015

Published: Friday, February 27, 2015
Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015, to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year. CMS extended the deadline to allow

Congratulations Roane County Family Health Care for being selected as a 2014 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge Champions!!

Published: Friday, February 27, 2015
The Million Hearts® initiative has recognized 30 public and private health care practices and systems as 2014 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champions. These health care providers, practices, and systems

WV trying to improve heart health of residents

Published: Friday, February 27, 2015
Health officials with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and Thomas Memorial Hospital teamed up to discuss the importance of raising awareness for cardiovascular disease Friday as part of American

ORHP Funding Opportunity Announcement: Rural Health Care Coordination Network Partnership Program

Published: Friday, February 6, 2015

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) is pleased to announce the release of the Rural Health Care Coordination Network Partnership Program(Care Coordination Program), a new, one-time funding opportunity created as one of the activities of the White House Rural Council.

Greenbriar County - Emergency Preparedness

Published: Monday, January 26, 2015

Diesel fuel spill which required the Lewisburg Water Plant to shut down in order to avoid contamination; local impact for Monday 1/26/15

WVPCA Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

Published: Wednesday, November 26, 2014
In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, The WVPCA will close it's office on Wednesday, November 26th at 3:00pm and remain closed Thursday November 27th and Friday November 28th. Normal office hours will resume on Monday,

WVPCA Welcomes Director of Health Center Operations

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    The WVPCA is very pleased to announce that Shannon Parker, MBA will join the staff in July as the   Director of Health Center Operations.  In this capacity, Shannon will continue the PCMH/practice transformation and meaningful use technical support to all health centers.   Shannon has ten years' experience at Monroe Health Center in Union, West Virginia.  She began her career at the health center in 2004, serving as the Human Resources Director and Information Specialist.  She then served as the Chief Operating Officer for sixteen months before assuming the role as CEO in December 2007.  Her experience working in a health center will provide our staff with a greater understanding of the complexity and challenges in a health center and this knowledge will help to guide our training and technical assistance efforts in many areas.


WVPCA Welcomes New Staff

Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014

Michael Jones, MS, RN has joined the WVPCA staff as a Health Informatics Specialist.  Michael has a broad background in healthcare working in counseling, nursing and health informatics.  He began his career assisting patients with severe mental disabilities in developing and maintaining treatment plans and assisted patients recovering from brain injuries.  After completing nursing school, Michael worked as a psychiatric nurse before spending several years as a hospice nurse.  Michael returned to school and received a Masters in Health Informatics.  While working on his masters, Michael served as a full time graduate research assistant to the Director of Health Informatics at Marshall University and completed an internship at the West Virginia Health Care Authority analyzing statewide data sets.

Williamson Health & Wellness' Donovan Beckett, DO featured in "Hero Next Door" series by American Osteopathic Association

Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Deep in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains lies Mingo County, W.Va. Many of the county’s roughly 26,000 residents struggle with both their health and their livelihoods.

The county has the second-highest hypertension rate in the state at almost 42% and the fourth-highest obesity rate at 37%, according to the state Health and Human Services Department. But those who live there are often preoccupied with more pressing issues than their health. In 2012, the county’s poverty rate was more than 23%.

In the heart of coal-mining country, many of the county’s dwellers lost their jobs following mine closures and cutbacks. The area is struggling to find a new identity, to diversify beyond a coal-based economy.

Enter C. Donovan Beckett, DO. Born and raised in Williamson, W.Va., the Mingo County seat, Dr. Beckett left the area for medical school and returned 10 years ago. After establishing a private family medicine practice, he saw firsthand the residents’ struggles and wanted to make Williamson a healthier, more developed city. 

Click HERE to read the entire article.

National Women's Health Week is May 11-17

Published: Friday, May 2, 2014

National Women’s Health Week is May 11-17, 2014 with National Women’s Check-Up Day on May 12, 2014.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would like to encourage community health centers to take part and to help with their efforts.
Any women’s health event that occurs during the month of May is eligible for inclusion in the National Women’s Health Week Online Activity Registry at www.womenshealth.gov/whw and community health centers will have access to free online promotion and educational materials. Organizations that add their events to the online registry will be considered National Women’s Health Week partners.

WVPCA Seeks Recruitment Coordinator

Published: Thursday, April 3, 2014

Recruitment Coordinator:  the WVPCA is seeking an individual to provide recruitment support for  all community health centers.  The recruiter will establish stronger ties to the state medical and allied health schools.  An understanding of community health centers is an important aspect for this position.  If interested, please contact Louise Reese.

WVPCA Seeks Quality Improvement Coordinator

Published: Monday, March 31, 2014

Quality Improvement Coordinator:  The WVPCA seeks an individual to provide technical assistance to community health centers for quality improvement, PCMH recognition and practice transformation.  BS required, clinical experience beneficial.  Submit resume to info@wvpca.org by Wednesday, April 30, 2014.  The WVPCA is an EOE.

FamilyCare HealthCenters and Valley Health Systems in the Charleston Daily Mail

Published: Friday, February 28, 2014

When students in Putnam County need to see a doctor, they don't have to miss school.

That is, if they attend one of the schools served by FamilyCare or Valley Health and sign up for services with the doctors or nurses who come to the schools each week.

To read more, please click HERE to see the full story by the Charleston Daily Mail's Kara Moore.

Aligning Meaningful Use & the Patient Centered Medical Home Program

Published: Friday, February 28, 2014

On Thursday, March 13th the WVPCA will present Aligning Meaningful Use and the Patient Centered Medical Home Programs, a face to face meeting, featuring Primary Care Development Corporation's Deborah Johnson Ingram. The event will be held at the WVPCA's offices in Charleston from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

This event will provide a deep dive into the Patient-Centered Medical Home and Meaningful Use Program standards that have direct alignment.  Join us to learn how to leverage your patient population data to improve patient engagement & outcomes.

NACHC Teleforum Call TODAY at 2pm

Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The National Association of Community Health Centers invites and encourage all Health Center Advocates to join NACHC TODAY, Feb. 11th at 2:00 PM EST for a free call to receive new details on NACHC’s crucial 2014 policy and advocacy campaign.

Understanding Medicare Webinar

Published: Monday, January 13, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services National Training Program will host the first 2014 Learning Series webinar on January 14, 2014 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET. Click "More" below for details on how to join the event.

Congratulations Jennifer Boyd, PA-C!

Published: Thursday, January 9, 2014

The WVPCA is proud to announce that Jennifer Boyd, PA-C, Director of Clinical Quality, has been certified by the NCQA as a PCMH Content Expert. Jennifer has completed two NCQA educational seminars and passed the comprehensive exam as part of her commitment to supporting and assisting community health centers improve clinical quality.

Rainelle Medical Center's Annual Holiday Party Guest List Grows by 600

Published: Friday, December 13, 2013

Prompted by a growing need in the communities it serves, Rainelle Medical Center's annual holiday party is casting a much wider net this year.

Teaming up with generous supporters like the town of Rainelle, Kroger, WTNJ radio and the WV State Police, Rainelle Medical Center (RMC) has hosted the party for local children in need for the past three years. The party not only provides gifts for each child attending, but also offers the opportunity for people to come together and share food, entertainment and that all-important visit from Santa Claus.

Preston-Taylor Community Health Center's Dr. Mary Gainer Featured by National Health Service Corps

Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) recently posted a piece on one of Preston-Taylor Community Health Center's staff, Dr. Mary Gainer. Tayri Ramos with the Division of External Affairs at NHSC said of Dr. Gainer, "Her dedication to serving the primary care needs in Rowlesburg and Newburg truly illustrates how Corps clinicians and alumni are making a difference in communities across the country."

NACHC Releases HIPAA Compliance Guide for Health Centers

Published: Monday, September 23, 2013

On Sept. 17 the National Association of Community Health Centers released a new information bulletin, Coming into Compliance with the Final HIPAA Rule: What You Need to Know.  This document is intended to provide health centers with the information necessary to comply with the new Health Insurance Portability & Protection Act (HIPAA) rule. Covered entities such as health centers and their business associates must comply with the new rule by today, Sept. 23, 2013.

WVPCA Welcomes Janelle Graves as New Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator

Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Please join us in welcoming our new Outreach & Enrollment Coordinator, Janelle Graves, MPH. Janelle is a May 2013 West Virginia University MPH graduate. Her graduate work focused on health policy management and leadership.  In addition to receiving her MPH, Janelle was awarded a  Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Administration.  As part of her graduate studies, Janelle served as an intern with the West Virginia State Legislature in 2013, working with the House of Delegates Chair, members and staff of the Health & Human Resources Committee.  Prior to moving to West Virginia, Janelle received a Graduate Certificate in Community Health from the University of North Carolina and a  Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science from Winston-Salem State University. During her undergraduate training, Janelle worked with several  health related research projects that involved community work......a passion that brought her to the WVPCA!   Janelle will be working with all of the outreach & enrollment staff at community health centers to assure that they receive the necessary training and support to enroll individuals in Medicaid or the insurance Marketplace.

CMS/HRSA Announce Navigator Awards on Aug. 15, 2013

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013

West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc. (WVPTI) will provide public education about health insurance options, and facilitate enrollment in the new health insurance marketplaces.  The effort will include outreach to people with disabilities, people with limited English proficiency and or limited literacy, people of low socioeconomic status and people in rural areas.   WVPTI is a non-profit agency that operates the federally funded Parent Training and Information Center and Family to Family (F2F) Health Information Center for West Virginia and is located in Clarksburg, West Virginia.  It is a statewide, cross-disability, parent/profession organization.

