Community Health Center, Inc. Brings Specialty Consultations To School-Based Health Centers in Remote Regions of New Mexico

$1.1 million federal award recognizes CHC’s Technology-Focused Expertise in Primary Care

MIDDLETOWN, Conn: Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) has been awarded $1.1 million under the federal HRSA Telehealth Network Grant Program to implement a telehealth network serving school-based health centers in rural New Mexico. CHC and its research arm, the Weitzman Institute, were selected based on significant, evidence-based experience providing electronic consultations (eConsults) in primary care settings.

CHC is partnering with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Presbyterian Medical Services of New Mexico to implement the program to provide children in high-need, severely isolated settings with specialty consults in behavioral health, cardiology, endocrinology and pulmonology.

“Primary care providers who treat school children in remote areas of New Mexico now will have access to specialty consults,” said Daren Anderson, M.D., director of the Weitzman Institute. “The evidence collected will drive change throughout the healthcare delivery system. This is a turning point in healthcare delivery to rural, underserved populations and has important national implications.”

CHC’s eConsult platform is extremely responsive, with specialists receiving referrals and providing eConsults within 48 hours of a provider request. Published research undertaken by the Weitzman Institute shows eConsults maintain quality and reduce time for patients in need of a specialist consultation and reduce the need for face-to-face specialty visits. CHC will measure outcomes for the children in behavioral health, obesity, diabetes and asthma.

In addition, CHC’s widely acclaimed Project ECHO® will be used to join school-based health providers with specialists to discuss challenging cases. Project ECHO is a recurring, state-of-the-art teleconference through which primary care providers attain the knowledge essential to managing complex conditions.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Presbyterian Medical Services to bring specialty consults to providers working in challenging, extremely remote school-based locations,” said Mark Masselli, Community Health Center’s president and CEO. “We look forward to pioneering transformational models of care in frontier settings, seeking to improve the health of New Mexico’s neediest children.”

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About Community Health Center, Inc.

Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary healthcare system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 145,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit www.chc1.com.

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