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Health Center leaders and providers from across the state work to engage stakeholders and build relationships that support the health center’s growth and capacity to serve more patients. We appreciate the time that our North Carolina policymakers took this Spring to tour our health centers and talk with providers about ways to expand access to integrated care. Thanks to U.S. Sen. Ted Budd, U.S. Rep. Deborah Ross, NC DHHS Sec. Kody Kinsley, NC Sen. Steve Jarvis, NC Sen. Sydney Batch, NC Sen. Benton Sawrey, NC Sen. Dan Blue, NC Sen. Kevin Corbin (not pictured), NC Rep. Erin Paré, NC Rep. Larry Potts, and NC Rep. Tim Reeder for their visits and support.

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) – aka Community Health Centers (CHCs) – are patient-governed nonprofits that provide patient-centered, integrated, comprehensive primary care for rural and underserved patients regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. In 2022, NC’s Community Health Centers served more than 752,000 patients in 85 counties.

Search for community health centers near you.

In the video below, Carolina Family Health Centers‘ Chief Dental Officer Hilary Patterson, DMD, and Jessica Ezzell, RDH, talk about how participating in a CareQuest Institute initiative helped the center provide oral health care to children through a school-based dental program. Patterson also dives into how taking the Institute’s Value-Based Care Readiness Assessment was a great starting point to transition to a value-based care and payment model.

For more, see CareQuest’s article “FQHC Improves Access to Care Through School-Based Program,” which details how Carolina Family Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and Community Oral Health Transformation (COrHT) Initiative participant, launched a school-based program to bring preventative oral health care and education to students. They are also beginning the transition to value-based and minimally invasive care.

 

MEDIA ADVISORY: THURSDAY, MAY 9, 8:00AM-5:00PM

Second Annual Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Conference

Co-Hosted by North Carolina Central University and North Carolina Community Health Center Association

Register at this link.

VENUE: NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY STUDENT CENTER, 500 NELSON ST., DURHAM, N.C. 27707

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and North Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) will host the 2nd annual Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Conference (also known as the Medication Assisted Treatment Conference) at the NCCU Student Center in Durham on Thursday, May 9, 2024.

According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services, more than 28,000 North Carolinians lost their lives to drug overdose from 2000-2020.

With a focus on expanding treatment access to address opioid use disorder, the one-day conference will bring together over 100 attendees, ranging from behavioral health providers to senior leadership and staff from NCCU, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics, EMS, harm reduction, free and charitable clinics, and other NC safety-net partners, to discuss the latest on providing effective and equitable MOUD (Medication for Opioid Use Disorder) services.

View the event program here.

Registration is required. Members of the press can inquire with the contacts listed above about limited access to the event and/or interviews with presenters or spokespeople.

CONTACT: Stacie Borrello, Communications and External Affairs Manager, North Carolina Community Health Center Association

About MOUD / MAT

Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) or Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and other therapeutic techniques, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Medications relieve the withdrawal systems and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. Research has shown that when provided at the proper dose, medications used in MAT have no adverse effects on a person’s intelligence, mental capability, or physical functioning.

About NCCHCA

The North Carolina Community Health Center Association represents 43 Community Health Center (CHC) organizations that operate over 500 clinical sites in 88 N.C. counties and served 752,000 patients in 2021. CHCs are federally funded, nonprofits organizations that have a mission of providing integrated primary, dental, and behavioral health care to underserved and rural communities, without regard for insurance status or ability to pay.

About North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) prepares students to succeed in the global marketplace. Consistently ranked as a top Historically Black College or University, NCCU offers flagship programs in the sciences, education, law, business, nursing and the arts. Founded in 1910 and located in the Research Triangle Region, NCCU remains committed to diversity in and access to higher education. NCCU is a leader in the scientific study of health disparities and provides students with the opportunity to gain laboratory skills and experience working with faculty researchers and pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry professionals in two, state-of-the-art research institutes that are housed on campus. For more information, visit www.nccu.edu or call (919) 530-6100.

“There’s hope for health care in Eastern NC and throughout the state in the form of Community Health Centers.”

In March 2024, WNCT 9 On Your Side visited Agape Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Eastern North Carolina led by Dr. Michael McDuffie, DHSc.

Agape recently hired the entire clinical staff that had been laid off by another rural provider, keeping them in Eastern NC where they are needed most.

Read about the comprehensive & affordable primary, dental, and behavioral health care Agape Health Services provides in Washington, Williamston and Plymouth, NC at AgapeCHC.org.

For more information about Agape Health Services and its initiatives, please contact ReAnne Mayo, Agape’s Director of Community Outreach and Marketing.