Advanced Patient Advocacy, LLC is located in Richmond, Virginia.  They will partner with health care providers and state and local governments to provide services to communities to help educate and enroll uninsured consumers.  Advanced Patient Advocacy will work with medical centers to identify uninsured individuals and provide education and assistance to help them make informed decisions about enrollment in the marketplace.

Marketplace Outreach and Enrollment Resources

Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013

With major parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) going into effect in 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a new animated video to help people understand the health care system changes on the horizon. "The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare" explains the basic changes in the way Americans will get health coverage and what it will cost starting in 2014, whether it's through their employer, Medicaid, Medicare, or buying insurance on their own with the help of federal tax credits.  Read more and see the video HERE.


WVPCA Now Has a Patient-Centered Medical Home Content Expert on Staff

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The WVPCA is proud to announce that Teri Harlan, Practice Transformation Facilitator, has been certified by NCQA as a PCMH Content Expert.  Teri completed two NCQA educational seminars and passed the comprehensive exam as part of her commitment to supporting and assisting health centers with practice transformation activities.  The PCMH Content Expert Certification highlights her comprehensive knowledge of the requirements, the application process and the documentation of the NCQA PCMH Recognition Program.  This prestigious and professional credential, in addition to her extensive field experience, uniquely positions Teri as a CHC specific content expert.

Registration Now Open for 28th Annual WVPCA Conference

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013

There are many roads to a health care system focused on achieving the three-part aim of better health, better care, and reduced expenditures through improvement initiatives.  As the health care system and our overall population health continue to change, the need to align our resources on true practice transformation in primary care practices has become more urgent.

The WVPCA will be hosting the 28th Annual Conference, August 14-16, 2013 at Oglebay Resort & Conference Center in Wheeling, WV.  The theme of this year's conference is Aligning Quality, Cost and Data...does your organization need an alignment?  The interactive sessions at the conference will provide participants with information and tools to re-boot and navigate the roads leading to collectively creating a culture of continuous quality improvement to establish WV health centers of excellence for the delivery of primary care.

WV CHC Outreach & Enrollment Efforts Expanding

Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The WV Health Insurance Marketplace is rapidly evolving and taking shape.  In order to help provide timely and comprehensive information to you about Medicaid expansion and the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange), the WVPCA has created a webpage dedicated to Outreach/Enrollment. We will also include updates in this weekly eNewsletter.

In addition to providing current and relevant information, we are creating a toolkit to assist your organization in your outreach and enrollment efforts.  The toolkit will include templates to use for "inreach" and "outreach" efforts.  We will also continue to work with the OIC and CMS for training and educational opportunities for your staff.

Today! NACHC Webinar on 340B Drug Discount Program

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On Wednesday, May 29 at 2:00pm ET the National Association of Community Health Centers is offering a free one-hour webinar to discuss important 340B drug discount policy issues. The webinar, led by Roger Schwartz and Mike Glomb, will provide an overview and discussion on 340B contract pharmacy rules and policies and related issues, including health center use and charges for 340B drugs for Medicaid Managed Care enrollees. Click HERE for additional information and enrollment.

Roane Coumty Family Health Care Earns NCQA Recognition

Published: Thursday, May 23, 2013

Our congratulations to CEO Kip Smith and the staff at Roane County Family Health Care in Spencer, WV for achieving Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) utilizing 2011 PCMH Standards. To see the press release from RCFHC, please click HERE.

West Virginia Threat Prep Coordinators' Emergency Management Forum on May 30th - REGISTER NOW!

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The WVPCA will present a face to face Emergency Management for Community Health Centers event, the "WV Threat Prep Coordinators' Emergency Management Forum" on Thursday, May 30 in Flatwoods, WV from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm..

Community health centers and free clinics can play a vital role during emergencies, not only as a first responder but as the front line source of care.   The WVPCA Emergency Management Forum will provide an invaluable opportunity for networking with other health centers and free clinics with similar needs and interest.  Additional opportunities include learning more about the WV State Health Care System coalition building initiatives, hear what others are doing to enhance their emergency management programs, share your emergency management promising practices, experiences, or accomplishments.   What a great way to generate new ideas for emergency management planning and the creation of new partnerships with other health care systems and local community organizations!

Care Team Management Training Series Off to A Sucessful Beginning

Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The WVPCA hosted the first events in a series of Care Team Management (CTM) workshops on Thursday, Feb. 7 in South Charleston, and on Friday, Feb. 8 in Morgantown, WV. The events were attended by a combined total of 84 participants representing 16 community health centers.

National Association of Community Health Centers to Host Tele-Town Hall Meeting Feb. 13

Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Health center advocates are invited and encouraged to join the NACHC policy staff on a free Tele-Town Hall call on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 2:00pm ET.

Attendees on the call will hear updates on sequestration, including what funding impact health centers across the nation may be facing.  There will also be an opportunity provided to ask the policy staff questions.

Scott Brannon Joins WVPCA as Chief Information Officer

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The WVPCA is pleased to announce that Scott Brannon has joined the staff as the Chief Information Officer.  Scott will be involved with the following initiatives:

•    Development of CHC data repository
•    EHR adoption and implementation
•    Attainment of  meaningful use
•    PCMH recognition

John R. Schultz Joins New River Health Association

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013

John Schultz is the former CEO of Community Health Net, the only FQHC located in northwestern Pennsylvania. Community Health Net provides primary medical, dental, vision and pharmacy services to 16,000 underserved individuals annually in their service area.

As Community Health Net's CEO, Mr. Schultz successfully developed and implemented a five year financial recovery plan for the organization, allowing it to recover from Chapter 11 protection within the first four years of his plan. He was also able to double the organization's revenue through strategic planning and initiating successful community collaborations.

WVPCA Awarded HRSA Health Center Controlled Network Grant

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012
The West Virginia Primary Care Association believes that revolutionary health care transformation is essential to a healthy, sustainable community. Use of health information technology as a tool, care coordination as a process, and realigned payments as an incentive are essential to achieve transformation.  We want to share ideas and lessons learned to build a better health care community that is patient-centered, coordinated, accessible, low-cost and high-quality.

We are pleased to announce that the WVPCA has been awarded a Health Center Controlled Network grant through HRSA. 

HRSA Announces School-Based Health Center Funding Awards

Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has just announced $2 million in construction and equipment funding to four SBHCs in our state!  

Please join us in congratulating the health centers who have been awarded funding, as a part of the $80 million available grant dollars (197 grants nationwide), for the purchase of equipment, construction and renovation of school-based health centers (SBHCs).  These new investments are made possible by the Affordable Care Act, HRSA's School-Based Health Center Capital Program (SBHCCP).  

The Health Centers sponsors who have been awarded grants are:  Camden on Gauley Medical Center, Community Care of West Virginia, Change, Inc. and Ritchie Regional Health Center.  This funding will help open centers in Braxton, Doddridge, Hancock, Harrison, Lewis, Pocahontas, and Upshur Counties - all counties currently without school-based health centers. 

New Site Visit Guide Issued by HRSA

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012
We've learned that HRSA has issued a new Health Center Site Visit Guide which incorporates changes to key health center program requirements and modifies some existing terminology.

According to the NACHC's policy blog, "In general, the changes to the Program Requirement align the language of the Program Requirements with the applicable requirements set forth in Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, the implementing regulations at 42 C.F.R. Part 51c, and the HHS administrative regulations at 45 C.F.R. Part 74, as well as adding appropriate citations to statutory and regulatory authority for each Program Requirement."

From Our Family to Yours: A Happy Thanksgiving

Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the West Virginia Primary Care Association offices will be closed this Thursday, Nov. 22 and on Friday, Nov. 23.  The office will reopen to normal business hours on Monday, Nov. 26.  
We hope that you and yours have a wonderful feast and that everyone arrives safely at their travel destinations. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our readers for their continued support of the community health centers in West Virginia. 

FamilyCare HealthCenter Plans Open House

Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Congratulations to CEO Martha Carter and her staff!

FamilyCare has announced the grand opening of a new site on Dec. 6 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm with a ribbon cutting by St. Albans Mayor Callaway at 3:30 pm.  The site is located in St. Albans, at 12 Kanawha Terrace. 

Congratulations Monongahela Valley Associatoin of Health Centers

Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
We offer our congratulations to Nancy Vandergrift, CEO and the folks at the Monongahela VAlley Association of Health Centers in Fairmont, WV on achieving the Gold Seal of Approval in both re-accreditation in ambulatory care, home care, and pathology and clinical laboratory; and certification as a Primary Care Medical Home from the Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations in The Joint Commission, Bureau of Primary Health Care Initiative. 

Shenandoah Valley Medical System Participates in National Voters Registration Day

Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
We thank the folks at Shenandoah Valley Medical System for their efforts to assist their patients and community with voter registration earlier this month. According to the national "Campaign for America's Health Centers " website, SVMS registered 40 voters during the National Voters Registration day drive.

National Voter Registration Day is September 25th

Published: Friday, September 14, 2012

The deadline for voter registration here in West Virginia is drawing near and we'd like to know how efforts are going at your health center.

The National Association of Health Centers has let us know that to date, community health centers throughout the US have registered over 7,000 new or updated voters. NACHC is also utilizing a Pledge to Vote form that will allow them to send out reminders to new voters.

