COUNCIL OF COMMUNITY CLINICS REBRANDS AS HEALTH CENTER PARTNERS TO BETTER SERVE NEEDS OF LOW-INCOME AND UNINSURED CALIFORNIANS

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By Janis Russell

Photos by Carol Sonstein and Janis Russell

March 9, 2016 (San Diego) - Many turned out to support Council of Community Clinics as they rebranded into Health Center Partners (HCP) and the subsidiary Health Quality Partners on March 2. HCP is an association of 17 community health care locations in San Diego, Imperial and Riverside Counties, including an Alpine location in East County.

The newest subsidiary to join is Integrated Health Partners. The event took place at their San Diego Family Care in Linda Vista set to open in a few weeks.

Sparkle Barnes, Chief Strategy Officer, welcomed guests and announced, “This has turned into the largest primary care system in the U.S…we champion the delivery of primary care.”

Barnes also wanted to recognize CEOs from different companies, board members, funders, and elected officials in attendance. She then introduced Jason Weisz,Senior Field Representative, from Speaker Toni Atkins’ office.

Weisz first gave an update from Sacramento. “We passed the MCO tax with a bi-partisan tax.” He explained that this tax brings billions of dollars to support developmentally disabled and health care clinics. Weisz presented an award of congratulations to Health Center Partners’ CEO Henry Tuttle.

Tuttle spoke next. “We’re here to celebrate many things,” he said, noting that next  year, the Council turns 40 years old. Many of the clinics are “equal in size or larger than the Missouri or Florida counterparts,” he added of the 17-member organization with 40 practice sites. “Going forward, as we forge ahead, we are focused on an ambitious strategic plan,” Tuttle stated. That plan is to transform primary care. We will make a difference.”

He recalled the bold vision of forbearers who met in San Diego’s Midcity location basement and founded the Council 40 years ago.

Why the name change now to Health Center Partners? 

Tuttle explained, “Our name celebrates more accurately who we are.” He introduced several of the company’s employees who will work under the new name Health Center Partners.  A press release states, “The branding of the new name is tied to their vision to meet the “evolving health needs of nearly 800,000 low-income and uninsured Californians…” 

(To see an article about the company’s restructure of employees, read: http://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2016/02/22/LA27730).

Next, Sabra Matovsky, Executive Vice President of Integrated Health Partners, shared her thoughts. “We’re now facing people with chronic issues who have trouble accessing healthcare,” she said of conditions such as depression. She emphasized how important it was to reach these types of patients. There’s also a big emphasis on combining data through each of Integrated Health Partners’ 12 community care clinics in order to deliver high quality health care.

She introduced Jessica Savage, the Director of Performance Improvement, for Integrated Health Partners (IHP).  Matovsky then asked Richard Chambers, President of Molina Healthcare, to come on up. Molina has been in full support of the clinics.

Chambers thought it was interesting that Molina had a similar background as Health Care Partners. “Today, with the launch of IHP, the Council of Community Clinics can continue that vision,” he said.

He congratulated Tuttle and his vision over the last two years. He also gave special thanks to Matovsky, who used to work at Molina. “In 2015, Molina provided $20 million to the Council of Community Clinics," part of which helped launch IHP.  "We’re glad to be a partner.” Chambers concluded. The CEO/President of San Ysidro Health Center and board chair of Health Center Partners, Kevin Mattson, presented Chambers with a plaque for the work done at Molina to improve health care.

Barnes wrapped up the event by encouraging those in support to follow them on social media.

Tuttle told ECM that the newest facility in Linda Vista will provide all kinds of health services.

When asked to explain why this event is called ‘Better Together,’ Tuttle replied, “We believe collectively we’re ‘Better Together’ to help improve health care."

According to a press release provided by Emily Lynn Anderson from Havas Formula, HCP is a “fully integrated primary health network designed to advance standards of care, improve outcomes and reduce costs for member community health centers.” 

Tuttle also mentioned in the press release, “We firmly believe that everyone deserves access to high quality health care.” With the launch of their new name, they will continue to serve their members by “championing the needs of the safety net population, enhancing the delivery of and access to high quality primary care, and acting as a trusted change agent and visionary by bringing forth innovative solutions and effective programs that positively impact health center outcomes.”

The purpose of IHP is “to address the shift to value-based care by leveraging aggregated member date for up to 500,000 patients to better analyze and understand the status of community health and drive performance improvement that will result in better patient outcomes, operational enhancements, and treatment effectiveness.” This helps IHP to “educate the care community and steward health resources for optimal use.”

Matovsky stated, “Integrated Health Partners is the solution for primary care in Southern California. By compiling and analyzing key performance indicators from across the region, we’re better able to understand the communities we serve, overcome cultural and linguistic barriers, solve the most challenging health care delivery problems and address existing and emerging critical needs. We are a united voice representing primary care providers, safeguarding the future of quality health care for the most vulnerable and ensuring a seat at the table for the important health care decisions on the horizon.”

Mattson stated, “As a long time member, we’ve found that the collaboration that exists between Health Center Partners and health centers is invaluable- providing a unique opportunity to speak with a strong, unified voice in support of primary care, meeting the growing needs of low-income and uninsured patients, and ensuring California’s health centers are well positioned for the future of health care. Health Center Partners is our region’s preeminent health care authority and policy advocate- focused on improving lives by elevating the primary care profession and enhancing our ability to deliver quality health care.”

HCP’s Program of Work 2020 is a “comprehensive strategic framework designed to ensure members remain at the forefront in meeting the evolving health care needs of the most vulnerable in our communities [and] establishes broad-reaching and aggressive goals for organizational transformation.”

A poster for HCP mentions that they are “working to make the health care safety net stronger.” HCP is “the voice and advocate for its members, who serve the needs of the communities throughout Southern California.” They have thought leadership and senior advocacy. “We are the thought leader and innovative influencer of change, inspiring our members to be on the forefront of primary health care. We have developed deep and effective relationships with local, state and federal policy health officials, other health care leaders and the community at large. Education and training programs help members implement best practices and improve operational efficiency.”

A poster for IHP says “Integrated Health Partners of Southern California is working to deliver better health outcomes and healthier lives.” They are “proof of the adage, ‘power in numbers.’ As a clinically integrated primary care network, IHP unites the voice of 12 HCP health centers to safeguard the future of quality healthcare for the safety net population and ensure them a seat at the table for the important healthcare decisions of the future.”

Health Quality Partners “supports community health centers and other safety-net partners in taking the best possible care of their patients” as  a “trusted partner with a successful track record in grant-funded program administration; implementing progressive, collaborative programs with health centers and other safety net partners, resulting in improved access to care, quality health outcomes and operational efficiencies.”

For more information on Health Care Partners, visit: http://hcpsocal.org/.