NCCHCA Press Release

November 30, 2023

Contact: Brendan Riley, VP, NCCHCA Government Relations & External Affairs| rileyb@ncchca.org, 919-469-1116

N.C. Speaker Tim Moore Visits Kintegra Health, Community Health Center in Shelby, to Receive Health Leadership Award

On Thursday, November 30, Kintegra Health, a Community Health Center organization with locations in 12 counties, welcomed N.C. Speaker of the House Tim Moore for a tour of their Kintegra Family Medicine facility in Shelby.

“Today I had the privilege to see firsthand the important work that Kintegra Health does right here in Cleveland County, a prime example of the good work that Community Health Centers do across the state to provide whole-person care for our rural and medically underserved communities. Community Health Centers like Kintegra Health are essential providers of high-quality primary care for so many who need it,” said Speaker Moore.

Kintegra Health CEO Robert Spencer expressed his appreciation to Speaker Moore for taking the time to tour Kintegra’s world-class facility in Shelby, which is one of 30 clinical sites the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) operates across the state.

“We are grateful for Speaker Moore’s ongoing support to help Community Health Centers like Kintegra close the coverage gap for underserved North Carolina residents,” said Mr. Spencer. “This expansion of health care will allow Kintegra to expand its whole-person approach to care into more communities. Health centers serve an important role of delivering not only primary and preventive medical care, but also behavioral health, chiropractic, podiatry, substance use disorder treatment, pharmacy services, and comprehensive oral health care.”

During the meeting, Kintegra Health presented Speaker Moore with the North Carolina Community Health Center Association 2023 Community Health Leadership Award, in recognition of the Speaker’s leadership in working to extend affordable health coverage options to hundreds of thousands of people in North Carolina starting December 1.

Thanks to this historic policy change, many Community Health Center patients in Cleveland County and across the state will soon have improved access to care and greater peace of mind thanks to gaining health coverage.

Because Community Health Centers serve many uninsured patients—over 255,000 in 2022—this important policy will also allow health centers to receive more adequate reimbursements for the care they provide and support expansion of the health care workforce to deliver care to more people across North Carolina.

NCCHCA members are grateful to Speaker Moore and other policymakers whose leadership ensured that North Carolina would cross the finish line in closing the coverage gap, and we look forward to continued partnership to address North Carolina’s future health challenges.

About NCCHCA: The North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) represents 43 Community Health Center organizations, also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), that care for 752,000 patients a year at over 500 clinical locations across 88 counties without regard for patients’ ability to pay or insurance status.

***Media Advisory***

September 26, 2023

Certainty on Medicaid Expansion Renews Hope for N.C. Safety-Net Providers & Patients 

With the passage of the state budget ensuring a Dec. 1 launch of Medicaid expansion, community health center leaders anticipate wider availability of specialty services to underserved patients.

PDF: NCCHCA-Statement-Medicaid-Expansion-Implementation-9.26.2023

For too long, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians have suffered from lack of health coverage, leading to an increase in mortality rates and progression of chronic diseases. Now with a launch date of December 1, 2023, set for Medicaid expansion, the North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) and our 43 health center members are relieved more of our patients will gain health coverage and our centers will receive more adequate reimbursements for the services they deliver.

“Medicaid expansion is a phenomenal milestone for N.C.’s community health centers, and it will greatly support the work safety-net providers do to care for historically underserved communities,” NCCHCA CEO Chris Shank commented.

Statewide, N.C. community health centers serve more than 250,000 uninsured patients each year, out of a total patient population of 752,000. Patients who have lacked access to care will be ecstatic to have an insurance card and the ability to receive specialty care, said Michelle Lewis, CEO of Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine.

“Patients will probably say, ‘You mean, I can see an asthma specialist, or cardiologist, or orthopedist now, like others?! I can get cancer treatments now?!’ These will be some of the first thoughts of relief for patients who have struggled to get needed primary and specialty care services,” said Mrs. Lewis, who also serves as chair of the NCCHCA Board of Directors. “Patients will also feel appreciation for the policymakers and advocates who have fought for many years to expand Medicaid.”

NCCHCA and the providers we represent are grateful for the policymakers who led sustained efforts to expand Medicaid, including Governor Roy Cooper, Secretary Kody Kinsley, and Representative Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth) – and others, including NC Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and NC House Speaker Tim Moore, for helping to move Medicaid expansion across the finish line.

During a September 25 press conference, Secretary Kinsley reflected on his personal experience living in the coverage gap: “As some of you know, I grew up in North Carolina without health insurance. I know first-hand the struggle that families face when trying to weigh the risk of going without seeing the doctor or parents pushing off prescriptions because they can’t afford food for their kids.”

Well-prepared to serve as the primary medical home for new Medicaid beneficiaries, community health centers offer integrated, culturally sensitive, whole-person primary care services, plus wrap-around support like care management and transportation assistance, all in one package. Community health centers are also unique in offering dental care and behavioral health care integrated into many sites.

“This is a historical moment for North Carolina and our primary care providers, with Medicaid expansion soon to be effective,” said Mrs. Shank. “Hundreds of thousands of patients have hoped for an expansion of care that has now passed, and hundreds of community health center sites will soon have increased capacity to improve our state’s health outcomes and expand the health care workforce.”

