The St. Charles Community Health Centers, located in Luling and Norco, were recently recognized by the Health Resources & Services Administration as earning a place in the top 10% of health centers nationwide.
The clinics, which are run in the company of other health clinics under Access Health Louisiana’s umbrella of services, were also awarded the highest quality award in the state of Louisiana.
“Health centers deliver comprehensive care to people who are low-income, uninsured or face other obstacles to getting health care,” AHL Director of Outreach and Development Chenier Reynolds-Montz said. “On top of the safety net that they provide, health centers have been on the front lines preventing and responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Health centers continue to provide essential services for our nation’s most vulnerable and medically underserved populations, including those who often do not have access to care, before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
HRSA reviews and ranks the performance of health centers each year on a suite of categories that are inherent to federally qualified health centers, such as expanding access to services, delivering high quality care, reducing disparities and lowering medical costs for patients.
The St. Charles Parish-based clinics outperformed more than 1,200 health centers nationwide in terms of quality and health outcomes, and were on HRSA’s list of 2020 Quality Improvement Award recipients.
“At Access Health Louisiana, our mission is simple – to improve the health of the people we serve,” AHL Vice President of Population Health Chatrian Kanger said. “And thanks to all of our collective hard-work and dedication, we have consistently year after year accomplished just that.”
In 2018 AHL ranked in the top 30% of centers, and then moved into the top 20% in 2019.
“We knew that we had made significant strides around improving our quality performance in previous years and were seeking out innovative methods to continue to push the quality of our care delivery,” Kanger said. “We invested in our care teams and expanded upon our chronic disease management program for Medicare patients, as well as adopted a team-based care model of care delivery.”
Kanger said AHL’s in-house pharmacy has also rapidly grown to ensure patients never experience a lapse in their medication regimens.
“These are no small feats,” Kanger said. “I’ve worked with health centers across this state and regionally for more than 15 years now, and it takes a monumental effort to achieve this level of performance. We are truly firing on all fronts to support our teams and our patients, and it feels rewarding to be recognized as an organization for this level of work that our teams do day in and day out.”
This year AHL also broke into new HRSA award categories and earned additional incentives and recognitions including the Access Enhancer Award, a Health Disparities Reducer Award and recognition for exceeding the standards associated with Patient Centered Medical Home.
HRSA released more than $117 million dollars this month to support quality improvement efforts in health centers across the nation. In Louisiana, 33 health centers received a combined total of more than $2.56 million of those federal dollars – all ear-marked to strengthen quality improvement activities and expand or enhance service delivery.