Central City Concern’s Old Town Clinic is one of a handful of clinics nationwide being singled out by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as an “exemplar practice” for its innovative work making health care more accessible to patients.
The clinic, which served more than 4,000 homeless patients last year, is part of a new study by the nation’s largest healthcare philanthropy called The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (the LEAP Project).
“The goal of study is to take top-performing clinics based on health outcomes and look at what they are doing,” says Dedee Wilner-Nugent, Central City Concern’s public affairs director.
Central City’s Old Town Clinic, founded in 2001, brings services to the patients, who often have more than one acute condition—high blood pressure, asthma and addiction, for example—and assigns them to teams that coordinate care, she says. The idea, Wilner-Nugent says, is to make the clinic “one stop shopping” for patients, making it easier for them to get help and be monitored.
A LEAP team will conduct a three-day site visit at the clinic in mid February to understand how Old Town Clinic’s primary care teams deliver high quality, patient-centered health care. The clinic is one of up to 30 clinics being chosen for study in the United States. The foundation will then distill what they’ve learned into training and technical assistance materials that can be used by others, CCC says in a news release.
Central City Concern’s Director Ed Blackburn is also a founding board member of Health Share of Oregon, the largest Coordinated Care Organization in the state. The statewide program, backed by federal grants, seeks to integrate all health care (including mental health and sometimes dental) for those on the Oregon Health Plan for prevention and treatment of chronic conditions, as the Old Town Clinic does on a smaller scale.