From his vantage point as CEO of Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Brooks Miller identifies health crises in his community. He can name them easily: the opioid crisis, high-risk pregnancy and emergency room overcrowding. Miller has a plan to tackle each.
“We, along with others in the community, are trying to address this the best we can,” he says.
Although the opioid crisis came to greater public attention in the past year, Miller says it has been on Jordan Valley’s radar much longer.
“We always had a relatively robust pain management program,” he says. “With the increase of immediate attention to it and the government, we have just expanded it over the past year and have added some additional providers and such.”
In May, UnitedHealthcare Group Inc. awarded Jordan Valley a $1.5 million grant to expand staff by five nurse practitioners and behavioral health workers.Treatment options for patients living with pain also is increasing.
“We have the ability to treat the pain in different ways,” he says. “It continues to grow and we do feel like we are blessed with the providers we have.”
Armed with an annual operating budget of roughly $50 million to reach 64,000 patients annually, Miller and his team are going to the root of the problem. Enter the prenatal program. Miller says about 30 percent of the 1,300 annual prenatal patients at Jordan Valley misuse substances. The prenatal program assists mothers with addressing the issue early on.
“Our program specifically takes that and provides a different dynamic and opportunity to find out what some of the opportunities might be and encourage greater accountability and ownership of their own care,” he says.
Jordan Valley also is doing its part to declutter ERs.
“A lot of our patients were going to the ER for oral health or pain-related oral health care,” he says. “We created a system where there is direct referral in the ER to our oral health system.”
The goal is making health care more accessible. In the next two years, Miller says Jordan Valley plans to revamp its pediatrics program into a one-stop shop.
“Our best opportunity to improve health outcomes is through keeping children healthy,” he says. “The way you do that is you make it convenient to get care or to get multiple services provided during a visit.
“So many patients, especially the ones we have, have barriers to their care. Our desire is that they have one door to their care.”
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