Marshall University publication features Community Care physicians and Quality Care for Rural Communities
Community Care of West Virginia's chief medical officer, Dr. Sarah Chouinard, and Community Care of Clay physician, Kimberly Becher, MD, were recently featured in the Marshall University School of Medicine beneFactor magazine's article on Quality Care for Rural Communities. To read the magazine, click here.
Community Care of West Virginia is working to spread cheer and embracing the spirit of giving this holiday season by hosting a food and coat drive.
Community Care employees are collecting donated canned and non-perishable food items at each of its 15 health centers as well as its 45 school-based health sites, two dental offices, and pharmacies located in Clay, West Milford, Rock Cave and Buckhannon, said Richard Simon, chief executive officer for Community Care of West Virginia.
The healthcare provider is also collecting coats for families in need at the same sites stretching over seven counties, Simon added. Only new coats will be accepted for hygiene purposes, he noted.
“This is just one more way we can help out the people in our communities,” Simon explained. “Community Care of West Virginia is about providing service and meeting patient’s needs. Making sure our neighbors are properly clothed and have food is a much-needed service over the holidays and throughout the year.”
Employees at the sites will collect canned goods and coats through Dec. 6, according to Simon. The items will be distributed to local partners in each locations area for disbursement as appropriate. Simon hopes that area residents will turn out to support the food and coat drive.
“This is great way for us to continue work directly within our communities and to partner with local organizations that carry our same mission,” he expressed. “We are hoping everyone that can give, does.”
Simon pointed out that there are many people in need throughout the state, but requests for help from food pantries and churches typically rises dramatically during the winter months and holiday season.
Community Care of West Virginia operates facilities in across seven counties ranging from Clay to Pocahontas.
To read the story as published by WV Executive, click here.
Nov 7, 2017
BUCKHANNON — Community Care of West Virginia’s Green Bank, Marlinton and Hillsboro locations have received a Level 3 accreditation — the highest possible — from the National Committee for Quality Assurance for providing exceptional service and high quality care.
Community Care of West Virginia Chief Executive Officer Richard Simon was very pleased with the Level 3 accreditation.
“Our facilities across the region provide excellent service, and it is great to see these three locations in Pocahontas County get recognized for all of the employees’ hard work,” Simon said in a news release. “Receiving this level of accreditation is a testament to their focus on delivering high-quality, whole health care.”
Level 3 accreditation means the health care facilities met standards set forth by the NCQA, a nonprofit organization founded to improve the delivery of healthcare, to evaluate care, reporting and quality standards. According to the NCQA’s website, to reach a Level 3 accreditation, a facility must meet a “triple aim” of measurements that are based on “patient experience, better health and lower per capita cost.” A Level 3 accreditation status lasts three years.
Employees at the three health centers are very proud of the high level of accreditation, Simon said. But they are not resting on their laurels, he added.
“We want to make sure we continue to give the best quality service to our patients,” he stated. “And, we can always continue to improve.”
Although the NCQA will return to the locations in three years to reevaluate the staff’s performance, Simon is confident they will again meet and exceed the evaluation standards.
To read the story direct from The Inter-Mountain, click here.
BUCKHANNON — Service to community is something near and dear to Dr. Lyndsi Carpenter Cress’ heart, so returning to Upshur County to practice medicine in her hometown with Community Care of West Virginia made perfect sense.
Cress began working at the Community Care of West Virginia health center on Main Street of Buckhannon in August as one of the medical organization’s newest primary care physicians. She says that one of the most rewarding aspects of her job is that she often gets to see her patients in a social setting.
“It was really important for me to practice medicine where I grew up,” Cress said. “This is a really nice, small town and I want to help the people who live here. It’s really rewarding when you see people after you’ve treated them, and they’re doing much better.”
When asked about bringing Cress on board at CCWV, CEO Rick Simon knew she would be a good fit.
“Dr. Cress is a natural fit for Community Care of West Virginia,” stated Simon. “She’s a caring and compassionate person who loves her work. We are fortunate to have her on our team to further our mission of delivering total health care to our communities.”
