$250,000 award to fund renovations at Golden Valley Health Centers

09/01/2014 5:11 PM

09/01/2014 5:20 PM

Golden Valley Health Centers will be one of 147 community health organizations nationwide to receive Affordable Care Act funding to support patient-centered medical homes.

Health and Human Services officials announced last week that $35.7 million would be invested for the increase in access to medical homes, of which GVHC will receive $250,000.

Tony Weber, GVHC’s chief executive officer, said the money will be used to renovate one of the Modesto centers, located on 1510 Florida Ave. Weber explained that the goal is to design a facility in which all of a patient’s needs can be treated at once.

The new design would allow the center to practice the medical homes model of care, in which patients can access their primary care physicians, nurses, behavioral specialists, pharmacists and health educators under one roof. A center that facilitates team-based coordination of care is more efficient, Weber said.

GVHC has 26 sites in Merced and Stanislaus counties.

Weber said the Florida Suites in Modesto was chosen because access has been an issue there. “It’s a center that is pretty impacted and patient flow isn’t as efficient as we would like it to be,” he said. The Florida Avenue site receives about 4,500 patient visits per month, but this number can be increased with a better organized facility, Weber said.

Weber explained that this model of care is something he hopes can be implemented soon at the rest of GVHC sites, including those in Merced County. “A significant part of this is that it empowers the patient to be a partner in their own care,” Weber said. According to him, that is something patients in all communities can benefit from.

“We really want to improve the patient experience, and one step in that direction is this model,” he said.

The new funding covers half of the estimated renovation cost. The remaining cost will be covered by funds from GVHC’s internal operating budget. Weber expects renovations to begin in about three months.

GVHC is one of 21 health centers in California to be awarded facility improvement grants through the Affordable Care Act. Nationwide, the funding will support 21 new construction projects, and 126 alteration and renovation projects.

“Health centers provide access to quality health care for millions of Americans regardless of their ability to pay,” Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a news release. “We’re making these investments so that health centers will be able to provide even higher quality services to the patients that rely upon them.”

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