AccessHealth Staff See the Benefits of "A Healthier You"

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
As reported several months ago, AccessHealth began a companywide attempt to change the lives of employees by starting a wellness program called "A Healthier You".  As it turns out this was just the beginning for AccessHealth's wellness program. On June 1st, AccessHealth concluded its second wellness challenge, "Biggest Loser Teams". It, like "A Healthier You", was a very successful 6-week program posting impressive statistics with the participation of 80 employees from all nine clinics and with a remarkable 351 total pounds being lost. Each of the eight teams consisted of ten participants.  Participants were creative in coming up with team names, from Weapons of Mass Reduction to Slimmer by Summer.  As a part of the organization's commitment, all participants received t-shirts in their team color and a six-week membership to the gym of their choice.  Employees enjoyed the teamwork, competition, and accountability found in the Biggest Loser Challenge. Weekly Friday weigh-ins were especially appreciated as they held team members accountable for their diet and physical activity levels each week, not to mention how they compared to the competing teams.

Robert C. Byrd Clinic, Tackling Pediatric Obesity: One Family, One Child at a Time

Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Lewisburg, WV- In 2004, after seeing a large number of pediatric patients with obesity, Jill Cochran, RN-C, FNP, Ph.D. created CARDIAC Boot Camp.  Boot Camp was designed as an intervention for the patients of Robert C. Byrd Clinic (RCBC) and children identified by the CARDIAC project as high risk for cardiovascular disease.   The camp started with students from the West Virginia Rural Health Partnership Program as teachers for the children and WVU extension services helping parents learn economical ways to prepare healthy foods for their family.  After hours, the clinic turned into a playground for children and a classroom for parents.  

Ramping Up Your Reproductive Health Education with Bedsider

Published: Friday, June 8, 2012
Women's Health Center of West Virginia received a mini-grant in March, 2012 to conduct a four-week pilot project focused on eliciting patient feedback and reaction to the free Bedsider website,  Bedsider.org, a dynamic birth control support network created to enhance the process of patient reproductive health education and contraceptive counseling.  During the pilot, the website and the complimentary Bedsider magazine, Birth Control Top Picks 2012, were incorporated into our patient reproductive health education routines.

Change, Inc. Develops Method for Capturing Much Need Patient Info

Published: Friday, June 8, 2012
It is typical in the world of quality reporting to be knee deep in thousands of electronic health records trying to locate whether or not patient #1585 had all the appropriate health screenings (up to and including a colonoscopy that may be buried in scanned documents from before you implemented your system).  If patient #1585 also happens to be a diabetic with hypertension that currently uses tobacco, accuracy and ability to locate key information in a quick and concise manner becomes even more paramount.  Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Shenandoah Valley Medical System Featured as a Meaningful Use Case Study by ONC

Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Shenandoah Valley Medical System has been listed as a case study for EMR selection and Meaningful Use Implementation by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in its recently launched brand new website, HealthIT.gov. The website is designed to be the leading national resource on health information technology (health IT).

Lincoln Primary Care Center Promotes Healthy Lifestyles Through F.I.T. Camp

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lincoln Primary Care Center has a history of providing programs and activities that foster healthy lifestyles to the surrounding communities. A case in point is our Families In Touch program, better known as F.I.T. Camp.

F.I.T. Camp promotes healthy lifestyle choices by focusing on nutrition, physical activity, and overall well-being. We partner with the Lincoln County WVU Extension Office to provide the nutrition education component. Lincoln Primary Care Center staff and other community volunteers also play a role in pulling it all together.

FamilyCare's OB Substance Abuse Program

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in our region. The statistics are staggering and the stories are incredibly sad. Last week, JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) released that the number of US babies born with opiate withdrawl has tripled in the past decade. Locally, it was reported that one in three newly pregnant mothers tested positive for drug use at CAMC's Women's Medicine Center last year. FamilyCare providers were also seeing the disturbing trend.

New River Heallth Association's Pap Initiative

Published: Friday, May 11, 2012

Early in 2010, when New River Health Association received our UDS clinical measures results, our Leadership Team decided to target Pap smears as a measure for improvement in 2011. Our number of women age 25-64 getting timely screening Pap smears had declined over two years and we knew we needed to help our female patients get this important screening test.

Healthy Lifestyles: Healthy Eating Habits & Fun Physical Activity

Published: Friday, May 11, 2012
Wirt County Health Services Association, Inc., in collaboration with Jackson County and Wirt County Elementary, Grade, and Middle schools will provide efforts to improve the health and well-being of children in Jackson County and Wirt County. The programs we are implementing are teaching children healthy eating habits, healthy portion sizes, and the importance of physical activity all while having fun.

PSN Legislation Signed into Law

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's official! The Provider Sponsored Network (PSN) legislation that our members and supporters have worked diligently to have passed has been signed into law.

Many of our members traveled to our state's Capitol complex to witness the bill being signed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in a special ceremonial event held following last week's Board meeting.

Health Centers Unite

Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Three of West Virginia's community-owned health centers have seized an opportunity presented by the health reform law, to partner with Medicare to meet their "Triple Aim" of improving the patient experience, improving health-care results and controlling cost.

The non-profit health centers are FamilyCare, New River Health, and Cabin Creek Health which have family health clinics in Kanawha, Putnam, Boone, Fayette, Raleigh and Nicholas counties. The centers together serve almost 60,000 residents each year, over 8,000 of whom are covered by Medicare.

WV's Community Health Center Reps Visit DC

Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
During the recent NACHC Policy & Issues Forum, representatives from six community health centers and the WVPCA's CEO visited all five legislative offices to discuss important issues including providing a total of $3.1billion in total funding for FY 2013 with $1.2 billion from the Health Center Fund transferred to establish a base discretionary Health Centers funding level of $2.8 billion and, directing the remaining $300 million increase to expand care.  During the meeting, the recent PSN legislation and the WVFHP were discussed as well as the recently submitted CO-OP application.

Roane County Family Health Provides Services Through Ingenuity and Collaboration

Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Certified Mental Health Providers are in short supply state and nationwide.  To provide needed services, Roane County Family Health Care (RCFHC) has addressed these issues with ingenuity and collaboration.
We have applied staff initiative and a willingness to stretch what are considered to be our limitations.  In a recent School-Based Health Meeting our collaborating partner (Roane General Hospital) provided space for mental health and dental services at their existing school-based health centers.  The only problem is staffing.  Our productivity is maxed on a one-to-one basis.  With School collaboration, we have initiated group therapy, seeing up to ten school aged children at time. This addresses some of the more prevalent issues at the schools.  Group therapy utilizes the help of a student assistant from Glenville State this spring and one from the WVU Charleston Center this summer, fall and winter as a means of providing the student with practical experience.

Cabin Creek Health Systems Utilizes 'Huddle' to Bring Team Together

Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An organization is a conversation before it is anything else:  it begins with people talking together about something they would like to do that is beyond their capacity to do as individuals.
~Anthony Suchman, MD - Leading Change in Healthcare

Its 7:45 am on a Thursday morning at the Clendenin Health Center and the expanded clinical team has gathered around a pot of coffee with their laptops for the weekly huddle.  Team members present at the huddle include medical and behavioral health providers, pharmacists, medical assistants, health coaches, patient service representatives, and administrators.

At the start of the meeting someone volunteers to read the opening statement that helps clarify the purpose of the huddles - We gather here this morning to combine our skills and knowledge to assist our patients to understand their health condition, to clarify their goals and to take actions that will improve their well-being.

WVPCA Hires PCMH Manager

Published: Monday, April 2, 2012
The WVPCA is pleased to announce that Teri Harlan has accepted the position of Patient-Centered Medical Home Manager.  Teri has worked at New River Health Association since 1998 as the School Health Director and has significant community health center experience.  We are excited to be able to provide direct PCMH support to our members.

St. George's ASO Program Benefits Children & Families in Need

Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Saint George Medical Clinic in conjunction with the Bureau for Children and Families of the WV DHHR has partnered with APS Healthcare, an Administrative Services Organization (ASO) to authorize services in child abuse neglect cases. Socially Necessary Services are an integral part of the Clinic's mission, and aids to improve those necessary services to achieve the child welfare goals of safety, permanency, and well-being.  Some of the socially necessary programs are providing special services, such as interventions that are necessary to improve relationships, social functioning, and preserving individual and family systems.

AccessHealth Launches "A Healthier You"

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012
In January 2012, AccessHealth launched the start of its wellness program with "A Healthier You"!  This 12 week program was intended to help AccessHealth employees make healthier lifestyle changes by providing them with the resources and education to make exercise and healthy food choices a daily habit. Eighty-six employees signed up to participate in the program. Each participant received a t-shirt, water bottle, pedometer, food journal, exercise bag, weekly nutritional and exercise newsletters, along with a 3-month membership to the gym of their choice.  At the end of the 12 weeks, there will be monetary prizes awarded for the highest amount of points and the greatest reduction in body fat percentage, giving everyone an opportunity to win!

P. A. N. I. C. - 'Physical Activity and Nutrition in the Community'

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012
P.A.N.I.C. Now-Not Later! - is a six week physical fitness and nutrition program that is for the community and will be sponsored by the Belington Clinic, Belington Wellness Center, and a small grant from the American Medical Association.  The Belington Clinic and Wellness Center staff and local volunteers coordinate the event.  The program will be held every Monday, March 5-April 9, 2012 from 6:30-8:00 pm at the local Middle School.  The program is free to the community residents of all ages and will not be limited to participants (even though it indicates 75 no one will be turned away). 

E. A. Hawse Health Center: A Community Dancing Their Way to Better Health

Published: Friday, March 2, 2012
Come join the party! The Zumba Fitness® party is every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30-7:30 pm sponsored by Hawse Health Center in Baker, WV. The Hawse Health Center brings this fitness program to the community as a FREE service. It's the talk of the valley! Be sure to get there early and claim your spot as classes fill up quickly. Plus what better way to help utilize employee involvement than to have their very own, Myra Kessel, Registered Dental Hygienist, as the Certified Zumba Instructor.