Cress is no stranger to the mission of Community Care of West Virginia. Her mother, Debbie Carpenter, serves as the director of nursing for the organization, and her sister-in-law, Lindsey Ford, is the Main St. location’s patient services coordinator.
Cress graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 2003. She then studied exercise physiology at West Virginia University, where she graduated in 2007. Following graduation, Cress attended medical school at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg. She recently completed her residency at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.
Although she traveled around the state for school, she never strayed far from her hometown.
“I returned to Buckhannon while still in medical school, and did rotations in order to become familiar with local hospitals,”she said. “My ultimate goal was to return to Buckhannon to practice as a family medicine physician.”
Healing patients isn’t the only thing Cress loves. She and her husband, Rob, recently welcomed their first child, Max, into the world in June. In addition, the couple owns two dogs, Okie and Kilo. In her free time, Cress can be found working out, camping or traveling. She particularly enjoys visiting the state’s unique restaurants, breweries and wineries.
To read the story as published in the Inter-Mountain, please click here.
CLARKSBURG — Tuesday’s national holiday will lead to many more people being outdoors and in the woods, but state entomology and medical officials are stressing the importance of watching where you walk.
WVU Extension Entomology Specialist and Assistant Professor Daniel Frank specializes in agricultural pests, but found it important to get the word out about Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
Lyme disease cases are trending upward statewide, Frank said.
“When I first came and people were talking about Lyme disease, the Eastern Panhandle was considered pretty-much endemic, prevalent and common for Lyme disease. Since then, we’ve had cases of Lyme disease popping up in other areas of the state as well,” Frank said. “It’s a trend that we’re seeing elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic, too. It’s rapidly moving throughout the country.”
Frank said there are many theories as to why Lyme disease is spreading, including climate change, an increase in deer population and an increase in mice or other rodents. Mice or rodents generally infect ticks with Lyme disease.
“Usually deer are the last hosts ticks feed on, so generally when you see an increase in the tick population, you can be sure that there’s an increase in the deer population as well,” Frank said. “And, for the years where the mouse population has increased, there’s more of a chance for ticks to pick up that disease and spread it to humans.”
Other tick-borne diseases are not trending upward as much, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other bacterial diseases.
“Usually, those numbers are quite a bit lower than Lyme disease — maybe a handful compared to over 100 with Lyme disease,” Frank said.
To prevent ticks, Frank recommended tucking in one’s shirt and pulling socks over your pants to minimize skin exposure, as well as other tips.”
“I always like to recommend regular tick checks anytime that you’re in a habitat that is considered high-risk, like heavy woods, woodland edges or long grasses,” Frank said. “Just do a quick overview of your body to make sure there are no ticks on you. Also, if you are going to be in these tick habitats, there are repellants or Permethrin clothing which can kill ticks that come in contact.”
Community Care of West Virginia Family Nurse Practitioner Brandy Phares verified that more people are being seen for tick bites.
Phares said residents who develop body aches, a “bulls-eye rash” or if the site looks infected, painful or swollen should seek medical treatment.
“We are seeing a slight increase in Lyme disease,” Phares said, “so it is important to look out for those signs and symptoms.”
Phares asked that patients try to determine how long the tick has been on their bodies.
“If it has been on you from 24-72 hours, that’s when you start becoming at risk for Lyme disease,” Phares said. “After you come inside, we want you to check your body. If you remove that tick and you’re not developing any of those signs and symptoms, there’s really not a reason to be seen.”
According to Frank, ticks may feed anywhere on the body, but can commonly be found around the scalp, behind the ears, under armpits or behind knees and around waistbands. Because tick bites are often painless, most people are unaware that they have an attached tick unless they perform a careful visual inspection.
According to the state Department of Health and Human Resources website, if not treated, Lyme disease can progress over weeks to years to cause recurrent arthritis, pain and swelling at joints, facial palsy and neurological complications.
As of 2016, 11 counties in West Virginia were considered endemic for Lyme disease. Among them are Mineral, Roane and Wetzel counties.
Common tick species found in West Virginia include the American dog tick, black legged or deer tick and lone star tick, with the American dog tick the most commonly encountered in West Virginia. The American dog tick and lone star tick are about a 1/4 of an inch in length, but the black-legged tick is smaller, according to Frank.
