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National Quality Leader 2021 - NRSA

PCHC recognized for outstanding quality with special recognition for Integrated Behavioral Health

The Providence Community Health Centers is the recipient of six Community Health Center Quality Recognition awards from the Health Resources and Services Administration, including recognition as one of the country’s top performing providers of Integrated Behavioral Health.

Providence Community Health Center’s Integrated Behavioral Health program was one of only 17 National Quality Leaders recognized. This distinction is rare, awarded to less than 2% of all health centers in the country. Providence Community Health Center was the only health center network in Rhode Island to receive the National Quality Leader distinction.

Providence Community Health Centers was also recognized with the following:

  • The silver Health Center Quality Leader: Recipients of this award have achieved the best overall clinical quality measure performance among all health centers.
  • Advancing Health Information Technology for Quality: These health centers meet all criteria to optimize HIT services that advance telehealth, patient engagement, interoperability, and collection of social determinants of health to increase access to care and advance quality of care.
  • Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition: This award recognizes health centers with PCMH recognition in one or more delivery sites. All eight of our health centers received this recognition.

This year, COVID-19 awards were introduced to recognize health centers’ contributions to the public health emergency response in the areas of data collection, testing, and vaccinations. Providence Community Health Centers received recognition in the following areas:

  • COVID-19 Data Reporter: Recognizes health centers that supported data for public health emergencies with response rates of 90% or more to the weekly Health Center COVID-19 Survey from April 10, 2020 to July 2, 2021.
  • COVID-19 Testing: Recognizes health centers that tested more than 50% of their 2020 patient populations from April 10, 2020 to July 2, 2021 and have a response rate of at least 50% to the weekly Health Center COVID-19 Survey.

“In a year with unprecedented challenges, the PCHC team delivered on our promise to provide superlative high-quality care to people in our community,” said Merrill Thomas, President and CEO of Providence Community Health Centers. “We are especially proud of our Integrated Behavioral Health program, which was recognized as one of the best in the nation. The prestigious National Quality Leader Award highlights years of innovative work by the clinicians, team members, and leadership of the IBH department.”

Primary care settings have become a gateway for many individuals with behavioral health and primary care needs. To address these needs, primary care providers integrate behavioral health care services into their practice settings. Health centers provide both mental health and substance use services including:

  • Screening for mental health and substance use disorders
  • Developmental screenings
  • Counseling and psychiatry
  • Medication assisted treatment for substance use disorders; along with guidance related to detoxification and recovery support

The Community Health Center Quality Recognition awards recognize health centers that have made quality improvement achievements in the areas of access, quality, health equity, and health information technology. Every year, HRSA provides quality improvement awards to promote high-quality care, efficiency, and value of the health care services provided by the nation's health centers, and to celebrate their recent achievements in providing high-quality care to nearly 30 million patients.

Quality Recognition Awards


COVID-19 Vaccination

Upcoming COVID vaccination clinics

Brought to you by / patrocinada por Providence Community Health Centers.

vax event aug2021 covid-19

All events take place in Providence. Todos los eventos tienen lugar en Providence.

Every Tuesday through September 28
5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Iglesia Visión Evangelica
1014 Broad Street

Saturday, September 25
Noon - 4 p.m.
Urban Greens Co-op Market
93 Cranston Street

Sunday, September 26
St. Michaels Church International Festival
12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
239 Oxford Street

Monday, September 27
Crossroads Towers
160 Broad Street
9 a.m. - Noon

Tuesday, September 28
5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Iglesia Visión Evangélica
1014 Broad St.

Dr. Lori Marion

Dr. Lori Marion joins PCHC as first full-time pediatric hospitalist

dr Lori MarionProvidence Community Health Centers is now home to its first-ever full-time pediatric hospitalist, a physician dedicated to visiting newborns and parents in the hospital in the days following birth. Dr. Lori Marion joined PCHC in June, assuming this role to ensure newborns and families have the best possible care.

