Maine Primary Care Association Announces Winners of the 2018 Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards

Bar Harbor, MEOct. 24, 2018 – The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards which were presented today at a ceremony during the organization’s annual conference in Bar Harbor. The Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards were created in 2005 to honor the contributions and accomplishments of individuals and health center advocates working to ensure that affordable, high quality health care is available to all Mainers.

This year, MPCA recognized twelve individuals for their leadership, dedication and support of Maine’s Community Health Centers. The 2018 award winners are as follows:

  • Blue Heron Award – In Memory of Karen Bronk, DFD Russell Medical Centers
  • MPCA President’s Award – Lisa Miller, MPH & Roy Miller, MD
  • Behavioral Health Excellence Award – Jennifer Moss, LCSW, PCHC
  • Clinical Support Excellence Award – Santana Eastman, RN, Sacopee Valley Health Center
  • Excellence in Oral Health Award (Co-recipient) – Lucien JB Daigle, DMD, Fish River Rural Health
  • Excellence in Oral Health Award (Co-recipient) – David Levasseur, BSc, DDS, Pines Women’s & Children’s Health Center
  • Nurse Practitioner Excellence Award – Lindsay Norton, FNP, HOMETOWN Health Center
  • Physician Assistant Excellence Award – Amelia Hersey, PA-C, PCHC
  • Carol Eckert, MD Memorial Award – Patricia Doyle, MD, PCHC
  • Unsung Hero Award – Colleen Coates, Sacopee Valley Health Center
  • MPCA Staff Recognition Award – Ashley Mills, MHA, Maine Primary Care Association

Darcy Shargo, CEO, Maine Primary Care Association, said, “Maine’s Community Health Center staff are an extraordinary group of health care super heroes; dedicated professionals, working tirelessly to promote the health and well-being all Maine people. Today, we come together to celebrate a select group of individuals who continue to distinguish themselves for their noted accomplishments and compassionate care.”

Follow Maine Primary Care Association on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mainepca and Twitter: www.twitter.com/mainepca.

About Maine Primary Care Association

Founded in 1981, Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA) is a membership organization that represents the collective voices of Maine’s Community Health Centers, which provide high quality, primary and preventive medical, behavioral health and dental services to over 210,000 individuals (1 in 6 Mainers) each year. With 70 service locations throughout the state, Maine’s Community Health Centers provide high quality care to our underserved and rural populations. Often referred to as Maine’s healthcare safety net, our community health centers provide more than $16,000,000 in uncompensated care and $7.5 million in free and reduced cost prescriptions annually while being ranked in the top five nationally per capita in assisting the uninsured and underinsured gain health insurance. For more information, please visit us on the web at mepca.org or call (207) 621-0677.


Maine Primary Care Association to Serve as Co-Creator of National Learning and
Action Collaborative for Health Care Reform and Population Health Improvement

  Organization to partner with its statewide behavioral health counterpart, the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services, to bring much needed primary care and behavioral health resources to providers in all 16 Maine counties

Augusta, MEMay 23, 2018 – The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), announced today that it has been selected to serve as a co-creator of the new Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net national learning and action collaborative. Designed to generate breakthroughs in health care reform and payment and identify sustainable ways to care for individuals and improve population health, this new collaborative will play an instrumental role in helping shape and respond to policy change and opportunities in the health care safety net. As a co-creator and collaborative participant, MPCA will work in partnership with its statewide behavioral health counterpart, the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services (AAMHS), to promote greater access for Maine providers to national experts, technical assistance and other resources pertaining to primary care and behavioral health that might otherwise not be readily available or affordable.

The Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net is a groundbreaking national effort, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to push for progress toward primary care/behavioral health integration and value-based payment models over the next two years. Following a national review process, the Delta Center selected six primary care associations and five behavioral health statewide associations to join this effort. Maine is the only New England state represented in the collaborative.

Commenting on MPCA’s participation in this new collaborative, Maine Primary Care Association CEO, Darcy Shargo said, “MPCA is thrilled to be a part of this important initiative. Maine benefits from unique opportunities to be on the leading edge of innovation. With a smaller population and fewer instances of overlapping or competing resources, Maine has a manageable scope for innovation and scaling beyond what is possible in major urban areas. Solutions crafted in Maine are more likely to be simple, replicable and potentially transformative for all involved.”

MPCA will receive $240,000 over two years from the Delta Center to cover travel to in-person meetings, conduct training and technical assistance for MPCA and AAMHS members, shape policy initiatives, lead advocacy efforts and help develop models for replication in states across the nation. A core team of leadership and program staff from MPCA and AAMHS will travel to Denver in June for a national kick-off meeting.

