Maple City Health Care Center to help develop national model for primary care
Posted: 11/29/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Nick Wesman
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Dr James Nelson Gingerich takes a look at 2 year-old Nathan Molona 11/27/2012. Molina is held by his mother Carla Rivera who brought the child to Maple City Health Care Center 11/27/2012 with flu like symptoms. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
Dr James Nelson listens to the chest of Ikam Ul Haque Chandhry 11/27/2012 at the Maple City Health Care Center. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
A laptop rests on a child scale in the Maple City Health Care Center 11/27/2012. Patient records are computerized at Maple City Health Care Center. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
Dr James Nelson Gingerich shows an oto ophthalmoscope to 2 year-old Nathan Molina. An oto ophthalmoscope is u sed to examine the ear channelMolina is held by his mother Carla Rivera who brought the child to Maple City Health Care Center 11/27/2012 flu like symptoms. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
Dr James Nelson Gingerich talks with Carla Riveria about caring for her sick son 11/27/2012 at the Maple City Health Care Center. 2 year-old Nathan Molina had flu like symptoms. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
Dr James Nelson Gingerich (right) and Dr Rose Gillian talk in a hallway work space at Maple City Health Care Center 11/27/2012. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
Dr Ann Hoff works in a hallway work space 11/27/2912. Dr Hoff is an internist with Maple City Health Care Center. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
Maple City Health Care Center staff meet to discuss reorganizing patient scheduling and making time for patients who need to see a doctor quickly. From left are pregnancy care coordinator Ellie Gering, Dr Ann Hoff, Nyla Jimenez Cabezas and Dr Rose Gillian. Cabezas manages the center’s services. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen)
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest exclusive public health foundation, recently tabbed Maple City Health as one of 30 exemplary practices throughout the nation that will help to build a model for the country through the foundation’s The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (LEAP) project.
The LEAP project’s goal is to build a model to improve primary care across the country, said Dr. James Nelson Gingerich, director of Maple City Health Care.
The foundation began searching for primary care centers to help develop that model, which will help practices throughout the nation to operate “effectively, cost effectively and innovatively in ways that will strengthen our communities and improve the health in our communities,” Gingerich explained.
After conducting an interview and looking over the center’s paper work, the Johnson Foundation sent a representative to Goshen for about a week earlier this year to observe Maple City Health Care’s operations.
Sometime next spring, Gingerich said, the foundation will release a report of their findings that will be posted on their website. From there, he continued, representatives from each of the 30 practices will meet periodically over the next two or three years to discuss the most effective and affordable health care strategies for patients.
One of the things Gingerich believed caught the foundation representative’s attention while they were immersed in Maple City Health Care’s operations was their approach to staffing.
Gingerich said that many positions within the organization that require on-the-job training, like a receptionist, are often filled by patients. When looking to fill a hole, they ask the staff, “Who is there among our patients that sort of lives out our values and would be a good fit here?”
Hundreds of practices across the United States were nominated for the distinction and Dr. Gingerich said he has no idea how the foundation found their practice. He is proud of the recognition, though, no matter how the Johnson Foundation heard about them.
“It’s a kind of acknowledgement of excellence and recognition of our years of work here working at developing something locally that works.”
Gingerich said he isn’t sure what the model will look like exactly, as LEAP projects leaders finalize their studies and list of 30 practices but he has some idea of how the model may influence health care.
“One of the things we’re starting to see here, locally, is a shift in how people anticipate health care is going to paid for,” he said. “And it’s changing how people are thinking about care. There’s an increasing focus on prevention and health care promotion in the community and keeping people healthier and keeping them out of the hospital.”
“When this model comes out, we’ll see how compelling it is and how seriously people take it.” Gingerich added, however, that he believes the model will be taken seriously because of the size and influence of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Being recognized for excellence and invited to share in the creation of the model is a vote of confidence of sorts for the practice that is focused on helping create a healthy, functional community on several levels.
“We’re about more than medical care in a narrow sense,” Gingerich said. “We’re about how we foster a healthier community where people live together and value each other across socioeconomic and sociocultural barriers.”