SOURCE: Community Health Center, Inc.

Community Health Center, Inc.

August 14, 2015 13:43 ET

California HealthCare Foundation Report Highlights CHC's Nursing Role as Pioneering Example for the Nation

MIDDLETOWN, CT--(Marketwired - August 14, 2015) - The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) recently published a report written by Dr. Thomas Bodenheimer and his team at University of California San Francisco (UCFS). The report, RN Role Reimagined: How Empowering Registered Nurses Can Improve Primary Care, explores the role of RNs in primary care, and how they can be utilized to improve primary care delivery. Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) was one of two primary care clinics highlighted in the report for pioneering the expansion of the RN role (the other exemplary practice highlighted is Norrahammar Health Center in Jonkoping County, Sweden).

The report's lead author, Dr. Bodenheimer, is a Professor of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF. As one of the country's foremost experts in primary care redesign, Dr. Bodenheimer received his medical degree at Harvard and completed his residency at UCSF. He spent 32 years in primary care practice in San Francisco's Mission District -- 10 years in community health centers, and 22 years in private practice.

"In 2014, Dr. Bodenheimer, addressed the audience at our annual Weitzman Symposium on the topic of the shortage of primary care providers," explained Mark Masselli, President/CEO of CHC. "During his visit to our health center he witnessed our model of care first hand. We are honored to be highlighted in this report as an innovator in healthcare delivery."

The California HealthCare Foundation is leading the way to better health care for all Californians, particularly those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. They work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. CHCF informs policymakers and industry leaders, invests in ideas and innovations, and connects with change makers to create a more responsive, patient-centered health care system.

This report focuses on strategies being used by 11 community health centers and county health systems in California to optimize the RN role in primary care. It goes on to highlight the success CHC has had in expanding the role of the RN in primary care. CHC's RNs conduct a significant number of independent visits for acute and chronic clinical issues, including initiating and changing medications under specific orders written by the primary care providers.

"As part of their responsibilities, our RNs enroll patients with complex care needs in care management," explained Mary Blankson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, Chief Nursing Officer for CHC. "A tailored nursing care management plan details problems, self-management goals, clinical targets, progress toward goals, and interprofessional collaboration in the care of that patient, particularly with behavioral health."

Margaret Flinter, PhD, APRN, FAAN, c-FNP, Senior VP/Clinical Director of CHC remarked, "CHC is at the forefront of transforming primary care, and creating a new role for RNs in primary care. Their key focus areas are prevention, patient education, chronic illness care, and team support. We are incredibly proud of our RNs and committed to sharing our model with others."

About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary health care system committed to caring for uninsured and underinsured populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 130,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in 201 locations statewide, offering primary care in medicine, dentistry and behavioral health services. For more information, visit

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  • Eliza Cole
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