Rocking Horse Community Health Center recently received two prestigious awards, one which resulted in a windfall of more than $13,000.
The U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration awarded Rocking Horse the Health Center Improvement Achievement Award, and along with it $13,539 to be used toward organizational improvements.
The award recognizes community health centers that are proven leaders in quality patient services.
“This is the second year in a row we’ve received the award,” said Chris Cook, Rocking Horse’s chief executive officer.
The center plans to use the money to add several reporting tools to its electronic medical records system to better target those patients who have the highest needs, according to Cook. Rocking Horse is also looking at hiring a part-time employee to work directly with patients to assure they are getting all of their necessary screenings, he added.
Rocking Horse has been providing health care to the local area for 16 years, opening its doors in 1999.
The center saw 1,700 patients its first year. Last year, Rocking Horse provided health care to 11,000 patients.
“We’ll see 12,000 patients this year,” said Cook. “Two weeks ago, we hired three new providers — a doctor and two nurse practitioners.”
The second award is the Adolescent Immunization Coverage Excellence Award from the Ohio Department of Health. The award is given to health care providers that achieve immunization coverage of 80 percent or higher. It was the first time Rocking Horse received the award.
“This award was a surprise,” Cook said.
Last year’s measles outbreak, which hasn’t been seen in many years, proves immunizations are important, Cook said.
“People are realizing how important immunizations are and why we don’t have disease,” he said.
In December 2014, Rocking Horse received a similar quality award and a corresponding grant for $20,000, part of which it used to expand its colorectal cancer screenings program.
Awards for providing quality health care to a community have their place, Cook said, and it’s good to see the government providing awards and promoting quality care for patients.
“You’ve got to evaluate the good players and weed out the bad,” he said. “It’s also a testament to the quality of people here and how awesome they are.”
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