This month, at American Indian Health & Services in Santa Barbara, Medical Director Dr. Bradley Hope was honored by a local Chumash elder. It is always a proud moment when staff at one of the Urban Indian Health Programs we represent receives acknowledgement for their hard work in bringing quality care to the American Indian community. Thank you, Dr. Hope!
From the AIH&S Newsletter: ‘Our Medical Director, Dr. Hope, was honored with a Native American Blanket by Chumash elder, Miss Regina Lopez. Each side of the blanket was stitched with one of the four colors of the medicine wheel and the stitching around the blanket symbolizes a powerful song that was provided by Creator to Miss Regina, protecting Dr. Hope. Each colored tie symbolizes Miss Regina’s gratitude for Dr. Hope and the care he has given her over many years. In the center of the blanket is one special colorful tie that represents Miss Regina’s spirit, so that whenever Dr. Hope is nestled in the blanket, Miss Regina’s spirit will always be with Dr. Hope, protecting him.
“I am proudly honoring Dr. Hope with an Indian blanket. I highly respect and love him. He’s intelligent and compassionate for everything. I am so glad he is my doctor, as he has taken excellent care of me for many years. This blanket is handmade. Every black, white, red, and yellow stitch represent the colors of the medicine wheel. Around the blanket is a powerful song for him, which was given to me by the Creator. As you can see, there are many assorted colors of ties and yarn throughout the blanket—they represent a love of Dr. Hope and all his family members. I also put a different colored one on the back of the blanket that represent my spirit. Dr. Hope can wrap himself in it and can hear my chanting of prayers and songs.”‘
— Miss Regina.
Two members of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health, American Indian Health & Services and San Diego American Indian Health Center, are new recipients of the Health & Human Services’ New Access Point Awards.
The purpose of the Health Center Program New Access Point (NAP) funding opportunity is to improve the health of underserved communities and vulnerable populations by increasing access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services.
This news came through Health & Human Services’ Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell’s announcement today regarding the distribution of $169 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 266 new health center sites, including 48 California community health centers. These new health center sites are projected to increase access to health care services for over 1.2 million patients.
“Across the country, health centers have provided a source of high-quality primary care for people in rural and urban communities for 50 years,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield. “These Affordable Care Act funds build on the strong legacy of the health center program and provide even more individuals and families with access to the care they need the most.”
To see a list of award winners, visit http://bphc.hrsa.gov/programopportunities/fundingopportunities/NAP/0815awards/index.html.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) on September 10, 2014, announced that American Indian Health & Services of Santa Barbara, has received NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term, participative relationships. American Indian Health & Services (AIH&S) is the first organization in Santa Barbara County to receive Level 3 PCMH recognition from NCQA and is also a member of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health.
For 20 years, AIH&S has been committed to empowering the Santa Barbara community by delivering accessible, socially responsive, and culturally appropriate health care. Their medical department consists of seven providers offering services in pediatrics, endocrinology, family practice, and care coordination. Their dental clinic has four operatories, which are home to three dentists and one registered dental hygienist offering preventative and restorative care for adults and children. The behavioral health department consists of two licensed clinical social workers providing individual and group counseling and case management. CCUIH is very proud of their achievement of Level 3 PCMH recognition through NCQA.
The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patient and provider reported experiences of care.
“NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Recognition shows that American Indian Health & Services has the tools, systems and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time.”
To earn recognition, which is valid for three years, American Indian Health & Services demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home. NCQA standards aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.
To find clinicians and their practices with NCQA PCMH Recognition, visit http://recognition.ncqa.org.
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.
American Indian Health & Services’ Medical Director, Hollanda Leon, MD, has been featured in UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine’s U Magazine. You can read the article at U Magazine’s website or here:
In Her Own Words: Hollanda Leon, MD ’99
Hollanda Leon, MD ’99, is a board-certified family-practice physician and the medical director at the American Indian Health & Services Clinic in Santa Barbara, California. She has worked with the Native American community and medically underserved populations of Santa Barbara for more than 10 years. In 2007, she served as executive director and medical director during a transition phase of the clinic. Since then, the clinic has expanded from two providers to more than 13 healthcare professionals, including those in family practice, pediatrics, dentistry, mental health and endocrinology. The clinic serves Native Americans and non-Native Americans.
My interest in working with medically underserved populations began with my involvement with the Flying Samaritans at the University of California, Irvine during my undergraduate years. Over the course of my medical education at UCLA, I was involved in externships that sent me to various rural areas, including Yelapa, Mexico. I then took it a step further and decided to take a year off from medical school to explore different parts of the world and work on a project with Patrick Dowling, MD, MPH, chair of family medicine at UCLA, on Health Professional Shortage Areas in Los Angeles. These experiences showed me that even though there is a huge medical need in other countries, sometimes the medical need is greatest in our own backyard.
During my residency at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, I decided to set up a rotation at the American Indian Health & Services Clinic. I was very excited to be offered a position when I completed my residency, and so my journey began in Native American health. Since I enjoyed working with an underserved population, this was a natural progression for me. Working with the Native American population has taught me a lot about patient care and treating patients respectfully by addressing their physical, social, emotional and spiritual well-being. We have a very busy clinic that serves a high-risk population with complicated medical and socioeconomic issues. Most of our patients are uninsured or have Medi-Cal or Medicare. Even though we are a small clinic, we are working on becoming a patient-centered medical home and are into our fourth year of electronic health records. We are very involved with the community and have a clinic on wheels that is used for health fairs and events. Our clinic is considered a model for many of the federally qualified health centers and urban Native American clinics. We have a great team of providers who all have the same passion to provide quality healthcare for our patients in the community.
One of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health’s members, American Indian Health & Services (AIHS) was awarded the “United for Health Partner of the Year” by the United Way of Santa Barbara County, during its 91st Annual Awards Celebration on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. This annual event recognizes local organizations and individuals for contributing to the community and United Way activities.