Ritchie Regional Health Center Takes Their Best Shot at Adult Immunizations

Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Ritchie Regional Health Center received a grant for education and promotion of adult immunizations.  The "Take Your Best Shot" program is sponsored by the West Virginia Immunization Network (WIN) in partnership with the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health.  

The program was developed to address the problem of low vaccination rates among adults in West Virginia.  Through this project Ritchie Regional Health Center will work to improve and sustain adult immunization rates.  We want to eliminate serious health complications and death from illnesses that can be prevented with vaccines.

Wirt County Health Services: Focus on Primary Care Chronic Disease Management

Published: Monday, February 20, 2012
As all of us in Primary Care know, every day is an uphill climb to ensure that our patients are receiving the best quality care that we are able to offer.   Many everyday obstacles that are faced by Community Health Care Centers make it difficult to focus on chronic disease management. After putting out the urgent "fires", little time is left for everything else.

Minnie Hamilton Receives Community Support to Upgrade to Digital Mammography

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Minnie Hamilton Health System is proud to announce the addition of digital mammography to the services being offered at our Grantsville location.  Digital mammography is advanced mammography technology.  It enables us to offer a service that women previously had to drive over an hour to receive.  Cheryl Balisciano, Supervisor of Radiology at MHHS, states, "This is what our local community health center is all about, offering our patients the best possible care, close to home.  We are excited that we have been able to upgrade to this technologically advanced imaging system.  Since opening our mammography department in April of 2009, we have been building up our mammography client base. Digital mammography is really the best there is."

For underinsured and uninsured women over 50, Minnie Hamilton participates with the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program through our primary care clinic.

FamilyCare in Madison Achieves NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Level 3 Status

Published: Friday, January 27, 2012

Our congratulations go out to Martha Carter, CEO and FamilyCare HealthCenter in Madison, WV for their participation in the National Committee for Quality Assurance's (NCQA) Physician Recognition Program and the achievement of PPC-PCMH Level 3 status.

Recognized in this award are FamilyCare staff members Ronald Chattin, DO; Jason Frazier, MD; and Holly Murriner, PAC.

Notice of Health Advisory Received from WV Health Alert Network

Published: Friday, January 27, 2012
The WVPCA received notification today from Marian Swinker, MD, Commissioner for Public Health, WV Department of Health and Human Resources regarding Health Advisory Number WV0060-12-01-26. This message, relating to contact management of a fatal probably meningococcal case, was directly distributed by the WV Bureau for Public Health to local health departments and professional associations for dissemination.

Please click HERE for a link to the advisory notice.  For additional information, please contact the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at 1-800-423-1271 in West Virginia.

Save the Date for 2012 WVPCA Legislative Activities and Events

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012
Make your plans now to join the WVPCA for our annual Legislative events.  This year's dates are February 6th, 7th and 8th and you will want to join us!

Join us for a lunchtime WebEx event on Monday, February 6th with Matt Walker and Jeff Stevens on 2012 WVPCA initiatives that will help guide you as you prepare to speak with your legislators. Watch your email for an invitation to register for this event.

On Tuesday, February 7th our annual Primary Care Day at the Legislature will take place. WVPCA Member Relations Coordinator, Pam Moore will be contacting each member to find out if you would like the WVPCA to assist you with scheduling your visit; or, if you have already scheduled your meeting, to get an update on that information. Later that same day our annual Legislative Reception will be held at the Charleston Marriott.

Cabin Creek Health Systems' Case Study Featured in Innovative Workforce Models Project

Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Franciso, has announced the release of fourteen case studies for the project Innovative Wrkforce Models in Health Care.  The study takes an in-depth look at the utilization of medical assistants (MAs) in expanded roles in innovative models of primary care that improve clinical and organizational outcomes while providing career development opportunities to the MAs. Included in the study were FQHCs, hospital-based clinics, academic health systems, and others.

Belington Medical Clinic's Wellness Program Makes a Splash in Local News

Published: Thursday, December 22, 2011
On Dec. 15, Belington Medical Clinic's Arthritis Aquatics Class, a part of Belington's Wellness Program, was featured on Channel 12-WBOY.  The article highlights the benefits and rewards of the twice-weekly program for Barbour County seniors.
Belington CEO Eric Ruf stated, "It's (the program) become a mini community that these ladies have developed a nice support network for each other. Any of us that exercise know it's a little easier to do that when you have friends that you are with and you can inspire each other and keep each other motivated."

To view the full article and video, please click HERE

Three WV Community Health Centers Awarded ACA Funding to Expand School-Based Health Centers

Published: Thursday, December 22, 2011
On Dec. 8 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that more than $14 million in Affordable Care Act funding had been awarded to 45 school-based health centers across the nation allowing the number of children served to increase by nearly 50 percent.

"These grants will enable school-based health centers to establish new sites or upgrade their current facilities, which will increase their ability to provide preventative and primary health care services, and help children improve their health and remain healthy," said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield..

In West Virginia, we congratulate Cabin Creek Health Center in Dawes, Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers in Fairmont and Tri-County Health Clinic in Rock Cave on being the recipients of a portion of this funding.

500 FQHCs Receive $42M as Part of Patient-Centered Medical Home CMS Demo Project

Published: Thursday, December 15, 2011
In October, CMS announced funding for the FQHC Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration Program. This program will show how the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model can improve quality of care, promote better health, and lower costs.

Operated by CMS in partnership with HRSA, the project will test the effectiveness of doctors and other health professionals working in teams to coordinate and improve care for up to 195,000 Medicare patients. Participating FQHCs are expected to achieve Level 3 patient-centered medical home recognition, help patients manage chronic conditions, and actively coordinate care for patients.

E. A. Hawse Health Center Opens Two New School-Based Health Sites

Published: Thursday, December 15, 2011
On December 8th Grant County saw the addition of two new school-based health clinics - Petersburg Elementary School-Based Health Center and Petersburg High School-Based Health Center.

The clinics are the first of their kind for Grant County and both are sponsored by E. A. Hawse Health Center.  Both clinics are open to the staff and students of their respective schools.

Congratulations to Gary Johnson, CEO of E.A. Hawse and his staff.

Minnie Hamilton Health System Wins 2011 Up Shot Award

Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The Minnie Hamilton Health System School-Based Health Clinic is the recipient of this year's Up Shot Award, which is given in recognition of a program or initiative that has demonstrated a commitment to improving the health of West Virginians.
Minnie Hamilton's School-Based Health Clinic began a Take Your Best Shot Adolescent Immunization Campaign and over time it has developed into a very effective and successful program for improving adolescent immunization rates.

The Impact of Harmful Changes to Medicaid on WV Health Centers

Published: Friday, November 11, 2011
Patients waiting to see a provider at a community health center in West Virginia may be hundreds of miles from the halls of the U.S. Congress, but how lawmakers decide the future of federal health care spending will likely have an immediate impact on their future.  Congress is tasked with the monumental goal of finding over a trillion dollars in deficit reduction in the coming months.  As they say in Washington, "everything is on the table" – including possible changes to Medicaid.  Many citizens in our communities – and our patients - are worried about what changes being considered will mean in these tough economic times.    Many of the patients served in community health centers are low-income families, elderly or disabled Americans, and children – and many of them depend on Medicaid as their source of affordable health coverage.

National Petition & Letter Drive Underway

Published: Friday, November 4, 2011
Delivery week, November 7-11 for the National Petition & Letter Drive is quickly approaching!  Have you and your health center family begun collecting petition signatures and letters of support yet?

The Campaign for America's Health Centers' goal is to hand-deliver a total of 2 million health center supporter signatures to Members of Congress while they are at home during the week of Nov. 7-11.  The WVPCA would like each of our member health centers to take part!

Cabin Creek Health Helps Bring New Life to Old School

Published: Friday, November 4, 2011
Last Wednesday, a formerly empty and abandoned school in the city of Clendenin got a new life.  Thanks to the Kanawha County Board of Education's donation, assistance from state and federal funds, and historic tax credits Cabin Creek Health Care officially opened Riverview at Clendenin School. 
The former school now houses 18 units for senior living and is home to an expanded branch of Cabin Creek Health Care's Clendenin clinic, which was able to add 13 jobs to the clinic staff due to the expansion.

Regional Emergency Preparedness Forums Announced

Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011

*** UPDATE: Trainings scheduled for Martinsburg and Sutton have been canceled. The training scheduled for Nov. 9 in Charleston will still take place.  For more information, please contact Terri Barrett at (304) 346-0032.

The WVPCA is hosting three Regional Emergency Preparedness Forums on Nov. 7, 8, and 9th in Martinsburg, Sutton, and Charleston. This is the perfect opportunity to bring community partners together to participate in building the community partner relationships necessary to successfully deal with an emergency event in your region.  Take part in tabletop exercises and come out to work on developing partnerships with your local partners. 

Health Centers Prevail in First Round

Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2011
On September 28, 2011, Judge Thomas E. Johnston of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia ruled in favor of the eight plaintiff community health centers on the motion by the State of West Virginia Bureau of Medical Services (“BMS”) to dismiss the case for a variety of procedural reasons.  Judge Johnston found that the community health centers’ assertions that they have been underpaid by BMS for close to a decade was, in fact, ripe for judicial decision and that the federal District Court had jurisdiction over the case.  Judge Johnston also denied without prejudice the health centers request that BMS be preliminarily enjoined from continuing with its improper payment practices while the case proceeds.

National Mobilization Call-In Day

Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Join the WVPCA and health center advocates across the nation on Thursday, October 13, 2011, to unite with one voice to call upon Congress and the White House to protect our CHCs and the patients they serve!

