As one of nine administrators at Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Dr. Matthew Stinson plays a unique role in providing health care to the underserved members of the Ozarks, including those who are on Medicare or Medicaid or have no insurance coverage.
Stinson, associate medical director for the center, is a strong purveyor of preventive health care, pushing himself and colleagues to improve the quality of their trade.
“In our society, we can get people health care or we can do excellent health care, which means catching them at every point of entry into the system and making sure that they’ve gotten everything they need to protect and prevent health problems,” Stinson says. “We’re trying to hit people at every entry point to take care of the whole person and not just the piece that they’re coming in for.”
Stinson, who credits his faith in God for a calling to provide care for the poor, says preventive health care has become a nationwide goal.
“I think the reason that even our country is focusing on it more is because we spend so much money on health care, and yet we’re not one of the top countries in terms of getting good outcomes for what we spend,” he says. “Now, the focus really is, ‘How can we do a better job of prevention instead of just having the best technology?’”
Stinson has taken a special interest in immunizations for children, and in the last year, the number of children immunized at Jordan Valley Health Center has doubled. He also has helped to push a focus on integrated health care, increasing the center’s efforts to screen patients for depression. The screenings have increased to 60 percent from 30 percent, and Stinson’s still pushing toward an end goal of 80 percent.
Stinson also is involved with Jordan Valley’s Our Healthy Start prenatal care program, a joint effort with St. John’s and CoxHealth that allows obstetricians to care for expectant mothers at the clinic site and give birth at St. John’s, enabling continuity of care.
“We take care of a population of people who have a lower income and (are a) lower socioeconomic class in general, (compared to) a lot of the other facilities in town,” Stinson says, noting without such programs, low-income patients may be bounced from provider to provider.
While Jordan Valley now only has enough staff to make the program available at St. John’s, Stinson says officials hope to expand it to Cox within a few years.Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Salute to Health Care.