Rural Health Center receives $416,000 grant from Kaiser

162707157In an era of tumultuous moments in health care, one entity in the state has cause to rejoice. The Colorado Rural Health Center received a three-year, $416,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente Colorado, which will help many rural health clinics improve overall quality and consistency of care provided.

The grant will provide assistance to 19 rural health clinics located mainly on Colorado’s Western Slope, according to a news release from Kaiser Permanente on Tuesday.

Each clinic will begin the program by conducting a Healthy Clinic Assessment to identify baseline capacity and greatest areas of need. With support from CRHC, the staff will then work to put systems and processes in place to strengthen the basic infrastructure of the clinic.

“Our rural health care providers are caught in the perfect storm,” said Michelle Mills, CEO of CRHC’s. “Demands for greater coordinated care, prevention, data, and patient outcomes are growing, while budgets are tightening. CRHC recognized this challenge as an opportunity to invest in the Healthy Clinic Improvement Program that supports rural health clinics and ensures they remain viable given the changing healthcare landscape.”

The HCIP began last month and is funded through August 2016. By the end of the three-year project, participating clinics will have made sufficient improvements in central operations to enable them to move forward and focus more resources on quality improvement initiatives, according to the release.

“We know first-hand that patients are happier with their care, physicians are more satisfied, and medical outcomes are improved when care is delivered in a coordinated fashion,” said Jandel Allen-Davis, M.D., vice president of government and external relations for Kaiser Permanent, in the release. “We are honored to partner with the Colorado Rural Health Center in its efforts to focus resources where they’re needed in our rural communities.”

The Colorado Rural Health Center was established in 1991 as Colorado’s State Office of Rural Health. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CRHC’s serves dual roles as the State Office of Rural Health with the mission of assisting rural communities in addressing healthcare issues; and as the State Rural Health Association, advocating for policy change to ensure that rural Coloradans have access to comprehensive, affordable healthcare services of the highest quality. For more information visit www.coruralhealth.org.