We need EVERY Health Center Advocate to act! The President and Congressional leaders are RIGHT NOW considering proposals to address federal spending, some of which could literally zero out funding for the Health Centers Program or drastically cut critically important programs like Medicaid.

HRSA Webinar: "Impact of ICD-10 on Safety Net Providers" on Sept. 23rd

Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On Friday, Sept. 23 at 2:00pm the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration is offering a webinar that will help you determine your preparedness for ICD-10 conversion.  This webinar will provide technical assistance and examples of how safety net providers from various settings have begun planning to comply with the health industry's conversion to a greatly expanded and fundamentally new coding system for the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10).

As a prerequisite to ICD-10 compliance, healthcare organizations are also required to adopt updated electronic transaction standards, known as HIPAA 5010, by January 1, 2012.

Be An Advocate

Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Does your health center have a story to share about the importance of your organization to the patients you serve in your community? Do you have a patient advocate who is willing to share their story of the relationship they have built with your organization? Do you have partners in the community who can expound upon the necessity of your community health center in their neighborhood?  If so, we'd really like to hear these stories! 
Visit the Campaign for America's Health Centers website to see stories from advocates around the nation.  We do make a difference in the communities we serve.  Help us demonstrate how.

Cabin Creek Health Systems Receives WV Asthma Care Champion Award

Published: Wednesday, September 7, 2011
At the recent 2011 Annual WV Asthma Retreat,  Cabin Creek Health Systems was recognized as an Asthma Care Champion by the West Virginia Asthma Coalition (WVAC).
The award was earned for their hard work and effort in a joint collaboration with the WV Asthma Education and Prevention Program, the WVAC, CAMC's Respiratory Care Department, WVU's Office of Health Services Research and other partners.

VHS Family Physician, Dr. Scott Davis, Receives National Award

Published: Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation bestows Dr. Scott Davis, MD with a 2011 Pfizer Teacher Development Award.  Dr. Davis' achievement marks him as one of only 16 Pfizer Teacher Development award recipients this year. 

Dr. Davis, a family medicine physician at Valley Health - Wayne, was bestowed the honor by the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation. Selected among family medicine doctors across the nation that teach medical students and residents on a part-time basis, the AAFP Foundation considers its Pfizer Teacher Development recipients to be the best in their profession with selection being based on scholastic achievement, leadership and dedication to family medicine.

Lincoln Primary Care Center to host Heat'n the Hills Chili Fest and Health Fair

Published: Friday, August 26, 2011
Lincoln Primary Care Center will host its annual Heat'n the Hills Chili Fest and Health Fair beginning Friday, August 26th from 11 am until 4 pm.  There will be health screenings (including for depression) and lab work available such as pap smears, breast exams, and mammograms. All labs and screenings must be scheduled in advance. Screenings may be available free to those who qualify financially. To schedule, contact Janet Sebert at (304) 824-5806.

On Saturday, August 27th, kick up your heels with the fun and entertainment provided at the Chilifest.  For this year's chili contestants, there will be no entry fee. Tables will be provided for both corporate and amateur entries. All contestants will receive a free t-shirt and have the opportunity to win cash and prizes. For more chili contest information, including rules, visit the Heat'n the Hills website, www.heatnthehills.com.  Saturdays events begin at 1pm. Those interested in showcasing their recipes should contact Judy Paz at (304) 824-5860, ext. 227.

NACHC CEO Tom Van Coverden to Discuss the Future of CHCs

Published: Friday, August 26, 2011
Community Health Center Advocates are invited to watch a live video briefing from the NACHC Community Health Institute (CHI) and Expo on Monday, August 29 at 10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern. NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden will be discussing Health Reform: What's happening and where do we go from here?

It was just a little over a year ago when Community Health Centers celebrated the enactment of the Affordable Care Act and its unprecedented investment to expand health care access to millions more people. Now, in light of ongoing budget battles and demands for significant deficit reduction, the situation is vastly changed and many vital domestic programs, including health centers and Medicaid, are at risk.

Join Tom Van Coverden, NACHC President and CEO, for an in-depth briefing on what we now face, what we must do, and why we need to keep our eyes on the health center mission.

MVA Named Marion County Business of the Year

Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2011
It was a long time in coming, but after 53 years the Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers has been honored with a special award.

The Chamber of Commerce in Marion County has named MVA the Marion County Business of the Year.  According to the Chamber's Chairman, Butch Osborne, it was an easy decision due to the invaluable service they provide to the people in their service area.  The honor is awarded annually and is based on the contribution that the business has made to the overall general good of the county. 

Valley Health Celebrates 35 Years with Groundbreaking Ceremony

Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In conjunction with National Health Center Week 2011 and in celebration of 35 years of service, Valley Health Systems, Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony in Huntington on August 12th for a new community health center facility to be located adjacent to the Prestera Campus. 

The new facility is funded under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  It will allow Valley Health to expand their services into a state of the art facility which will provide primary care services as well as dental, behavioral health, and pharmacy.

WVPCA Hosts 26th Annual Conference

Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The West Virginia Primary Care Association will hold its 26th annual conference, Community Health Centers: Covering All the Bases next week, beginning with special attendee events on Tuesday, August 2nd. General sessions will be held from August 3-5 at Oglebay Resort and Conference Center in Wheeling. 
The conference begins with a WVPCA Board of Directors meeting which will take place at Oglebay.  We will also host renowned speaker Larry Johnson for two sessions, and our Wednesday keynote address. The day will round out with concurrent tracks featuring a special finance section from Michael Holton of RSM McGladrey, as well as  updates from the Bureau of Primary Health Care, the WVDHHR's Office of Community Health Systems & Health Promotions, an update on the state's oral health programs and an update on the WV Insurance Exchange.

Introducing Ritchie Regional Health Center

Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Effective July 1, 2011, Ritchie County Primary Care began doing business as Ritchie Regional Health Center. 

Bill Snider, CEO of Ritchie Regional Health Center (RRHC), said, "We are excited about the name change because it more accurately reflects the organization that we have grown into over the past ten years.  When I started at Ritchie County Primary Care in 2000 there were two sites, the main site in Harrisville and the school-based site in Ritchie County Middle/High School.  Now we have five sites across Ritchie, Doddridge, Pleasants, and Wood Counties."


Published: Thursday, July 14, 2011
West Virginia School-Based Health Sponsors to receive nearly $3 million

Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)--July 14, 2011.  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan today announced awards of $95 million to 278 school-based health center programs across the country. Provided by the Affordable Care Act, the awards will help clinics expand and provide more health care services at schools nationwide.

National Health Center Week 2011

Published: Thursday, July 14, 2011

Each year, the second week in August is dedicated to the recognition of the service and contributions of community health centers in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost-effective health care to vulnerable and underserved populations throughout the United States.  This year's celebration will take place August 7th through August 13th.

Health Center Week's theme for 2011 is "Celebrating America's Health Centers: Serving Locally, Leading Nationally."  This theme is designed to provide an opportunity to showcase the progress community health centers have made towards fulfilling the goal of the "Access for All America" plan to provide medical homes to 30 million patients by 2015.

Please let us know what events you may be planning for this week so we can share it with the national office.  We are happy to assist you with questions regarding advocacy tactics and publicizing your event. Feel free to utilize the WVPCA's Advocate Sign Up form at your event. Contact Pam Moore (click to email) or call us at (304) 346-0032.

Lincoln Presents at National Conference

Published: Tuesday, July 5, 2011
CEO Brian Crist and Courtney Kovach (pictured) of Lincoln County Primary Care Center presented "From a Submarine to a Fleet: The Ins and Outs of School-Based Health Expansion" last week at the 2011 National Association of School-Based Health Centers in Chicago.

CHIP Eligibility Grows

Published: Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The West Virginia Children's Health Insurance Program, effective July 1, expanded health care coverage to children of families with gross income up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. The previous eligibility limit was 250 percent of FPL.

The new guidelines expand eligibility for a family of four from household income of $55,000 to $67,000. Families that qualify for the WVCHIP Premium Plan (201 percent to 300 percent FPL) will be charged a monthly premium of $35 for one child and $71 for two or more children.

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Grants Available

Published: Thursday, June 30, 2011
Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children's grant and program activities focus on improving the quality of pediatric oral health care, including the Age 1 Dental Visit.  Read more of this story for access to links.

Medicaid Mobilization

Published: Thursday, June 30, 2011

Health Center advocacy takes center stage this week, with a series of specific actions needed to help preserve and protect Medicaid as the White House and Congress negotiate a compromise on increasing the nation's debt ceiling before an August 2 deadline.

A couple of points to consider:

  • West Virginia Community Health Centers serve as medical homes for 91,495 Medicaid beneficiaries - roughly 50% of the state's total Medicaid population.
  • Medicaid is the single largest revenue source for West Virginia Community Health Centers.  Today, 34% of our patient revenue comes from Medicaid.
  • Adequate Medicaid reimbursement is absolutely essential to Health Center fiscal solvency.
  • Health Centers provide high-quality, low-cost care to more than 20 million Americans, including nearly 375,000 West Virginians.
  • Health Centers drive savings through the entire health care system, providing an alternative to costly ER visits and unnecessary hospital admissions.

Change, Inc. Receives PCMH Recognition

Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Change, Inc. (also known as Family Medical Care Community Health Center) has received Level 1 Patient Centered Medical Home recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Several clinicians affiliated with Change, Inc. also received NCQA recognition, including Dr. Tamra Aman, Barb Fahey, CRNP; Dr. Kelli Fournier; and Joseph Kolanko, FNP.

RCBC Announces "Summer CARDIAC Boot Camp"

Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Boot Camp is an innovative approach to addressing the obesity concerns for children in today's society. Boot Camp is the brainchild of Dr. Jill Cochran, a professor at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and RCBC pediatric department nurse practitioner.

