Seeing Is Believing: Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, Notes "Success" in Touring One Community Health

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HOOD RIVER, Ore., Jan. 21, 2016 — When it comes to health care success stories, seeing is believing. And that’s exactly what Representative John Huffman, R-The Dalles, noted after a recent meeting and site tour at One Community Health (OCH) in The Dalles. Facilitated by the Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA), the visit took place Wednesday, January 19. Huffman listened intently as

OCH leaders shared a video and recent data, demonstrating the steady uptick in patient care and services. In just the past few years, OCH has been serving an increased number of patients, at least partly because more people are now eligible for Medicaid. In response, the nonprofit, federally qualified health center has been working to meet the demand through a more proactive, comprehensive approach to treating the “whole person.” It has expanded its staff and worked to better integrate its primary health care services and dental program. In addition, OCH has enhanced its in-house preventive care solutions and strengthened community partnerships to help facilitate behavioral health, nutrition and wellness programs.

“It’s really exciting to see how everything here has evolved so quickly yet effectively,” said Huffman, who attended the open house and ribbon cutting of OCH in The Dalles back in spring 2013. “I’m thrilled about what One Community Health is doing for health and dental care for the Mid-Columbia region. It’s great to be here again and actually see the success.”

Leading the OCH meeting and site tour were Dave Edwards, CEO, Elizabeth Aughney, DDS, clinical integration director, and Lynne Frost, DNP, clinical operations director, all from OCH. The three discussed the demographics of patients served, the shared needs that have been surfaced through OCH surveys, as well as some clinic statistics. For example, in the past three years, OCH experienced a 19 percent increase in medical patient visits while dental visits soared by 54 percent.

“While we’re serving mostly Medicaid and uninsured patients, these numbers reflect an entire community of patients who are seeking affordable, quality services in a caring environment and integrated structure,” Aughney said. “This means working together and removing the ‘silos’ within our own approach to treatment, for example, addressing dental needs to help prevent other physical conditions or illnesses.”

This year (2016) marks the 30th anniversary of One Community Health, which was founded in 1986 and originally called “La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center, Inc.” Not seeing any end to the demand for its services, OCH is currently in the midst of planning for more growth.

“We were really grateful to have Representative Huffman come learn about our current needs and also how much we’ve accomplished in just a few years’ time,” Edwards says. “Whenever we get a chance to show people how much we’ve done, often with very limited resources, it’s very rewarding and important. It’s a testimony to great creativity, passion, and the talent of our team, many of whom have worked for decades to ensure this service is making a difference for the patients it serves.”

About One Community Health One Community Health (OCH) is a nonprofit, federally qualified community and migrant health center with clinics in The Dalles and Hood River, Ore. Formerly known as La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center, Inc., it was founded in 1986 and, today, has evolved into an official Patient-Centered Primary Care Home. Today, OCH provides services to over 10,000 patients and has served over 50,000 during its history. OCH has a special mission of outreach and service to migrant and seasonal farmworkers in its agricultural region. In addition, OCH excels in providing proactive and innovative health promotion programs that sustain its integrated, value-based approach to health and wellbeing. Dedicated to advancing health and social justice for all its community members, OCH serves patients from the Mid-Columbia River Gorge Region: Wasco, Hood River, Klickitat and Skamania Counties. For more information, click here or visit: http://www.onecommunityhealth.org/.

Media Contact: Katie Roberts, Communications Director, (303) 709-2912 writerkatieroberts@gmail.com

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