Family Health Centers officials say a new training center will offer opportunities for employee training, staff development, telemedicine and healthy meal preparation.
“Having a training facility that will afford our staff the ability to improve their knowledge and education in terms of the health care business is one of our visions,” FHC board member Rogers Ideozu said.
Community, government and health officials gathered Tuesday afternoon at FHC’s main Orangeburg site on Magnolia Street to break ground on the 12,184-square-foot training center.
It is a vision that FHC Chief Executive Officer Leon Brunson Sr. has had for more than a year.
“I’m happy and very proud. All I want to see is that it be built and the first training class go through. That would make me feel that I achieved something special,” Brunson said.
“No other federally qualified health center has visualized the necessity for training for its staff, and it will be continuous in order to keep the staff up to date in their area,” he said.
Brunson said the center is slated to be complete in nine months and “by June 30, we’ll be in this building.”
Mcdonald Law Architects of Aiken is the architect for the project, with AOS Specialty Contractors of Lexington serving as the contractor.
The training facility will include a 250-seat multipurpose room that can be divided into four training rooms, staff offices and a fully-equipped kitchen for a dietician to prepare healthy meals.
“We need a place to train our employees. … We (also) have a distance learning component,” Brunson said.
The facility will be used for new employee training and for annual refresher training for the existing workforce to keep them up-to-date with technological advances. The total investment for the new training facility is estimated at more than $1 million.
“It will house telemedicine, which will be connecting us to all the school districts in our service area. We’re starting this year with Denmark-Olar and Calhoun County (school districts). Next year we will bring in Orangeburg County schools’ telemedicine program,” Brunson said.
“A healthy child shall learn, shall be a productive citizen. That’s one of our goals at the Family Health Center,” Brunson said.
FHC Board Member James Arrington touted FHC’s long history in providing health care.
He recalled how Family Health Centers Inc. began as the Orangeburg County Consumer Health Council, which was founded in September 1969 and was chartered in January 1970.
Family Health Centers now has its main Orangeburg site on Magnolia Street in Orangeburg, along with six satellite sites in Denmark, Vance, Holly Hill, Norway, St. Matthews and St. George.
“We are gathered here today to carry on something that started many years ago,” Arrington said.
FHC Chief Finance Officer Shasonda Amous said, “The training center will house our finance department, which includes accounting, billing and purchasing, our scheduling department and telehealth services.
“The construction of this new facility here at Family Health Centers demonstrates dedication to its staff as it will also bring new training opportunities.”
Amous said the construction of the center not only shows the FHC’s dedication to its staff, “but it shows the remarkable leadership and vision that our CEO has for Family Health Centers.”
Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler said, “Family Health Centers has served so many of our people in this city. They have provided the best service that I know,” particularly to the uninsured and underinsured population.
“They’re able to come in and get the best care. We do appreciate that,” Butler said.
Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright said it takes a team effort to improve the quality of life for county citizens, with FHC playing an integral role in that.
Of the training center, he said, “I’m sure that it will be a tremendous asset to the county and its citizens to have this center open.”
Orangeburg County Councilman Willie B. Owens said, “I know the importance of the Family Health Center.” The new training center “will be more than adequate to serve Orangeburg
Govan: Health care should be a right;
Family Health Centers celebrates at luncheon
Faith and vision have helped sustain Family Health Centers as it provides health care in Orangeburg and at its six satellite sites, according to Rep. Jerry Govan.
The Orangeburg Democrat joined others recently in celebrating the organization’s achievements. Orangeburg County Top 10: RMC, FHC are leading providers
“I don’t think we really understand how important the contributions of this Family Health Center have been to this community and to this state,” Govan said.
“I want to challenge the staff, I want to challenge this board to keep on keeping on. We wrestle today with perhaps the most challenging, complex public policy issue of our time: accessible, affordable, high-quality health care for all,” he said, noting that it “should be a right and not a privilege.”
FHC sees healthy growth Govan was the keynote speaker during Family Health Centers’ annual Legislative Breakfast, which was held at the New Vision Center in Orangeburg.
National Health Care Center Week 2018 was observed Aug. 12-18, marking the 53rd year of the community health center movement. The theme for 2018 was “Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Health Care Heroes.”
Family Health Centers Inc. is part of a nationwide network of health centers that serve more than 27 million Americans, providing care to the medically vulnerable and underserved.