Cochran began the Boot Camp program when she noticed the extraordinary number of pediatric patients she saw who were classified as obese. Since its inception, the Boot Camp program has been successful in helping educate families in how to lead healthier lifestyles and plans are being made to expand the program in the future.

Advocates Succeed on "Dear Colleague" Letter

Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Congratulations to our West Virginia advocates, who succeeded with calls and letters in prompting our senior senator, Jay Rockefeller, to join 35 other Democrats, seven Republicans and one Independent in signing on to the bipartisan Stabenow-Boozman "Dear Colleague" letter in support of community health centers.

West Virginia's junior senator, Joe Manchin, unfortunately was not among the other signators. We cannot speculate on the cause for Manchin's inaction; at last report on Thursday (June 9), a copy of the letter had been forwarded to Manchin's legislative director, Pat Hayes, and his aide on health care issues, Lauren Alfred. And that's the last we heard.

Help to Establish Dental Homes

Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Children should have their first dental visit before their first birthday. But historically, fewer than 10 percent of children covered by Medicaid under age 3 see a dentist for routine care in West Virginia.

West Virginia is joining 40 other states that have initiated programs for primary care physicians and their ancillary personnel to conduct oral health exams that may involve determining risk of tooth decay, providing oral health counseling, applying fluoride varnish and most importantly, referring the child to a dentist to establish a dental home.

Changes to HIPAA Privacy Rule Proposed

Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2011
A notice concerning proposed changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's Privacy Rule is now available for public comment. The proposed rule would give people the right to get a report on who has electronically accessed their protected health information.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights is proposing the changes pursuant to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. HITECH is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Advocacy Works!

Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Senator Joe Manchin received scores of phone calls and emails from West Virginia health care advocates regarding his positions on Medicare, Medicaid and the proposed federal budget cap. Although Manchin reportedly remains in favor of a proposal to block grant Medicaid and place a cap on federal spending tied to our gross domestic product, he voted with Senate Democrats and a handful of Republicans last week to reject the controversial Ryan budget.

"I voted against the draconian Ryan budget for the simple reason that it doesn't honor our values as Americans, keep our promises to seniors or protect our priorities as West Virginians," Sen. Manchin said. "I strongly believe we must get our fiscal house in order and protect our seniors, but we will never accomplish this critical goal with partisan proposals, none of which make common sense and all of which are unrealistic and are destined to fail as soon as they arrive. The truth is, the American people are demanding that we work together to solve this problem, and I am committed to doing just that."

Preston-Taylor Opens Mountaintop Center

Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Preston-Taylor Community Health Centers hosted an open house at its new Mountaintop Health Center last week in Thomas. The new center features state-of-the-art equipment in a facility leased from Cortland Acres.

"We have a collaborative relationship with Cortland Acres and they are going to provide the land for us to build our new building which we are in the process of having the plans drawn up now," Preston-Taylor CEO Linda Shriver told The Inter-Mountain newspaper. "We received a federal grant to build a new facility here."

Shriver said there are now seven sites in operation in the Preston-Taylor region.

Regional Medicaid Training Sessions Coming in June

Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Molina Medicaid Solutions and the WV Bureau for Medical Services will conduct two provider workshops at each of eight locations across the state between June 6 and June 17. The regional training sessions will focus on re-enrollment of all providers, the provider EHR incentive plan, updates/changes - 5010 health care transaction standards, and more.

The meetings will be held:
  • June 6:    Martinsburg, Comfort Inn
  • June 7:    Morgantown, WVU Health Sciences Center
  • June 8:    Wheeling, Oglebay Park, Pine Room
  • June 9:    Parkersburg, Blennerhassett Hotel
  • June 13:  Beckley, Tamarack
  • June 14:  Charleston, Municipal Auditorium
  • June 16:  Huntington, Big Sandy Arena
  • June  17: Flatwoods, Days Hotel

Community Transformation Grants

Published: Friday, May 20, 2011
The Affordable Care Act authorizes up to $900 million in Community Transformation Grants, to be administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The purpose of the program is to create healthier communities by:

1. Building capacity to implement broad evidence and practice-based policy, environmental, programmatic and infrastructure changes, as appropriate, in large counties, and in states, tribes and territories, including in rural and frontier areas; and,
2. Supporting implementation of such interventions in five strategic areas aligning with Healthy People 2020 focus areas and achieving demonstrated progress in five performance measures outlined in the ACA:

Valley Health Expands in Mason County

Published: Friday, May 20, 2011
Valley Health Systems recently announced a partnership with three existing Mason County medical practices, executed in collaboration with Pleasant Valley Hospital as a means of establishing the county's first network of FQHCs.

The three health centers now under Valley Health's management include the Gallipolis Ferry-based family medicine practice of Damia Hayman, CFNP; the Point Pleasant-based Ob/Gyn practice of Dr. Mark Nolan; and the pediatrics practice of Dr. John Wiltz, also in Point Pleasant.

"While our name may be new to those in Mason County, patients currently affiliated with the practices now under our management will continue to have their health care needs taken care of at the same location and by the same providers they have grown to know and trust," said Valley Health CEO and Executive Director Steve Shattls. "In fact, those patients can anticipate an even broader level of medical services through Valley Health's extensive network."

Urge House Members to Submit Program Requests

Published: Friday, May 13, 2011
U.S. House members who wish to convey their support of programs funded through the Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education Subcommittee have until May 20 to submit programmatic requests.

Grassroots advocates therefore should ask their individual representatives to submit a programmatic request for the health centers program - ideally at the $1.79 billion discretionary funding level NACHC is recommending.

This funding level represents a $200 million increase in discretionary funding over FY2011 and a total programmatic increase of $400 million (when the Community Health Center Fund from the Affordable Care Act is included).

"Don't worry about Medicare. Worry about Medicaid."

Published: Friday, May 13, 2011
That's actually the title of a well-reasoned article from the Kaiser Family Foundation that's getting wide circulation this week among health care advocates here in West Virginia and nationwide.

The basic premise, as Sen. Jay Rockefeller has said repeatedly, is that Medicaid is in much more grave danger than Medicare or Social Security because the populations served by Medicaid - children, the poor, the disabled, the elderly - are politically powerless.

CEO Carter on Panel for Prenatal and Perinatal Care

Published: Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Although prenatal and perinatal care are among the required primary care services for Section 330 grantees, less than 70 percent of health centers directly provide prenatal care and less than 40 percent provide labor and delivery professional care services.

These statistics, along with real life experiences, reveal the challenges that Federally Qualified Health Centers have in providing basic care to their pregnant patients. In order to truly function as a medical home, effective coordination and integration of these services will be crucial for health centers. 

FamilyCare CEO Martha Carter, MBA, RN, CNM, will serve as an eLearning panelist for "Giving Birth to Quality Perinatal Care: Midwifery Models for FQHCs" at 1 p.m. May 10. 

ARC Grants Target Substance Abuse

Published: Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The Appalachian Regional Commission is accepting letters of interest through May 16 for the 2011 Competition for Community-Based Substance Abuse Initiatives, a program that will provide training, technical assistance, and a total of $150,000 in grants to 30 community-based substance abuse coalitions in the most economically distressed areas of Appalachia.

Letters will be accepted from local coalitions that are ready and able to expand efforts to combat substance abuse in their communities. Grant awards in the amount of $5,000 each will be targeted to performance-oriented local projects that use evidence-based approaches to prevention, intervention, or treatment. Community-based coalitions or other organizations are eligible for the competition.

Opportunities for Face Time

Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Although Rep. David McKinley, R-WV, cancelled a planned Tuesday (April 26) visit to Belington Medical Clinic, there may still be other opportunities to meet with our senators and representatives during this week's Congressional Recess.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, will be in Huntington on Wednesday (April 27), with public events scheduled at 10:30 a.m. at Cabell Huntington Hospital and 2 p.m. at Marshall University's Smith Hall. On Thursday (April 28), West Virginia's junior senator visits the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown at 9:30 a.m.; Lakeview Golf Resort, Morgantown, at 11 a.m.; and the IBM Hilltop Office Complex, Building 200, off WV 956, north of Keyser, at 2 p.m.

ACA Education Effort Needs You!

Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, with assistance from the WVPCA and a host of other organizations, is hosting a series of workshops throughout the state in May, June and July to train health reform supporters in educating the public about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

These supporters, in turn, would organize town meetings and community events, and speak to civic organizations and public forums about the benefits of health reform throughout the summer and fall.

New River Health Association Gains Level 3 Status

Published: Friday, April 15, 2011
New River Health Association has achieved Level 3 recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home for all five of its sites from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

NRHA was informed last week that its Scarbro, Whipple, Gulf Family Practice, Lisa Elliott Center and North Fayette clinics had all received Level 3 recognition.

There are three levels of NCQA PCMH recognition; each level reflects the degree to which a practice meets the requirements of the elements and factors that comprise the standards. The NCQA recognition levels allow practices with a range of capabilities and sophistication to meet the standards' requirements successfully.

Statement of the West Virginia Primary Care Association Regarding the FY2011 Federal Budget Deal

Published: Friday, April 15, 2011
West Virginians depend on community health centers more than any other state’s population. Our 30 CHCs and their 160 satellite locations often represent the only primary care in rural areas. We serve 20 percent of our population – nearly 375,000 individuals – each representing multiple visits each year. We provide them with a consistent medical home and all the long-term benefits that come from continuity of care.

The federal budget compromise announced by the White House and Congress makes our mission that much harder to accomplish. We will persevere and hopefully, in the long run, prevail. But the $600 million cut from the Community Health Center program nationwide is deeply disappointing. It is short-sighted, and targets our most vulnerable populations.

