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DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE: Dr. Matthew Stinson, a practicing physician, will become CEO of Jordan Valley Community Health Center on June 1.
Heather Mosley | SBJ
DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE: Dr. Matthew Stinson, a practicing physician, will become CEO of Jordan Valley Community Health Center on June 1.

Physician tapped as CEO of Jordan Valley

Dr. Matthew Stinson to be second leader since its founding in 2003

Posted online

The Jordan Valley Community Health Center has had one leader since its inception in 2003, but on June 1, President and CEO Brooks Miller is stepping away.

Succeeding him is Dr. Matthew Stinson, who has been with the federally qualified health clinic for 17 years. Stinson is currently vice president of primary and behavioral health services – but in the future, as now, he intends to continue seeing patients.

Stinson joined JVCHC in 2007 as a family physician, and he was named medical director in 2010. In 2014, he joined the executive team, where he played a strategic role in the expansion of programs like the Express Care walk-in clinic, as well as integrated behavioral health care and optometry services, according to a news release from the health center.

“When I started at Jordan Valley, which was 17 years ago, I would say that Brooks probably didn’t foresee that we were going to be the size that we are now,” Stinson said in an interview. “And I hope by the time that I’m stepping out of the role that I’ll be able to say the same thing.”

He noted the center sometimes has to take note of present challenges and rise to meet them as it embraces its mission to improve the community’s health through access and relationships.

“The beauty of Jordan Valley is that we can modulate and change to what the needs of our community are, and those needs are going to change over time,” he said. “We don’t want to miss that part of the mission of making sure we meet the needs of the community that we’re in.”

As a federally qualified health center, JVCHC provides comprehensive services for underserved people, regardless of their ability to pay. Services are available with a sliding scale fee.

“We’re founded on access – we wanted to provide access to care for medical, dental and behavioral health,” Stinson said. “Now we’ve grown to be more than that.”

One example is a full range of oral health care for patients of all ages – services like full-anesthesia oral health surgery and mouth rehab for children, he said. Dental care is the area where Stinson believes Jordan Valley has made the biggest impact.

“That’s not something we’re going to change,” he said. “That needs to continue to grow because we still have needs to meet there.”

Miller recalled that when he came to Springfield in 2002 to help establish Jordan Valley, there was only one FQHC in southwest Missouri, but today there are seven, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services.

“That goes to show you the magnitude of the access issues that existed at that time and how legislators have tried to address that,” Miller said. “We’re heading in the right direction, but as the population continues to grow pretty dramatically, it takes a lot more to be able to see a lot more people.”

The center served 67,300 people in 2023, according to its website, and patients came from 39 counties with nearly 270,000 clinic visits across all locations. JVCHC has four Springfield locations, plus clinics in Hollister, Marshfield, Republic and two in Lebanon.

Collaboration
Stinson said Jordan Valley will continue to work closely with other agencies and organizations, including CoxHealth and Mercy.

That includes the Jordan Valley’s women’s health program, for which doctors enter both hospitals to care for newborns.

Max Buetow, president and CEO of CoxHealth, said the relationship between the hospital system and Jordan Valley has always been a strong one.

“I would call it incredibly fruitful over the course of the last decade-plus that I’ve been personally involved,” he said. “CoxHealth and Jordan Valley have enjoyed a very rich history, working together to provide great care for underserved women and children in our community.”

He said Stinson is the ideal model of what Jordan Valley stands for.

“I can tell you I’ve never met a leader that is more directly emblematic of the vision of an institution than Dr. Stinson,” he said. “I don’t know how many times we’ve sat across the table trying to construct the best plans, and he’s had the ability to zoom out to the 30,000-foot level, but he was also able to look out the window at his personal interactions.”

That’s a rare blend, Buetow said.

“It’s going to make him incredibly successful in building on the value of Jordan Valley and the leadership Brooks has embodied,” he added.

The collaboration between CoxHealth and Jordan Valley will continue, Buetow said.

“Those types of relationships are really built on trust,” he said. “Having sat across the table from him as we developed plans and had different thoughts and ideas, there’s no one I have worked with in my professional career I can rely on more in a handshake deal.”

Dr. John Burson, regional service line chair for women and children at Mercy Springfield Communities, also praised the collaborative spirit exhibited by Miller and Stinson.

“Matt and I have worked on a lot of different projects together,” he said.

Burson said Jordan Valley’s obstetrics program has been a difference-maker.

“It’s been a phenomenal game-changer for the community,” he said.

Before Jordan Valley developed its obstetrics program, it would not have been uncommon for pregnant women to end up in emergency departments without having had access to prenatal care. That was particularly true for women who had other health challenges and needs, including drug use. It’s a group that historically hadn’t sought traditional medical care.

“They provide a very good program to help them be as healthy as they can be so their babies are healthier,” Burson said.

As a physician leader himself, Burson said he recognizes advantages Stinson will bring to his role.

“He’s been in the system for a long time, and he knows the business aspect, and he’s also worked a lot with Jefferson City as well as Washington, lobbying for health care initiatives that benefit the population that are drawn toward federally qualified health center programs,” he said.

He also brings the credibility that comes from seeing patients and operating a pediatric and family medicine practice, Burson said.

“He’s close to the work, and he understands the challenges patients face and providers face,” he said. “That gives him the edge to be able to advocate for what’s needed that makes sense.”

Progress continues
Although its first-ever shift in top-level leadership is on the horizon, Jordan Valley is not slowing down when it comes to innovation, according to Stinson.

The center will soon launch Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE. It’s a program serving people ages 55-plus to allow them to live in the community instead of a nursing home. Jennifer McClure, Jordan Valley’s director of administrative affairs, said a cornerstone of the program is a day center to be located at the Grand Street location. There, participants can have lunch, see medical providers, receive treatments and get assistance with personal care. Transportation will be provided.

“It is an incredible resource,” she said.

Also in the works is a new electronic health record system using the MyChart patient portal by Epic Systems.

“We believe this will be very effective technology as our team pursues the mission to improve healthcare access and ensure better outcomes for all those we serve,” Miller said.

He added that CoxHealth has announced its plans to convert to Epic, and Mercy converted a few years ago.

“That’s one of the reflections of how we work together,” he said, noting the institutions can now more easily share information about the patients they serve. “That’s a positive thing in a community the size of Springfield.”

Miller said collaboration and community support have always been strong in Springfield.

He added that he is not using the word retirement to describe his departure.

“I hope that eventually I’ll land someplace else and either help work with the issues of another health center or start another health center – whatever,” he said. “What I enjoy is fixing things, building things – one or the other. I’ve had a lot of that here at Jordan Valley.”

He added that he thinks Stinson will do well in the top role.

“He’s well equipped and has an understanding of the challenges in front of us,” he said. “Plus, he knows where we came from.”

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