Between 2002-2011, we continued to grow to meet the healthcare needs of our communities. In 2002, we established Care for Her, a unique by-women, for-women service to provide more perinatal care for underserved women in inland Mendocino County. Then, with the assistance of the Howard Foundation and federal funding, we opened Little Lake Health Center in Willits, where we totalled more than 20,000 patient visits in the first year.
One of the biggest shifts in care during this time was our adoption of a formal, team-based model, integrating medical and behavioral health and helping each team member work to the top of their ability and license. We were one of the first health centers in California to work toward becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home as defined by the National Committee on Quality Assurance. By involving patients in the planning of their own care and treatment, they became more engaged and, therefore, more successful in achieving their health goals.
Here are some of the achievements we are most proud of between 2002-2011:
- We expanded our outreach and education activities.
- We began the Smiles Program, a dental outreach program where we went into local schools and taught hundreds of children how to care for their teeth, provided them with fluoride varnish and screened them for cavities.
- We also developed a perinatal education program for low-income pregnant women and participated in community health fairs to educate the public about important community health issues.
- We used grant funding to renovate our facilities and expand our services.
- A federal grant of $498,000 allowed us to renovate our Lake County facility so we could see thousands more patients each year.
- With support from the Tides Foundation, we worked with community partners to identify, educate and treat almost 4,000 individuals with Hepatitis C or at risk for Hepatitis C.
- And, building on the success of our health taxi service in Lake County, we used grant funding to purchase a van and began homeless community outreach with a “Care-a-van” service in Ukiah.
- In 2006, all three MCHC health centers achieved Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) accreditation, providing strong evidence of our commitment to patient safety and quality of care.
- In 2007, we purchased a panoramic X-ray unit. As part of our annual tradition, we also participated in Give Kids a Smile Day, providing free care to 80 children who could not afford the treatment they needed.
- In 2008, the Care for Her team assisted patients at more than 300 births, which represented a 10% increase from the previous year and meant we were now delivering a third of the babies born at our local hospital.
- In 2008, we transitioned from paper to electronic medical records, which helped us increase accuracy and efficiency.