County-by-County Health Data Revealing

Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released the second annual County Health Rankings last week. In West Virginia, McDowell County residents were found to be the least healthy, and Pendleton County residents the most healthy.
The report ranks counties within their state according to their health outcomes such as mortality and morbidity, and health factors such as healthy behaviors, socio-economic factors, clinical care and physical environment. The data can then be used to advocate for community health interventions.
Bridget Booske, deputy director of project, told WV Public Broadcasting, "We look at how long people live, in particular we look at people who die before the age of 75, because a large proportion of those deaths could be prevented, and McDowell's premature death rate is well over twice that of Pendleton's. So within one state, that's a big difference."

Hospitals: Heading in the Wrong Direction?

Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011
At a time when health care is shifting away from costly emergency room visits and unnecessary hospital admissions, why are West Virginia hospitals pouring millions of dollars into ER expansion?
Charleston Area Medical Center announced plans months ago to spend $9 million to double the size of its ER at Memorial Hospital in Kanawha City. Now comes Wheeling Hospital in the economically depressed Northern Panhandle with a $50 million, seven-story addition.
According to The Associated Press, the Tower 5 addition "is expected to allow the hospital to handle more emergency room visitors, among other things. The building will have an expanded emergency room with a separate entrance for ambulances and other features aimed at improving privacy and speeding up care."

ACA Celebration Draws National Spotlight to WV

Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WVPCA staff and Cabin Creek Health Center CEO Craig Robinson joined about 100 other health reform advocates Wednesday (March 23) in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Remarks by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, and Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, head of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, punctuated the event at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Rockefeller said West Virginia is likely the state with the most to gain, and the most to lose, as Congress debates the future of health reform.

(pictured: WVPCA's CFO/COO Sherri Ferrell, left, makes a point with HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, as Kenny Perdue of the AFL-CIO looks on.)

Behavioral Health Workshop Scheduled

Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
How to you implement a successfully integrated behavioral health program?

What are the barriers?

Join the West Virginia Primary Care Association as we bring the management team of Cherokee Health to The Summit Conference Center in Charleston on April 8 for "Behavioral Health Integration: Strategies and Lessons from Cherokee Health."

Rural Health Specialist joins the WVPCA

Published: Tuesday, March 8, 2011
An experienced rural health professional is joining the West Virginia Primary Care Association to coordinate training and education programs with community health centers across the state.

Lisa K. Leach of Mineral Wells will begin her duties as Director of Performance Improvement Services at the WVPCA on March 21.

"We're very fortunate to be able to bring someone of Lisa's experience and expertise on board," said WVPCA CEO Louise Reese. "Her background in rural health and on the hospital side of health care gives her a unique, balanced perspective that will serve our centers well."

Webinar on Pediatric Obesity Coming Soon

Published: Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Join the West Virginia Primary Care Association and the School-Based Health Technical Assistance Center as they present Dr. James R. Bailes, associate professor of pediatrics at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, for a discussion on "Pediatric Obesity: A Successful Approach."

The webinar, targeting clinical staff and school health staff, takes place at 2:30 p.m. March 24. To register, complete a registration form and send it to Lisa Scarberry at WVPCA.

McKinley Aide Visits Health Center

Published: Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Flynn Altmeyer, an aide to Rep. David McKinley, R-WV, visited CHANGE, Inc., in Weirton last week, and CEO Judy Raveaux said he came away, "very impressed with the agency and the health center."

"He particularly took notes on the 340B program and the Health Benefits aspect of the community health center. ... He walked away with a lot of handouts and I believe good feelings about the work we do," she added.

Raveaux said Altmeyer asked questions about CHC locations and accessibility to all West Virginians. She also explained to him the differences between CHCs and free clinics. A follow-up visit with McKinley is in the works when Congress breaks during the week of March 21-25.

CHIP Disparities Persist

Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Two years after the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a Commonwealth Fund state-by-state scorecard finds that coverage for children was expanded but that wide geographic disparities persist in insurance coverage, preventive care and treatment.

The report, "Securing a Healthy Future: The Commonwealth Fund State Scorecard of Child Health System Performance, 2011," analyzes 20 indicators of how the health system is performing for children in each state. West Virginia is ranked in the second quartile, 17th overall.

House Budget Puts Nation's Health at Risk

Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The House of Representatives on Saturday (Feb. 19) approved a Continuing Resolution that proposes to cut $1.3 billion in funding for community health centers from the President's FY2011 request, a move that will effectively eliminate affordable health care services for millions of Americans.

The measure was approved by a vote of 235-189. The vote  National Association of Community Health Centers estimates that, if adopted, the measure will result in health centers losing the ability to serve 11 million patients over the next year, with well over 3.3 million patients losing care within the next few months.

Appropriations Process Under Way

Published: Friday, February 18, 2011
The House of Representatives Rules Committee began meeting on the spending bill officially known as "H.R. 1 - Continuing Resolution (CR) for FY2011" on Monday night to issue a rule that will set the parameters for debate.

According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, the actual debate on the floor was expected to start Tuesday and could continue until Thursday as dozens of amendments are considered. Possible amendments that health centers should be ready for include: amendments related directly to funding (either to increase or decrease it); amendments to block or rescind funds related to health reform (which could include the health center fund or other health center priorities); and amendments to cut funding across-the-board.

In the Top Ten - Because of CHCs

Published: Friday, February 18, 2011
Two weeks ago in this very newsletter, we reported on a New England Journal of Medicine article about the effects Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have on states' ability to provide primary care.

As it turns out, The Charleston Gazette picked up on this theme with its own examination of the NEJM study, conducted by researchers at George Washington University. Reporter Kate Long penned a front-page story in this week's Sunday Gazette-Mail titled, "Health-care law in W.Va.: 'Years of hard work are paying off.'"

Accountant Joins West Virginia Primary Care Association

Published: Friday, February 4, 2011
(Charleston, WV) – The West Virginia Primary Care Association announces the hiring of a staff accountant.
Taylor Hill of South Charleston will perform accounting duties such as maintenance of the general ledger; accounts payable and receivable functions; and the preparation of various accounting statements and financial reports.
Hill formerly worked as a staff accountant and auditor for Gibbons & Kawash, CPAs.

AccessHealth Receives Funding for Residency Training 

Published: Thursday, February 3, 2011
Community Health Systems of Beckley (aka AccessHealth) has received a $150,000 federal grant as one of only 11 new teaching health centers designated nationwide.

The announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius allows AccessHealth to join in the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, a five-year program that will support an increased number of primary care medical and dental residents trained in community-based settings across the country.

CMS Hosts Open Forum on Medicare

Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will host a special open door forum for Region 3 on "Medicare Changes for 2011" from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 25.

The forum will highlight upcoming changes to the Medicare program as a result of the Affordable Care Act, which will affect your constituents/patients/clients, who are currently or soon to be eligible for Medicare.

WVRHITEC Adds "EHR 101" Info to Web Site

Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The West Virginia Regional HIT Extension Center has added a new section (EHR 101) to its web site to help providers understand electronic health records and to share useful tips and information.

The WVRHITEC works to assist primary care providers and health practices with the evaluation, selection and implementation of certified electronic health records systems. The center's team of EHR specialists has direct experience in implementing and using electronic health record systems, both from a clinical perspective and from a technology perspective. The WVRHITEC EHR team members provide their services in a vendor-neutral manner so providers get the best advice and independent guidance.

CHCs Provide Huge Economic Boost

Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Community Health Centers generate more than $300 million annually in West Virginia's economy, and account for nearly 4,300 jobs while serving 20 percent of the state's population, according to a recent study.
In addition, patients who utilize health centers for their care saved the overall system $1,262 each in 2009, according to the study. Citing research conducted by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative, the annual savings are projected to reach $1,520 per patient by 2015.

Navigator Grants Possible

Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Community health centers may be eligible for "navigator grants" as part of the West Virginia Health Insurance Exchange concept now under development by the state Offices of the Insurance Commissioner.

The WVPCA posed that question Monday at the state Capitol Complex during the last of six public forums conducted by the OIC across the state. Jeremiah Samples, insurance program manager for the OIC, said "navigators" as described in the Affordable Care Act would provide public education, distribute impartial information about health insurance plans and available subsidies, facilitate enrollment, and provide referrals when consumers have complaints or grievances.

Quality and Information Expert Joins the WVPCA

Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The West Virginia Primary Care Association announces the hiring of Shirley Jividen in a newly created position as Director of Quality and Information Management.

"Shirley brings a wealth of experience to the table in health care, information technology and management, including specific experience in working with community health centers," said WVPCA CEO Louise Reese. "Her expertise will help our members demonstrate the proficiency of the team-based, medical home model of care that we already have in place."

NACHC Billing 101 Webinar Series Whips Your CHC's Finances Into Shape

Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's time to consider how health care reform impacts reimbursement at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). What, if anything, will change in the revenue and/or billing process since reimbursement is more than half of the average FQHC's annual revenue?

Billing 101, a new eight-webinar series, will provide established FQHC's, new starts and look-alike health centers with:
  • An overview of the new coding systems that you'll use as coverage expands and new rules for pre existing conditions come into effect;
  • Benchmarking tools to analyze existing operations and FQHC billing best practices; 
  • An understanding of the changes in payment methodology for Medicare; and, 
  • Approaches to successfully managing new and increased revenue opportunities.

EHR Incentives Registration Starts Next Week

Published: Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Beginning Jan. 3, registration will be available for eligible health care professionals and eligible hospitals who wish to participate in the Medicare electronic health record incentive program.

