Community Health Celebrates National Health Center Week
Vermont Business Magazine We’ll be shining a light on the health care heroes during National Health Center Week August 9-15, said Jill Jesso-White, Community Health community relations specialist. Community Health is spotlighting the dedication and inspiration provided by the clinical and non-clinical workers who make high quality health care accessible to everyone in the community.
This year’s theme, “Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in the Future,” raises awareness about the mission and accomplishments of health care centers like Community Health.
Over the past few months as the pandemic threatened community wellness, Community Health found innovative ways to provide continuous primary and preventative care, including expanding Telehealth appointments for behavioral health, minor illnesses and chronic care management. Express Care locations remained open and consultations were carried out under safe conditions for patients and staff, including outdoor meetings with providers.
“We provide coverage and services private practitioners either cannot or do not want to undertake,” said Community Health CEO Don Reuther. “For example, we have two dental practices and one of the only dental groups that takes Medicaid which is about 40% of our patient base. In that sense we fill a unique void.”
Community Health, based in Rutland, is the largest of the 12 federally qualified health centers (FQHC) in the state of Vermont. Nationally, more than 1,200 FQHCs provide primary health care to one out of every 14 people. In Vermont, FQHCs provide care to approximately one in four Vermonters. At Community Health practices in Rutland, Brandon, Shoreham, West Pawlet and Castleton, 370 health care professionals provide medical, dental and behavioral health care to close to 42,000 residents of Rutland and southern Addison counties.
Community Health currently provides services to 80% of Rutland County. “We see any patient that shows up at our locations, regardless of their insurance status or their ability to pay for the services,” said Community Health CFO Mike Gardner. “Patients without insurance are encouraged to and assisted with applying for any insurance programs available. This past year Community Health has focused not just on treating patients that are sick, but also reaching out to patients before they get sick.”
Poet Maya Angelou said, “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” And that light is bright at Community Health.
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 Health Pediatrics is 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.