WELLONE CELEBRATES NATIONAL HEALTH CENTER WEEK

August 27th, 2015

National Health Center Week is being celebrated August 9 through August 15 this year.

WellOne is just one example of how Community Health Centers are helping to provide a safety net for individuals living in an underserved population. A nonprofit, Federally-Qualified Health Center, WellOne provides primary medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and other patient support services. Established in 1909, WellOne is the oldest community health center in Rhode Island, and was the first rural health clinic in the nation. The organization hosted the first measles clinic in Rhode Island and the first community mumps clinic in the nation. Throughout its existence, WellOne has served as a pioneer in public health initiatives.

WellOne helps to ensure the availability of locally accessible, affordable healthcare for the residents of the communities that it serves. These communities include the Towns of Burrillville, Foster, Glocester, Scituate, Smithfield, North Kingstown and East Greenwich. The organization has been awarded recognition as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. PCMH is a model of care that promotes accessible, comprehensive care; emphasizes care coordination and communication; and encourages patients and families to be actively involved in health care decisions.

Despite all of the recent changes in the health care industry, WellOne remains steadfast in its unwavering dedication to reducing health disparities and to increasing access to care for patients, regardless of ability to pay.

“Not only are health centers great places for entire families to receive their healthcare, these organizations serve as economic engines for their local communities,” states Peter Bancroft, President and CEO of WellOne. His comments are supported by a recent Economic Impact Study conducted by Capital Link and commissioned by the Rhode Island Health Center Association. The Capital Link Report indicates that WellOne is saving the health care system dollars, providing jobs in its communities and contributing to the economy in various other ways.

According to the 2013 Capital Link Report; 13,400 patients made more than 50,000 health care visits to WellOne and the care provided by WellOne resulted in more than $17 million of estimated annual savings for the health care system. The organization contributed approximately $2.5 million in tax revenues at the local, state and national levels. WellOne supported 154 jobs (91 directly employed individuals and 63 jobs in other industries) and generated a positive total annual economic impact of more than $19 million.

Health centers are a highly effective model of care in a rapidly evolving health care environment. WellOne Primary Medical and Dental Care salutes its employees and all of those individuals across Rhode Island and the nation who work in community health centers.

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