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Community Health Awarded for Quality Care

Community Health is a Health Center Quality Leader, ranking among the top 20% of the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in the country.  The Rutland-based FQHC has been recognized nationally for overall clinical quality performance by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Community Health Director of Clinical Services Tracy Upton said Community Health saw an improvement in the following categories for 2021:

  • increased screenings for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, HIV and depression
  • dental sealant application
  • follow up education provided when body mass index (BMI) is identified as out of range
  • chronic disease management on statin therapy for cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes control management

“Through all we experienced with Covid, we were always improving quality, always,” said Andrea Wicher, Community Health’s Director of Quality and Population Health. “Our quality program focuses on patients at risk of chronic disease, patient education, patient outreach on determinants of health and health equity. They are the foundations of our quality plan,” said Wicher.

And, she said, it takes balance.  Balancing prevention and wellness is the key to Community Health’s plan to deliver the highest quality care to the community. “There is so much need after diagnosis that it makes it challenging to spend time on the prevention side,” Wicher said. “But quality drives everything. It’s at the forefront of our decisions.”

Community Health was recognized for these Quality Awards:

  • Health Center Quality Leader Silver Awardee for best overall clinical quality performance.
  • Access Enhancer Award recognizes health centers that increased the total number of patients served and the number of patients receiving comprehensive services. Community Health primary care includes medical, dental and behavioral health services.
  • Health Disparities Reducer Award recognizes health centers that meet or exceed benchmarks established for different racial/ethnic groups.
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition indicates that Community Health meets national standards for primary care that emphasize care coordination and ongoing quality improvement.

HRSA’s Quality Improvement Awards (QIA) recognize the highest performing health centers in the nation and spotlight the health centers that have made significant quality improvement gains in the past year.

“Our quality outcomes are part of an ongoing program to create clinical pathways for providers and patients in area of need indicated by our stellar medical team along in collaboration with community organizations and findings in our community health assessment, ” said Community Health CEO Mike Gardner.

Every year HRSA reviews quality improvements in different categories and every three years Community Health completes a HRSA Operational Site Visit conducted to ensure federally funded health centers comply with the federal Health Center Program. Areas reviewed and approved during the Operational Site Visit in 2021 included financial and clinical management, operations, monitoring and reporting, governance and quality improvement.

Community Health is Vermont’s largest FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center), a network of primary care, pediatric, behavioral health, dental and pharmacy services with offices in Rutland, Brandon, Castleton, West Pawlet and Shoreham. Community Dental offices are located in Rutland and Shoreham; Community Kids Dental and Community Health Pediatrics  are in Rutland; and Behavioral Health services are available at all of our locations. Community Health Express Care centers, open 7 days a week, are located at the Rutland and Castleton Community Health Centers.

All Community Health locations are open and accepting patients. For more information about career opportunities, hours and Community Health locations check our website

The mission of Community Health (Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region) is to improve the health and wellness of all people in the communities we serve by providing access to excellent medical and dental primary care regardless of any financial consideration.

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