Family Health Centers gets funds to improve care, services Family Health Centers Inc. began as the Orangeburg County Consumer Health Council, which was founded in September 1969 and was chartered in January 1970.
Family Health Centers has its main Orangeburg site on Magnolia Street in Orangeburg, along with six satellites sites in Denmark, Vance, Holly Hill, Norway, St. Matthews and St. George.
Govan said what Family Health Centers has done throughout its service region is noteworthy.
“You’ve given one in seven Medicaid beneficiaries health, one in three individuals who are in poverty, one in five low-income individuals. And you’ve saved the health care system some $27 million, or an estimated 24 percent in savings, by providing services to over 22,000 patients.
“You’ve obtained a good report by providing some 246 jobs to people, many who live … in the community. That generates an economic impact of in excess of $20.5 million and some $2 million in tax revenues,” he said.
The legislator added, “Can you imagine Orangeburg and this vicinity absent 246 jobs and $20.5 million? All I’m trying to say is that because of the faith of a few people with a vision, who had faith with purpose, who turned ordinary into extraordinary … you’ve received a good report.”
Govan said the state has taken measures to improve health care, including providing $3.5 million in increased funding for the state’s Rural Health Initiative and $5 million through a telemedicine proviso for continued infrastructure development, along with a $1 million increase in recurring funds for telemedicine operations.
“There are a lot of things going on, but the concern here is: Are we really putting the funds where they’re needed in which the total community has access?” Govan said.
Family Health Centers offers vital services
He said community health centers have been a model of providing “quality prevention and primary health care for many of the most underserved of the community.”
But he also noted, “We need to educate individuals, we need to educate families and we need to educate communities in terms of healthy nutrition, healthy lifestyles and the importance of preventive care.
“As chairman-elect of the Legislative Black Caucus, we’re committed to this,” he said, noting that collaboration between the government, health care and education communities will be the “key to expand and build out what we have going on right now.”
“I believe we must strive through innovation to come up with new ways to not only make health care more affordable, but find creative ways to recruit and retain the necessary health professionals, i.e., the doctors, specialists, nurses and other paraprofessionals and support staff,” Govan said.
“We must understand that health care for all has to become more than a perception. It must become a reality.”
During the program, Govan was presented with an Outstanding Service Award and the following were presented Hero Care Awards: Polly Gardner, Frances Johnson, Rodney Johnson and William Richburg. Lamont Roach accepted the award on behalf of his late great-grandfather Clifton Thomas. Emma F. Blocker and Bessie Charley were not present to receive their awards.
During the breakfast, FHC Chief Finance Officer Shasonda Amous read a proclamation from Gov. Henry McMaster, who proclaimed Aug. 12-18 as S.C. Health Center Week. A proclamation was also read from Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler proclaiming Aug. 12-18 as National Health Care Week.
Family Health Centers CEO Leon Brunson Sr. said the center is financially sound and takes pride in maintaining its mission to promote health and provide quality comprehensive health care to all with courtesy.
“We take a great deal of pride in serving our patients with a smile,” Brunson said.
Family Health Centers is looking to provide telemedicine services to 28,000 children in the Calhoun County School District, Denmark-Olar School District 2 and the Orangeburg County Consolidated District over the next two years.
Following the breakfast, he said, “We’re also building a training center in the lower part of our campus, where we will have adequate space to have this type of affair and any other large meeting we want to hold” within the next eight months.
He said the Family Health Centers is a “safety net” for many who would otherwise not be able to afford health care.
“A lot of people just can’t afford to pay the price for health care, but when they come to a safety net, which is a federally qualified health center, we’re going to see them because the federal government helps subsidize us. Medication is very reasonable for those populations,” he said.
Family Health Centers offers vital services
The T&D Region has reason to be proud of Orangeburg-based Family Health Centers Inc. As one of the state’s largest community health centers nears its 50th anniversary in 2020, FHC is providing crucial primary care and many other services to thousands of people.
Family Health Centers Inc. began as the Orangeburg County Consumer Health Council in September 1969 and was chartered in 1970.
As a federally qualified health center that is nonprofit, community-owned and federally funded, FHC today has a mission to enhance and expand community-responsive quality health care for the medically underserved and uninsured in Orangeburg, Bamberg, Calhoun and Dorchester counties. It fulfills that need with its main Orangeburg site and satellite locations in Denmark, Holly Hill, Neeses, St. George, St. Matthews and Vance.
