by Chanel Ward
While Clínica Tepeyac continues to expand – becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in August of 2015, launching their pediatric program, to soon opening their second location – their mission to provide quality care for all continues to grow and on August 28th Clínica Tepeyac received the recognition and grants to support that growth.
The Health Center Quality Improvement FY 2019 Grant Awards, totaling $2,399,813 in awards to the state of Colorado and nearly $107 million across the country, are a part of The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration to expand on health centers. With 20 various health centers in Colorado earning one or more awards, Clínica Tepeyac was the only Health Center in Colorado to earn the Value Enhancer Award at $25,000.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region VIII Executive Officer, Elsa Ramírez and Nick Zucconi, Regional Administrator for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) presented the one-time grant awards to Clínica, which also included awards for: Health Center Quality Leaders ($24,399), Access Enhancer ($20,0000, Health Disparities Reducer ($7,500), Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality Awards ($6,000), and Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition ($35,000) totaling six awards at $117,899 in grants.
“In the country – in the region – Clínica [Tepeyac] is definitely a leader at the forefront of care,” expressed Ramírez. “What the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is doing, it announced $107 million in Quality Improvement Awards to 1,273 health centers, that’s not a lot around the country.”
“So, this is a really unique way to bring better and more informed health care to your patients. This is funded by HRSA and it’s using the awards to improve the quality, the efficacy and the value of the health care that we see today and that you are providing to patients,” continued Ramírez.
“Community health centers are at the forefront of a lot of this health care, a lot of this innovation that’s really going on to connect the data to the heath care, to the service provision,” said Ramírez. “To help people age in place, to help people be healthier day in and day out, this is where it’s happening — in our community health centers and we thank you for that.”
Ramírez extended recognition from Secretary Alex Azar and HHS.
Zucconi has been with the regional office since 1989, and in his experience he wanted to note two incredible facts about Clínica, “In 2018, 93% of prenatal patients received their initial visit in the first trimester and that’s an indicator and result we don’t often see at health centers, that’s really fine work,” praised Zucconi.
“In the country – in the region – Clínica [Tepeyac] is definitely a leader at the forefront of care.”
Elsa Ramírez, US Dept. Health & Human Services
“The other indicator that jumped out at me was that 87% of women are receiving a cervical cancer screening. Again, you don’t see rates like that across health centers,” noted Zucconi. “We’re here to present the Health Center Quality Leader Award and in selecting health centers to make this, one of the criteria I used was, is this a repeat performer, are they continually performing at a high level — and sure enough Clínica is,” said Zucconi.
Clínica Tepeyac received this award last year as well.
“When we first became a federally qualified health center just about four years ago, it was an opportunity to really expand our model of care and really expand the integrated model of care that we know our patients need and want,” said Jim García, Chief Executive Officer of Clínica Tepeyac. “So that was a really exciting opportunity to receive that level of support from HRSA to expand our efforts and now as we look toward the future of Clínica Tepeyac.”
Dr. Pamela Valenza, the Chief Health Officer at Clínica was invited up to the podium by Mr. García to help share their vision and appreciation for the award. “With the award recognition, we are in the top twenty percent of health centers for some of our quality measures and that is a huge achievement for a clinic that five years ago were only accepting non-insured patients. We were only running on volunteer support,” explained Dr. Valenza.
“We are still very heavily mission driven, we are still rooted in the community and we still have a lot of volunteers here, but I think the big shout out is to the staff who’s been here, who’s putting in the hard work and who are doing the things we need to do for our patients,” said Dr. Valenza. “Getting our quality measures up to make sure that our women are getting their best cancer screenings, our patients are getting their colon rectal screenings, they’re getting control of their diabetes, they’re getting control of their blood pressure and that’s partially on me with helping to create the direction, but most of it is on the staff who’s doing that everyday.”
Dr. Valenza offered further recognition to the Clínica staff. “From behavioral health, to our MA’s, to our providers, I really want to give a shout out to our staff members, not just who are out here today, but the ones inside and who are not here right now. For all of the hard work that you’re doing and all of the good work that we’re doing for the community and will continue to do.”
She added, “I only see good things happening as we continue to expand and grow and move into the new center to be able to offer more services to our patients and to be able to reach our patients even more.”
“I appreciate the award, my goal is that we continue to do a good job for our patients and that we continue to be a quality leader,” ended Dr. Valenza.
If you are interested in learning more about Clínica Tepeyac and their services, you can visit their website at clinicatepeyac.org or call their main location on 5075 Lincoln St. at (303) 458-5302.
Chanel Ward is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
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