Seward Community Health Center Prepares for Opening

SEWARD, Alaska – The City of Seward and the Seward CHC Board of Directors were recently awarded a 330 federal grant to open and operate a federally funded community health center. Under the 330 Public Law, community health centers provide all required primary, preventive, enabling health services and additional health services as appropriate and necessary, either directly or through established written arrangements and referrals, additionally community health centers provide services at times that assure accessibility and meet theneeds of the population to be served.

The new Seward Community Health Center (SCHC) will operate out of the space in the hospital currently being used by Providence’s clinic. The clinic which Providence Hospitaloperates in Seward will close its doors on February 14, 2014, per the request of the City and the SCHC Board of Directors so that the new Seward Community Health Center can renovate the space and begin seeing patients with a tentative start date of February 26, 2014.

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Patients wishing to be seen at the new Seward Community Health Center can begin calling for appointments on February 15, 2014. If you intend to become a registered patient atthe new health center you may request your medical records from your current provider and have them sent to SCHC, PO Box 2895, Seward, AK or bring them with you to your firstvisit.

Patients may email the Interim Executive Director, Sharon Montagnino at sewardchc@gmail.com.

7 Comments

  1. So, that means our records will not remain at the site for use by the SCHC? Where will they go?

  2. SporadicBird says:

    Will the SCHC be a “preferred provider” for insurance companies like Providence-Seward is?

    Carol Griswold

  3. Here are the responses to the above questions from Sharon Montagnino, Interim Executive Director of the SCHC:

    #1- Because we are two separate entities, as a patient you will have to request your records from Prov and they will be sent to us. We are not sure if we will be using the same electronic medical record program or not, so they cannot be transferred electronically right now. So we will have to have hard copies of everything.

    #2- Yes we will be a “preferred provider” for the more common insurances in the area.

  4. SporadicBird says:

    Thank you, Steve and Sharon.

    Didn’t the City spend a LOT of money recently on the software to convert the PSMCC records to electronic records? Hard copies of everything is so expensive, labor intensive, time-consuming, and counterproductive. I hope that the same medical record program “Epic” will be used so that this transfer will be as smooth and cost effective as possible.

    In other news, Cordova’s Community Medical Center has contracted with Providence Health and Services Alaska to provide management services. It seems odd that Seward would be going the opposite direction, creating two separate entities. The electronic/paper records confusion and expense is a bad start.

    Cordova’s Community Medical Center is also publicly owned and has a 7 member Health Services Board appointed by the City Council.

    See Providence’s web page at

    Carol

  5. Here is another response from Sharon Montagnino, Interim Executive Director of the SCHC:

    Carol,

    I will try and answer your concerns the best I can. I really do not know what the city spent on software or who paid for it the City or PSMCC. Yes, agree that working with paper is labor intensive, but the software program that PSMCC is using is hospital geared software/EMR not Health Center software. There are differences in the reporting and collecting of information/data. We are looking at a version of EPIC that can be used by community health centers, having said that the transfer of records from one clinic to another is doable even if the two entities are using different EMR programs. Regardless of what EMR program we choose to use we will not be up and running with an EMR for at least 4-6 months, so we have to use paper and we will have to have medical records sent to us in hard copy form. Because of HIPAA we cannot just ask PSMCC for the records, patients have to request the records and then they can be sent to the Health Center.

    Cordova is publicly own and the Seward Community Health Center is a private non-profit organization, with oversight by a Board of Director, of which 51% have to be active users of the Health Center.

    I hope this answers some of your concerns

    Sharon

  6. Whoa, A PRIVATE not for profit organization.

    Who “owns” this new health center?? I thought the whole idea was to return control back to the city of Seward and its residents.

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