Improving access and eliminating health disparities are among its goals as it provides everything from dental, pediatrics, pharmaceutical and extended-hour walk-in service to OB/GYN, podiatry, family medicine and behavioral health services. The FHC has 166 employees and a total annual economic impact of $21,985,537.
During this National Health Center Week, FHS has been holding activities to serve the community and foster awareness. Toward improving services, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded FHS during the special week more than $100,000 to enhance health record reporting, make clinical improvements and advance health information technology.
FHC is among 22 health centers in South Carolina receiving federal funding via Quality Improvement grants totaling $1,823,066. The grants come through the Health Resources and Services Administration and are to be used to improve quality, efficiency and the effectiveness of health care delivery.
Of note, more than half of the FHS funding is for achieving recognition via the HRSA’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition Initiative.
PCMH supports health centers working toward better care and lower costs for patients. Recognition involves assessing a health center’s approach to patient-centered care. Health centers can achieve PCMH recognition by meeting national standards for primary care that emphasize care coordination and ongoing quality improvement.
Recognition is not unusual for FHC, as the center was accredited by the Joint Commission in 1999, verifying it is in compliance with nationally recognized standards. It was the first primary care medical home in the state to receive such accreditation.
The role of FHC and other centers is vital. Amid many disagreements in Washington, on that there should be no discord.
HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan: “Community health centers provide coordinated, comprehensive, and patient-centered care to millions of Americans. They have a track record of delivering quality care at significantly lower cost, and are vital partners in our movement toward a health system that delivers quality, affordable, value-based health care for all Americans.”
HRSA Administrator George Sigounas: “Quality, value-based care is a priority of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HRSA-funded health centers serve as leaders in quality health care in the U.S. Nearly all HRSA-funded health centers demonstrated improvement in one or more clinical quality measures from the year prior, and these funds will support health centers’ work to improve the quality of care they deliver every day in their communities around the country.”
Toward informing Americans about health centers, HRSA released new data compiled through its Uniform Data System reporting, providing an update on health centers’ provision of primary health care services. In 2017, more than 27 million people (approximately 1 in 12 U.S. residents) relied on a HRSA-supported health center for affordable, accessible primary health care including:
- One in nine children 17 years or younger.
- One in five rural residents.
- One in three people living in poverty.
- More than 355,000 U.S. veterans.
FHC invites the community to learn more about its services and celebrate this Saturday in Orangeburg at its annual Community Health Fair from 9 a.m. to noon. This year, the agency anticipates at least 20 vendors will participate from various organizations and businesses throughout Orangeburg and surrounding cities. There will be free food and prizes, games and activities, FREE Backpacks (filled with school supplies) but a child must be present to receive an item.
FHC Medicaid staff gets regional award
Family Health Centers Medicaid Eligibility Staff: From left are David Collins, Jordan Page, Justin Johnson, Kimberly Greene, John Churchwell, Andra Saxon and Jerome Corley.
The Family Health Centers Inc. Medicaid Eligibility Staff was recognized by SC Thrive with the award of Regional Partner of the Year 2017.
SC Thrive presents the award to one organization in each region that has produced the most applications, trainings and/or offered the most S.C. Thrive services in a given year. This award was data-based and determined based on reports and training statistics prior to Annual Training.
The regions include Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg.“We at SC Thrive are honored to partner with Family Health Centers, an organization that works tirelessly to bring comprehensive care to their patients,” said Lindsey Perret, business development doordinator for SC Thrive.
“I would like to thank my staff on the remarkable job that they have and are doing,” said Justin Johnson, medicaid eligibility coordinator at FHC. “This award really means a lot to the team, especially after all the challenges that we face.”
SC Thrive is a statewide nonprofit organization offering solutions to South Carolinians in need of resources but facing a multitude of barriers. It provides a variety of training and technology to other direct0service organizations so they can more effectively help people access these resources.
Quality Comprehensive Health Care
Family Health Centers, Inc. is dedicated to patients and their families. FHC features excellent physicians, nurses, and premier technology. We have seven locations with the main office in Orangeburg. Here you will find caring doctors and nurses who strive to give you the best possible health care, in a friendly, inviting atmosphere.We take the time to get to know you and truly listen. Nothing makes us happier than keeping you and your family healthy!
Family Health Centers participating in Hypertension Coaching Program with pharmacists
Welcome To Family Health Centers