Follow Maine Primary Care Association on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mainepca and Twitter: www.twitter.com/mainepca.


Maine Primary Care Association Board of Directors Appoints
Darcy Shargo New CEO

Augusta, ME – Dec. 19, 2017 – The Board of Directors of Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), is pleased to announce that Darcy Shargo has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. An accomplished executive, Shargo brings to her position nearly 20 years of progressive non-profit experience in the health care industry, having served the last seven years as MPCA’s Chief Operating Officer.

“We’re thrilled to have Darcy Shargo serve as CEO of the Maine Primary Care Association,” said Martin Sabol, Director of Health Services at Nasson Health Care and Chairman of the Board, Maine Primary Care Association. “Her calm wisdom, experience with all facets of the organization and insightful knowledge of the complex regulatory environment that engulfs community health centers is impressive and positions us well to achieve our goals of making health care accessible and affordable to all.”

Amidst the changing federal and state health care landscape, the MPCA Board of Directors conducted a nationwide search for a proven executive best suited to lead MPCA and its membership. After a careful review of nearly 70 qualified candidates and multiple rounds of interviews, the Board of Directors unanimously voted on December 12 to appoint Shargo as MPCA’s new CEO.

Commenting on her appointment, Shargo said, “I am deeply grateful for the chance to serve and support Maine’s Community Health Centers in my new capacity as CEO. Over the course of my eleven years with MPCA, I have seen Maine’s health centers evolve into some of the most collaborative, patient-focused and compassionate caregivers in the state. I look forward to collaborating with our health centers and the incredible MPCA staff to build the next iteration of community-based primary care in our state.”

In addition to her role as Chief Operating Officer at MPCA, Shargo also previously served the Association as Health Care Access Program Manager. Other work experience includes program and leadership roles with Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Maine Hospital Association, Rape Crisis Assistance and Prevention and the Office of MaineCare Services.

Follow Maine Primary Care Association on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mainepca and Twitter: www.twitter.com/mainepca.


Maine Primary Care Association Announces Winners of the
2017 Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards

Bar Harbor, ME – Oct. 18, 2017 – The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards which were presented today at a ceremony during the organization’s annual conference in Bar Harbor. The Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards were created in 2005 to honor the contributions and accomplishments of individuals and health center advocates working to ensure that affordable, high quality health care is available to all Mainers.

This year, MPCA recognized eight individuals for their leadership, dedication and support of Maine’s Community Health Centers. The 2017 award winners are as follows:

  • Clinical Support Excellence – Kristie Leighton, MA, Community Clinical Services
  • Unsung Hero – Jesse Harvey, Greater Portland Health
  • Nurse Practitioner Excellence – Amy Langley, FNP, PCHC
  • Behavioral Health Excellence – Marte McNally, LCPC, YCCAC/Nasson Health Care
  • Excellence in Oral Health (Co-recipient) – Israel Adeloye, DMD, Sacopee Valley Health Center
  • Excellence in Oral Health (Co-recipient) – Robert Grace, DMD, Nasson Health Care
  • MPCA Staff Excellence – Jeff Brown, MEd, Maine Primary Care Association
  • Carol Eckert, MD Memorial Award – Carol Eckert, MD, HealthReach Community Health Centers (posthumously)

Darcy Shargo, Interim CEO and COO of Maine Primary Care Association, said, “Today, we are pleased to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments and compassionate care provided by the administrators, clinicians, and support staff at Maine’s Community Health Centers. It is because of the tireless work of these remarkable professionals that Maine people will always have someone to turn to for high quality, affordable health care when they need it most.”


MAINE’S COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS CELEBRATE NATIONAL HEALTH CENTER WEEK

Statewide celebration highlights critical role health centers play in ensuring access to
affordable, high-quality healthcare for all Maine people

Augusta, ME – Aug. 14, 2017 – Over 30 events around the state are planned as part of National Health Center Week (NHCW). The statewide celebration runs August 13-19 with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of Maine’s 20 Federally Qualified Community Health Centers.

One of the bright spots in Maine’s health care system, Community Health Centers serve more than 210,000 individuals (1 in 6 Maine People), a number that continues to grow along with the demand for affordable, high-quality primary medical, dental and behavioral health services, at over 70 locations throughout the state. With more than 2,000 employees, Maine’s Community Health Centers have compiled a significant record of success and compassionate care that includes:

· Providing more than $16 million in uncompensated care in Maine last year;
· Delivering $7.5 million in free and reduced cost prescriptions to Mainers;
· Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency department;
· Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency department visit;
· Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent; and
· Ranking in the top five in the country per capita in assisting the uninsured and underinsured gain health insurance.