As PCHC has grown, so has the number of children delivered into our care. Dr. Marion joins June Carrara, RN, and community health advocate Yohana Sosa, PCHC staff that has been providing newborn education, recording prenatal histories, and performing other important functions for new families at Women & Infants for years.

Prior to joining PCHC, Dr. Marion held a variety of inpatient and outpatient pediatric roles, most recently as an Associate in General Pediatrics with Palmetto Pediatric of the Low Country in Hilton Head Island, SC, where she worked in an outpatient pediatrics clinic and rounded on newborns in the nursery daily. She completed her Residency in Pediatrics at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.

In a short period of time, Dr. Marion has learned the special bond between PCHC staff and the families in our care. “Collectively, our patients are so kind and appreciate receiving care delivered with respect,” said Dr. Marion. “I’m proud to be part of a team that strongly believes that everyone deserves great care.”

As the number of deliveries of PCHC babies grows, it has become more challenging for pediatricians to round (visit the hospital to see newborns and mothers) every day while also caring for a growing number of patients in our health centers. While our pediatricians still round, it is reassuring to families knowing that Dr. Marion, June, and Yohana are there to support them.

“Hiring Dr. Marion demonstrates our commitment to the whole care of families by assuring that our newborns have quality pediatric care from the start of life,” said Dr. Beth Toolan, Chair of Pediatrics at PCHC.

Safe Zones

Chafee and Randall Health Centers recertified by Blue Cross as LGBTQ Safe Zones

safe zoneProvidence Community Health Centers is excited to announce LGBTQ Safe Zone recertification for our Chafee and Randall Square sites. The recertification from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island follows a rigorous application process that ensures we are providing safe, affirming, and inclusive care to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community.

Our Safe Zone certification for these two health center sites was first awarded in 2019. As a member of the Safe Zone network, PCHC staff is encouraged to discuss and promote health equity for all people, particularly members of the LGBTQ community, through dialogue around reducing health disparities and upholding best practices for LGBTQ care within the provider community.

To earn this designation, providers must have: staff training specific to the care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people; protection for patients and staff from discrimination based on gender identity or expression; gender neutral bathrooms; inclusive forms and procedures; and a public commitment to connecting with and serving the LGBTQ community. Our goal is to certify additional PCHC Health Centers as Safe Zones in the coming years. Thank you to all our team members who made this certification possible as we continue to welcome all people as patients of our health centers.

Optometry program

Residency in the Community Health Optometry program approved for reaccreditation

photo optometry 2021The Residency in the Community Health Optometry program at Providence Community Health Centers has been approved for reaccreditation for eight years. Our program is affiliated with the New England Col­lege of Optometry.

The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education conducted a virtual evaluation visit (due to COVID-19) on March 26, 2021. The evaluation is a comprehensive one, with reviews of the program’s mission, goals, ob­jectives, policies, curriculum, administration, faculty, resources, and facilities.

The classification indicates that the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the ed­ucational effectiveness of the total program. PCHC is home to the only health center-based optometry residency program in Rhode Island. Congratulations to David Mills, OD, program director, and the entire optometry team for a successful accreditation. Dr. Mills is pictured here with Megan Lusignan, OD, (center) and optometry resident Jennifer Kim Hsiao-Fang-Yen, OD.

Water safety program

Water safety program featured on front page of Providence Journal

The July 29th edition of the Providence Journal featured a front page story about the swimming program for inner-city youth that is organized by Providence Community Health Centers and held at Pods Swimming in East Providence. The program is supported by a grant from the USA Swimming Foundation.

In these classes, children learn the elementary backstroke, how to float, and other valuable water safety skills. There are two four-week sessions of classes, held in July and August. This year, more than 40 children have registered for the classes.

The Providence Journal story, which is subscription only, is linked here: https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/local/2021/07/28/some-providence-children-learning-swim-some-arent/5391533001/

Free swim lessons

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