All can be brown to reddish brown in color and can spread several pathogens.
Less than 30,000 Lyme disease cases were confirmed nationwide in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
A new mobile dental clinic will allow West Virginia Health Right to provide much-needed dental care for low-income families in six West Virginia counties. The mobile clinic will visit the Community Care of Clay location, at 122 Center Street, and be available to CCWV patients from Clay and Braxton counties.
Services are free of charge to uninsured or under-insured residents with Medicaid or Medicare.
To read the full story, click here.
Dentists will serve patients who need fillings, extractions and dental cleanings. The mobile clinic has all the features of a permanent dental office, including x-ray.
Community Care of West Virginia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sarah Chouinard, served as a key panelist in a conversation in Washington, D.C., to improve ways to address addiction care at the primary care level.
The expert panel meeting was hosted by the National Association of Community Health Centers with a goal of discussing how to create a system that can be put in place to help establish a framework for addiction medicine.
“Dr. Chouinard’s knowledge sharing at this assembly is continuing a conversation that Community Care has been having about the best way to help those in our population with addiction behaviors,” said Richard Simon, CEO of Community Care of West Virginia.
The panel in D.C. discussed substance abuse awareness and how to grow treatment options through the use of health centers. The conversation focused on developing a community approach, ways for a care team to address and recognize patients with addiction issues, delivering efficient care and putting infrastructure in place to assist people to succeed.
“We aim to provide treatment to our patients that can address issues that impact any facet of their care,” explained Simon. “Addressing addiction, whether it be drugs or food or otherwise, is a large part of being able to deliver whole health care.”
Chouinard was integral in establishing Community Care of West Virginia’s Pain Management Program. The treatment center provides a way for the providers of Community Care of West Virginia to collaborate with a care team and address chronic pain at the primary care level. Patients on the program must enter into a contract with terms of random drug screens and pill counts in order to monitor potential addiction behaviors.
Kimberly Becher named Rural Preceptor of the Year by the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine
The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine recognized a handful of basic science and clinical faculty for their achievements during a year-end award ceremony Wednesday evening.
“This annual recognition is always a highlight of the year,” said Darshana Shah, Ph.D., associate dean for the office of faculty advancement. “These awards are unified by a belief that faculty are the heart and soul of any academic institution, and that the reputation of an academic institution is influenced in great measure upon the quality and character of the faculty. We sincerely appreciate the countless contributions of our faculty to the betterment of JCESOM community.”
Kimberly R. Becher, M.D. was named Rural Preceptor of the Year. Dr. Becher is a physician with Community Care of West Virginia, at the Clay location, and is also an assistant professor in the department of family and community health at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
For the full story, please click here.
CCWV Partners with Marshall University Research Corp. to improve public health access in rural coal communities
Community Care of West Virginia is partnering with Marshall University Research Corp. to improve public health access to care in rural coal communities. CCWV patients in Clay, Harrison, Upshur and Webster counties will benefit.
For more information, read the full story at http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/mu-gets-grant-to-train-health-workers/article_29661ac8-a41d-5621-82f6-975594e2a8ac.html
Dr. Kimberly Becher of Community Care of West Virginia has received the 2016 “Rural Health Provider of the Year” award from the West Virginia Rural Health Association (WVRHA).
The Rural Health Care Provider award recognizes a direct service provider who exhibits leadership in the improvement of health care services to the rural areas of West Virginia.
Jennifer Plymale, Director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health, nominated Dr. Becher for her commitment to her community and rural medicine.
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito presented the award to Dr. Becher.
Senator Capito stated the following at the presentation, “You, like most family doctors, do not get the recognition that you deserve every day. When you are in physically and emotionally broken homes doing a home visits, or seeing kids who are in the most dire circumstances in rural Appalachia, or trying to figure out electronic health records and value based care, no one is handing you an award. Kimberly, you are the real deal.”
Dr. Becher is a native West Virginian who completed medical school and residency at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. She became involved in rural health policy issues at both the state and national level during her medical training and continues to be involved in issues related to her community and her practice.
Community Care of West Virginia CEO Rick Simon explained, “Dr. Becher is truly representative of what makes this state such a great place to live and work.”