Health centers not only prevent illness and foster wellness in the most challenging populations they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in our communities. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and opioid addiction. Because of their long record of success in innovation, managing health care costs and reducing chronic disease, health centers have a proud tradition of bipartisan support among Maine’s congressional delegation.

There are NHCW events scheduled across the state, including health fairs, back-to-school drives, blood drives, 5K run/walks, tai chi and yoga classes, patient appreciation events, free health screenings and dental cleanings, and much more. To view a complete listing of NHCW events click here.


STATEMENT ON UNITED STATES SENATE “BETTER CARE RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2017”
VANESSA SANTARELLI, CEO

Augusta, ME – June 27, 2017 – "The Senate 'Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017' is anything but, and would be disastrous for Mainers, rural health care providers and our entire state's economy. This bill, drafted in secret and with no public involvement in the process, will raise insurance premiums for older and rural Mainers, reduce access to affordable coverage for tens of thousands of individuals who rely on subsidies in order to purchase insurance, allow states to eliminate coverage for many essential health benefits and undermine the ability of Maine's Community Health Centers to provide high quality, comprehensive primary and preventive care to those who need it most. Federal legislation that seeks to throw thousands of hard-working Mainers off their health insurance shouldn't be celebrated–it should be soundly rejected. We applaud the leadership shown by Senators Collins and King in announcing their opposition to this bill and hope their colleagues follow their example by voting it down later this week."


MAINE PRIMARY CARE ASSOCIATION TO TESTIFY AGAINST THE DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES’ PROPOSED SECTION 1115 DEMONSTRATION WAIVER, MAINECARE REFORM

If approved, waiver application will lead to a further loss of health coverage for thousands of Mainers

Augusta, ME – May 17, 2017 – Vanessa Santarelli, CEO of the Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), whose members include all 20 of Maine’s Community Health Centers (CHCs), will testify in opposition to the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver on MaineCare Reform at the Augusta Civic Center on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Collectively, Maine’s CHCs provide comprehensive, affordable, high quality primary and preventive health care services to approximately 210,000 Mainers, have over 2,040 employees and contributed over $311 million to the state’s economy last year.

If approved and implemented, the substantial changes contained in the Department’s waiver application will cause thousands of Mainers to lose health coverage, reduce critical resources for essential health care providers such as Community Health Centers, hospitals, and nursing homes, and make no marked reduction in inappropriate Emergency Department utilization.

According to Santarelli, “With the current uncertainty in the health care marketplace, this waiver application couldn’t come at a worse time. It also follows the Administration’s biennial budget proposal which seeks to eliminate health coverage for all 19 and 20 years olds through the MaineCare Program, as well as drop parental coverage from 100% federal poverty to 40%. This is an economic issue as much as it is about access to health care. The state should work to expand health coverage, not keep cutting it at the expense of those who need it most.”


MAINE PRIMARY CARE ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE 
2016 CLINICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Bar Harbor, ME – Oct. 19, 2016 – The Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), a membership organization representing the collective voices of Maine’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards which were presented today at a ceremony during the organization’s annual conference in Bar Harbor. Now in its 11th year, the Clinical and Administrative Excellence Awards were created to acknowledge the leadership and tireless efforts of individuals and health center advocates working to ensure access to affordable, high quality health care for all Mainers.

This year, MPCA recognized nine individuals for their exemplary service and distinguished accomplishments in support of Maine’s 20 Community Health Centers. The 2016 award winners are as follows:

  • MPCA President’s Award – Gordon H. Smith, Esq., Maine Medical Association
  • Physician Excellence – Susan Cheff, MD, Penobscot Community Health Care
  • Excellence in Oral Health – Phil Higgins, DMD, Penobscot Community Health Care (Dental)
  • Behavioral Health Excellence – Jennifer McCarthy, MEd, MS, LMHC, LCPC, Sacopee Valley Health Center
  • Nurse Practitioner Excellence – David Ulrich, FNP, Penobscot Community Health Care
  • Unsung Hero – Angela Fileccia, LCSW, Penobscot Community Health Care
  • Clinical Support Excellence – Jordyn Turner, Eastport Health Care
  • Physician Assistant Excellence – Kay Nash, PA-C, Penobscot Community Health Care
  • MPCA Staff Excellence – Andrea Watkins, Maine Primary Care Association

Vanessa Santarelli, CEO, Maine Primary Care Association, said, “Today, we celebrate and honor the significant and tireless contributions of the exceptional clinicians, administrators and support staff at Maine’s Community Health Centers. Their dedication to their patients and the mission to serve all who walk through their doors is second to none. We are pleased to hold a special ceremony in their honor to highlight the critical role they play each and every day.”


