The Weitzman Institute, CHC’s research, training and innovation center, works with health centers, health systems, ACOs and others in 37 states, providing tools to improve care and transform healthcare delivery within three pillars: clinical excellence, research & innovation, and training.
CHC develops health professions training programs, including a postgraduate Nurse Practitioner residency training, and a national organization to support it (National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium.) They also created a new model of medical assistant education and training through the National Institute of Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA), established in 2016, which has graduated two cohorts of students.
WHAT MAKES THIS VENDOR UNIQUE
- The Weitzman Institute is born of CHC’s intense commitment to excellence in primary care, and to using what it has learned to further study, refine and improve primary care through consultation, training and research.
- Because CHC provides a full range of comprehensive primary care and social services (medical, dental, behavioral health) to all, particularly to those who are uninsured, underinsured, or part of key populations such as patients with HIV/AIDS or those being treated for opioid addiction, it continually informs the work of the Weitzman Institute on the major issues of concern that must be addressed and resolved through research, testing and implementation science. Out of this has come the very strategic, practical and effective responses for which we are known, for example: eConsults to address the gap in access to specialist consultation for low income patients, Project ECHO to provide practice providers with effective, targeted on-going training, postgraduate training for NPs and clinical psychologists to both clinical complexity and high performance health care, to name just three.
A SUCCESSFUL TA EXPERIENCE
Providing effective, evidence-based care for primary care patients with chronic pain presents a significant challenge. The Weitzman ECHO model was successfully utilized to educate Colorado primary care medical and behavioral health providers on caring for patients with pain between March 2015 and April 2017. Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) and its Weitzman Institute, delivered a comprehensive intervention to improve the health outcomes of Medicaid recipients with chronic pain and opioid addiction and to address rising rates of prescription drug abuse in the state. The intervention utilized the Project ECHO model and PainNET, an online learning community, to help participating providers transform their management of pain and opioid dependence and expand access to evidence-based care. This project demonstrated Weitzman ECHO, as an intervention, enhanced provider’s knowledge and confidence to treat pain in primary care.
The statements in this document are made solely by Community Health Center, Inc. No statement in this document should be construed as an official position of or endorsement by Abt Associates Inc. or the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
ABOUT COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) 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 in more than 200 locations statewide. CHC offers primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. Through its Weitzman Institute, CHC has been able to share innovative health care programs that are now being used by health care systems in 37 states.
ORGANIZATION FUN FACTS
- CHC’s main clinical building in Middletown, CT features a rooftop garden open to the public for Friday lunches during the summer and for staff and their families to watch the fireworks on the Connecticut River on the Fourth of July. Members of the local garden club help maintain the thousands of plants on the roof, and work with developmentally delayed adults to grow and harvest vegetables. These vegetables are donated to a food shelter in Middletown to help members of the community access fresh produce.
- The first CHC facility was a second floor, two room walk up apartment. They have come a long way, not Just in Middletown but across the state of Connecticut and nationally.
- “All Kinds of Dance; All Kinds of People” is the sign above the door at “Vinnie’s Jump and Jive”, where CHC for many years operated its own dance hall on Main St. in Middletown, CT. “Vinnie’s Jump and Jive” is where the community gathers for dance events, dance classes, and opportunities for social engagement in a healthy, safe, accessible environment. Whether it’s swing, tap, ballet, or special improvisational classes for people living with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, it is emblematic of their broad and creative approach to health and community engagement.
QUOTES FROM CLIENTS
“Project Echo helped me to have more honest, direct conversations with patients about the impact and risks of long-term narcotic use. I am more confident about treatment options and non-narcotic medications for neuropathic pain and migraine headaches. The case presentations gave me additional insight into alternative treatments for peripheral neuropathy and gave my patients hope that we still have more options for treatment. I helped several patients taper off all narcotics with the realization that they really haven’t made them be more active.” -Julie Brady, MD, Colorado Springs Health Partners