Some states also will launch their Medicaid EHR incentive programs beginning Jan. 3; West Virginia is not among them. Most of these states will launch their programs during the spring and summer, once they are approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Eligible providers with questions about West Virginia's launch date should contact the state Bureau for Public Health.

Medicaid RACs - State Plans Due Friday; Comments Sought

Published: Wednesday, December 29, 2010
States are scheduled to submit plan amendments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by Friday (Dec. 31) to establish plans for a Medicaid Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program. Comments are due by Jan. 10. The RACs have to be fully implemented by April 1.

Broadband Coming to Community Health Centers

Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The application of high-speed Internet broadband technology to health care facilities throughout West Virginia, and particularly through community health centers, stood out during a news conference last week hosted by the Central Appalachian Regional Network and the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy.

In a "Broadband Gap Summary" prepared by the Center on Budget and Policy, policy analyst Paul Miller included a section about how broadband can improve health care delivery through telemedicine and electronic health records. He cited Lincoln Primary Care Center and Tug River Health Association specifically.

WV Earns Rare High Health Ranking

Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2010
West Virginia is among the top 14 states in the nation in health emergency preparedness, according to the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Mountain State scored a 9 on 10 key indicators in the eighth annual report, "Ready or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism."

Update on State Health Access Plan Grants

Published: Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration awarded a State Health Access Plan (SHAP) grant of $6,343,900 to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources in September 2009 to expand access to affordable health care coverage for uninsured populations.

Magazine Names Lincoln CEO 2011 "Young Gun"

Published: Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Brian Crist, CEO of Lincoln Primary Care Center Inc., dba Southern West Virginia Health System, is profiled in the fall issue of West Virginia Executive magazine as a 2011 "Young Gun."

The article outlines Crist's many professional and civic affiliations, as well as his accomplishments leading one of the largest non-profit community health systems in Southern West Virginia. Crist told reporter Kensie Westerfield that he is most proud of the number of programs, jobs and new medical clinics created for Lincoln Primary Care, "as well as the number of people we have been able to reach because of our ability to spread access to services across four counties. We reach people of all ages with more than 50 different programs and services at seven clinic sites with two more being constructed and a third in the planning stages.

Pertussis Increase in West Virginia

Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Health care providers should take the following actions:

Make sure patients of all ages are up to date on pertussis-containing vaccines (see immunization schedules at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/default.htm).

Consider the diagnosis of pertussis in their patients and close contacts. In the youngest infants, atypical presentation is common - the cough may be minimal or absent, and the primary symptom can be apnea.

Public Meetings on Health Exchanges

Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Health exchanges are marketplaces where small businesses and individuals can buy health insurance with easy-to-understand information on all their options. Consumers will be able to purchase health insurance through a Web site or toll-free number operated by the exchange, or through an insurance agent's office.

Depending on how exchanges are operated, they can transform the insurance market by improving quality -- more wellness options and improved chronic disease management programs -- while containing costs.

Select Committee on Health

Published: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
WVPCA CEO Louise Reese and Valley Health Systems CEO Steve Shattls appeared before the Legislature's Select Committee on Health today (Tuesday) to outline the role community health centers play in the state's overall health system, the structure and governance of CHCs in comparison to rural health clinics and private practitioners, and the quality and scope of services that will continue to expand under health reform.

Valley Health Systems Achieves NCQA Designation

Published: Monday, November 8, 2010
Valley Health Systems has received a Level 3 Physician Practice Connections - Patient Centered Medical Home designation from the National Committee on Quality Assurance.

The patient-centered medical home concept is a model for care provided by physician practices that seeks to strengthen the physician-patient relationship by replacing episodic care based on illnesses and patient complaints with coordinated care and a long-term healing relationship.

Primary Care Association Demands Fair Reimbursement

Published: Monday, October 18, 2010
(Charleston, WV) – The West Virginia Primary Care Association is demanding that the Bureau for Medical Services properly reimburse its member community health centers for services provided under Medicaid over the past decade.

In a 12-page legal memorandum delivered Friday to Secretary Patsy Hardy of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the WVPCA said BMS consistently fails to follow federal law and even its own State Plan for administering Medicaid reimbursement funding.

“WVPCA and its members stand willing to work constructively with BMS,” the memorandum states. However, it adds, “The governing law has been in place for 10 years. … The state’s health centers cannot afford to wait any longer for the reasonable payment rates to which they are statutorily entitled.”

West Virginia Community Health Centers receive major new investment

Published: Monday, October 11, 2010

(Charleston) – Five West Virginia community health centers are among recipients of federal grants under the Affordable Care Act to upgrade their facilities, expand services and provide care for thousands of underserved patients.

The awards were announced Friday by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

FamilyCare CEO Wins Primary Care Research Award

Published: Monday, September 20, 2010
(Charleston, WV) – FamilyCare Health Center CEO Martha Carter has earned national recognition for her research into improving dental care for low-income pregnant women.

Carter was honored during the National Association of Community Health Center's 41st Annual Convention and Community Health Institute held Sept. 10-14 in Dallas. She is the recipient of the 2010 Innovative Research in Primary Care Award.

The WVPCA Welcomes Andrew Wessels

Published: Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The WVPCA is pleased to announce that Andrew Wessels has accepted the position of Director of Business Development.  He began employment with our organization on September 7, 2010.  Prior to accepting this position, Mr. Wessels worked at BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company for six years as the Director of Corporate Affairs.  In this capacity, he directed an award-winning professional staff who successfully branded and marketed the re-organized agency. 

WVPCA Healthcare Legacy Awards for 2010

Published: Thursday, September 2, 2010
As a part of National Health Center Week, the West Virginia Primary Care Association celebrated our health center leaders in West Virginia by giving 2010 Healthcare Legacy Awards during our annual conference.  The awards recognized community health centers leaders who have provided twenty or more years of extraordinary service, commitment and innovation to assure the delivery of primary care to West Virginia residents.

Local Health Center Earns Recognition

Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MARTINSBURG - Shenandoah Valley Health Center's latest accolade puts it in a tremendous leadership role for the community's health care, Terri Bliziotes said Tuesday.

With its recent recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, SVHC is on the cutting edge of health care, she said.

Bliziotes runs a private consulting firm in Charleston, Peak Performance Consulting, and coordinated SVHC's effort to become recognized for its high standards of health care.

"The framework for the medical home is the framework for reform," she said. "All medical care is local and SVHC is working with local providers to provide a medical home."

Patient-Centered Medical Home, trademarked by NCQA, is health care that revolves around the care the patient needs, when the patient needs it, Bliziotes explained. It is comprehensive, coordinated, integrated services, she said, which SVHC epitomizes.

FamilyCare Opens Site in Eleanor

Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 21st, 2010 saw the initial opening of a new community health center location for the FamilyCare organization in Eleanor, WV.  CEO Martha Carter tells us that the funds for this new location can be attributed to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Capitol Improvement Project funds, along with a WV Rural Health Systems grant, a loan from the Center for Rural Health Development and an appropriation by Shelly Moore Capito.

Shenandoah Valley Medical System Earns NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition

Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Congratulations go out to Shenandoah Valley Medical System, Inc. (SVMS) in Martinsburg, WV for obtaining certification from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)  in recognition of achieving the status, Level 1 for Physician Practice Connections - Patient Centered Medical Home.

National Health Center Week Video Contest

Published: Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In celebration of National Health Center Week (August 8-14, 2010), the National Association of Community Health Centers is encouraging participation in a national video contest.  This is an excellent way to let your community, your elected officials, and most importantly your local health center know just how vital and important they are to you and your family.  A video can be a fun way to share your unique story of what the health center means to you, and it is a great way to advocate on behalf of the health center!

Health Information Technology Conference to be presented by the WVPCA

Published: Friday, May 28, 2010

The West Virginia Primary Care Association presents a Health Information Technology Conference that you won't want to miss.  Join us on June 23, 2010 at the Ramada Inn in South Charleston.

New England Journal of Medicine Article Shows West Virginia as Having Largest Population Percentage of Community Health Center Users

Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The New England Journal of Medicine released a new article, Health Care Reform and Primary Care:  The Growing Importance of the Community Health Center.  The article highlights the percentage of population from each state recieving care from a community health center.  West Virginia is the highest in the nation, at 19%.  

Final Health Reform Legislation Includes Implication for Corporate Compliance

Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the package of reconciliation amendments signed into law on March 30, 2010, contains new tools to aid the government in identifying and pursuing recovery for allegedly fraudulent, wasteful, or abusive practices, according to a March 31, 2010, newsletter from the law firm Foley and Lardner LLP.

FamilyCare CEO Martha Carter in the News

Published: Monday, April 5, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There's a serenity about her, a calm confidence that instills trust, whether she's birthing a baby or building a health-care business.

She was shaped by a tumultuous era of unrest and change, influenced by the women's movement, the battle for civil rights and opposition to an unwinnable war. Ideals of social justice spawned a career based on the universal need for proper health care.

In 1986, Cincinnati native Martha Carter arrived here to work as a certified nurse midwife at a Teays Valley birth center. She spearheaded the center's expansion to WomenCare and now, FamilyCare.

Rural Health Centers Could See More Patients

Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thirty-two million people that the healthcare reform bill will help get insurance could mean more business for health centers, especially in rural areas.

Right now, many uninsured people don't go to the doctor for check-ups.


National Recognition for Amber Crist, Education Director at Cabin Creek Health Systems

Published: Monday, March 15, 2010

The WVPCA congratulates Amber Crist of Cabin Creek Health Systems for receiving the Geiger-Gibson Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Calling All Health Centers!

Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Did your Community Health Center open before 1965?  If so, the National Association of Community Health Centers would like to hear from you!


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