Recently the HCC of Rural Missouri announced that it would be taking over the daily operations of the Rural Health Clinics located in Waverly and Concordia, Mo. This is a project that we have been pursuing since 2009, when the staff, board and committed community partners determined that there was a desperate gap in services. There was a wonderful feeling in the air that day in the board room as we took the issue to a vote. Smiles all around the table, as most of us could remember the countless hours that went into planning for this mission. You see, most of us saw it as a mission, a responsibility to do what was right.
Even the timing was right: the HCC was finally at the right capacity to run the clinic, the right partner organizations had been identified, the right board members were committed and the right messaging in place for the communities, funders and partners. We knew that the work had been done to ensure a sustainable program and now it was time to take that leap of faith.
We are extremely proud of our long-term commitment to the underserved population of rural West Central Missouri. We work with several local and state offices to ensure that legislative efforts at all levels are communicated to our local communities. Most recently we met with Representative Kolkmeyer and Senator Pearce regarding the effort to expand Medicaid in Missouri. We will continue to work with our policy leaders within the network to ensure that the message is clear, Medicaid expansion is critical to the success of not only community health centers, but also rural hospitals, to increase jobs, payroll, gross state product and tax revenue.
Along with this initiative, our organization — a soon to be staff of 20, board of 11, budget of $2.3 million with the two clinic sites — is also responsible for developing the first health information technology programs for the county, including the introduction of eRX and Electronic Medical Records for primary care in 2010. HCC also develops and implements programs for active and healthy schools, communities, worksites and cities. Most recently we launched a program to address the co-occurrence of diabetes and depression in rural Missourians.
HCC also has a formal arrangement with MU School of Medicine AHEC to ensure that each program has an emphasis on workforce development and provider recruitment. HCC has contracts with a medical director, external evaluator, marketing agency and grant writer.
Please join us in our next steps, as we launch a comprehensive dental, behavioral health and primary care under one roof in two new locations this April. We are estimating that there will be more than 8,000 primary care visits and 1,400 dental visits in the first 15 months alone.
We are so excited about this new adventure – please come out and see us as we launch new programs and increase access to services!