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AWARDS $1.875 MILLION TO THE MAINE PRIMARY CARE ASSOCIATION FOR THE CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER NETWORK OF MAINE

Funding to Support Improvements in the Information Technology Capabilities of
Maine’s 15 Participating Community Health Centers

Augusta, ME – Aug. 22, 2016 – The Maine Primary Care Association (mepca.org) today announced that it has been awarded $1.875 million over three years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to further strengthen the state’s Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN), known as the Community Health Center Network of Maine (CHCNet). The $625,000 per year award will support 15 participating health centers across Maine as they work to make strategic investments in information technology that will lead to new operational efficiencies and a better care experience for their patients.

Vanessa Santarelli, CEO, Maine Primary Care Association, said, “CHCNet plays an important role in improving health center operations and quality of care through the integration of critical health information technologies. This funding is both timely and much needed as it will enable our community health centers to advance population health and streamline operations at the same time.”

Health Center Controlled Networks are designed to improve access to care, enhanced quality of care and provide cost efficiencies for health centers through the strategic adoption of health information technology. The Maine Primary Care Association has operated the CHCNet since 2005. CHCNet supports Maine’s health centers in ongoing and comprehensive practice transformation in addition to assisting with Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and other transformative accreditations.

This funding will support, among other things, the transition to value-based care, implementation of certified electronic health record technology, enhanced data analytics to support more informed decision-making, increase staff and patient engagement and overall improvements to clinical and operational quality.

Since its founding, CHCNet has grown into a network of 15 participating community health centers with a total of 66 sites throughout Maine. All of Maine’s CHCNet members are Health Center Program Award Recipients and are collaboratively working to improve operations and provide high quality healthcare to Maine residents. A listing of the network’s health centers follows below:


MAINE’S COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS CELEBRATE “NATIONAL HEALTH CENTER WEEK”
WITH FUN, INFORMATIVE EVENTS STATEWIDE

Augusta, ME – Aug. 8, 2016 – Today kicks off National Health Center Week (NHCW) and the Maine Primary Care Association (mepca.org), whose members include all 20 of Maine’s Community Health Centers (CHCs), is proudly recognizing their collective mission and accomplishments. One of the bright spots in America’s healthcare system, CHCs reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine in addressing some of our most pressing healthcare challenges.

In Maine, CHCs are “Health Homes” for approximately 200,000 individuals (1 in 7). There are over 70 CHC locations throughout the state which are open to everyone regardless of insurance or socioeconomic status. CHCs offer the highest quality of care and are local leaders in innovation with over 90 percent of Maine’s CHCs participating in pilots and demonstration projects to test new models of healthcare delivery.

Vanessa Santarelli, CEO, Maine Primary Care Association, said, “This week we celebrate over 50 years of care, commitment and innovation provided by our Community Health Centers. Maine’s CHCs are leaders in delivering high quality, compassionate health care to those who need it most. For people of all ages, CHCs offer a unique, holistic approach to health care, providing critical primary, behavioral, and dental health services that not only help prevent illness but also foster wellness in our rural and underserved communities.”

There are a variety of free, family-friendly activities scheduled statewide during National Health Center Week and throughout the month of August. Events include teddy bear/baby doll check-ups, farm stands, health screenings, blood drives and wellness seminars, among others. For a list of featured NHCW events, visit mepca.org/national-health-center-week-events-2016.

For information on a specific Community Health Center in Maine, please click on its URL below:

  • Bucksport Regional Health Center (bucksportrhc.com/)
  • Community Clinical Services (communityclinicalservices.com/)
  • DFD Russell Medical Centers (dfdrussell.org/)
  • East Grand Health Center, Inc. (eastgrand.org/)
  • Eastport Health Care (eastporthealth.org/)
  • Fish River Rural Health (frrh.org/)
  • Greater Portland Health (greaterportlandhealth.org/)
  • Harrington Family Health Center (harringtonfamilyhealth.org/)
  • Health Access Network (hanfqhc.org/)
  • HealthReach Community Health Centers (healthreachchc.org/)
  • Hometown Health Center (hometownhealthcenter.org/)
  • Islands Community Medical Services (icmsvh.com/)
  • Katahdin Valley Health Center (kvhc.org/)
  • Maine Migrant Health Program (mainemigrant.org/)
  • Nasson Health Care (nassonhealth.com/)
  • Penobscot Community Health Care (pchc.com/)
  • Pines Health Services (pineshealth.org/)
  • Regional Medical Center at Lubec (rmcl.org/)
  • Sacopee Valley Health Center (svhc.org/)
  • St. Croix Regional Family Health Center (scrfhc.org/)