Find your nearest health center: https://ncchca.org/find-a-health-center.

Contact:

Stacie Borrello, Communications and External Affairs Manager, North Carolina Community Health Center Association, 919-996-9208, borrellos@ncchca.org

About NCCHCA:

The North Carolina Community Health Center Association represents 43 Community Health Center (CHC) organizations that operate over 470 clinical sites in 86 N.C. counties and served 752,000 patients in 2022. CHCs (also known as federally qualified health centers, FQHCs) are federally funded, nonprofit, patient-governed organizations with a mission of providing integrated primary, dental, and behavioral health care in primarily underserved and rural areas, without regard for patients’ insurance status or ability to pay.

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N.C. Community Health Centers Host Over 50 Events Statewide to Mark National Health Center Week, August 6-12

2023 National Health Center Week Release PDF

***Media Advisory ***
August 6, 2023

CONTACT: Stacie Borrello, Communications and External Affairs Manager, North Carolina Community Health Center Association, 919-996-9208, borrellos@ncchca.org

A variety of Federally Qualified Health Centers will pass out free school supplies and bookbags, hold health and wellness fairs, celebrate new site openings, offer free assistance with enrolling in health coverage, host public officials, and more.

Experience a range of fun events, free giveaways, and health resources as National Health Center Week returns from August 6 to August 12, 2023. National Health Center Week is an annual, nationwide celebration of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), also known as community health centers (CHCs), which provide integrated primary care, dental, behavioral health, and pharmacy services to the entire community, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay at over 400 clinical sites across North Carolina.

Serving more than 750,000 patients across N.C., community health centers represent hope and resilience to the diverse populations they serve, which include school children, the uninsured, the unhoused, migrant farmworkers, public housing residents, and more. During this special national week of celebration, community health centers across the state are extending an open invitation to the public to join in the fun as they highlight the strength, unwavering dedication, and compassionate care N.C. health centers provide to our communities.

Click here for a list of the public National Health Center Week events happening across North Carolina this week. (Click the page numbers at the bottom to view all events.)

The 2023 national theme is “Community Health Centers: The Roadmap to a Stronger America.” With more than 50 events that will highlight the contributions of community health centers, attendees will have the opportunity to access health resources, enjoy free giveaways, and take part in exciting community events that offer something for every member of the family.

Throughout this inspiring week, community health centers will work to raise awareness about the affordable health care services they provide and the value they bring to communities across the state. Health centers hope to demonstrate to members of Congress that increased federal funding is needed to ensure continued access to high-quality, affordable healthcare in underserved areas.

Another important part of National Health Center Week is recognizing the contributions of staff, stakeholders, and — most of all — patients, who make up a majority of all health center governing boards. By joining together in celebration and hosting events for their communities, health centers will strengthen bonds and make progress toward a healthier, more vibrant America.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the services community health centers provide on the following focus days:
● Sunday, 8/6 – Public Health in Housing Day
● Monday, 8/7 – Healthcare for People Experiencing Homelessness
● Tuesday, 8/8 – Agricultural Worker Health Day
● Wednesday, 8/9 – Patient Appreciation
● Thursday, 8/10 – Stakeholder Appreciation
● Friday, 8/11 – Health Center Staff Appreciation
● Saturday, 8/12 – Children’s Health’s Day

(more…)

NEW GPO VENDOR ANNOUNCEMENT

NCCHCA Welcomes PicassoMD

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The North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) is excited to announce the addition of PicassoMD as our latest vendor member. Our GPO’s primary objective is to enhance shared services and strategic sourcing solutions for health centers across North Carolina. We believe that partnering with PicassoMD will enable us to achieve this goal by offering specialty e-consults through their Curbside platform.

Description of Services

PicassoMD Curbside is an informal interprofessional communication between a primary care provider (PCP) and a specialist. PicassoMD has created an online platform that can rapidly match a PCP with a specialist across nearly 30 service lines to support and augment clinical decision-making. Once connected, providers can communicate through a chat-like interface with the specialist.

All communications and images are exchanged on PicassoMD’s HIPAA compliant mobile/web-based platform, and a transcript of the curbside is automatically generated upon its completion.

With existing engagements with Kintegra Health and Blue Ridge Health, PicassoMD’s joining NCCHCA’s GPO is a natural progression that will expand the range of services available, generate cost savings, and optimize efficiencies for the benefit of our members and their patients.

For inquiries regarding initiating a partnership with PicassoMD, interested health centers should reach out to NCCHCA’s Director of Business Development: Karen Pryce at prycek@ncchca.org.

NCCHCA extends its sincere appreciation to PicassoMD for their dedication and efforts in establishing this collaboration. For additional information, please visit the PicassoMD website or contact Karen Pryce.

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