Vernonia Health Center receives funding for program facility director

“The devastating flood of 2007 has given us an opportunity to reinvent ourselves,” says Heather Lewis, program facility director for Vernonia Health Center. “The mandate to move the facility out of the flood plain, coupled with Oregon’s health care reform, has given us an opportunity to renew and revise how we will deliver services in our new facility.”

VERNONIA, OR — “The devastating flood of 2007 has given us an opportunity to reinvent ourselves,” says Heather Lewis, program facility director for Vernonia Health Center. “The mandate to move the facility out of the flood plain, coupled with Oregon’s health care reform, has given us an opportunity to renew and revise how we will deliver services in our new facility.”

To support that effort, Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization has given Vernonia Health Center $15,000 in to help fund a program facility director. The support from Columbia Pacific Care Organization is part of its Community Wellness Investment Fund. The facility director will be the point person to build innovative and collaborative relationships and partnerships to develop the center into a sustainable patient-centered primary care medical home.

The new health center will be a patient-centered medical home providing primary care services. It will strive to offer mental and behavioral health, addiction and prevention services, as well as physical and occupational therapy.

Columbia Pacific CCO recently awarded Community Wellness funding totaling $57,000 for seven projects. The Columbia Pacific CCO board of directors created the funding program to encourage innovation, collaboration and health care transformation in the communities it serves. The funds support programs that are sustainable and are aligned with the each community’s priorities for addressing health inequities and gaps in service or care.

“Our goal is to create a business model that is lean and sustainable, yet flexible, responsive and can expand to keep pace with medical and technical innovations and the changing needs of the people it serves,” says Lewis. “The key to this model is partnering with like-minded individuals and organizations. We have begun with a focus on primary care services partnering with the Public Health Foundation of Columbia County and Pacific University College of Physician Assistants. Over the next 12 months we will continue to expand our partnerships with other organizations as appropriate.”



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