CHAD Health Centers receive HHS awards for IT enhancements

(Sioux Falls, SD, September 16, 2016) Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $415,967 in funding for 7 health centers in North and South Dakota for health information technology enhancements. Coal Country Community Health Center, Family HealthCare Center, Northland Health Centers and Valley Community Health Centers in North Dakota and the Community Health Center of the Black Hills, Falls Community Health and Horizon Health Care, Inc. in South Dakota each received funding.

 “Health centers across the country are instrumental in providing high-quality, comprehensive primary health care to millions of people,” said Secretary Burwell. “This investment will help unlock health care data and put it to work, improving health outcomes and building a better health care system for the American people.”

The funding will support health information technology enhancements to accelerate health centers’ transition to value-based models of care, improve efforts to share and use information to support better decisions, and increase engagement in delivery system transformation. This is the first significant investment since 2009 directly awarded to health centers to support the purchase of health information technology. 

“While the least costly elements of quality health care – like a relationship with a local team of providers who are willing to listen to you and care about your health – will never fade in value, the power and potential impact of information technology is growing exponentially in health care. This funding will allow health centers to remain leaders in their use of electronic health records, quality measurement reporting, data analytics and population health management,” said Shelly Ten Napel, CEO of the Community HealthCare Association.

 There are ten community health centers located in 51 communities throughout North and South Dakota with a total of 62 delivery sites, including primary care, dental and school based clinics. In 2015, over 100,000 patients were treated in health centers across the Dakotas.






 (Beulah, ND, May 2, 2016) – The prestigious American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Certificate for a quality diabetes self-management education program was recently awarded to the Coal Country Community Health Center program in Beulah, ND on April 25, 2016:  Coal Country Community Health Center Diabetes Education and Outreach. The program was originally recognized in December of 2015.  ADA believes that this program offers high-quality education that is an essential component of effective diabetes treatment.

  The ADA Education Recognition effort, begun in the fall of 1986, is a voluntary process which assures that approved education programs have met the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs.  Programs that achieve Recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide state-of-the-art information about diabetes management for participants.

 Self-management education is an essential component of diabetes treatment.  One consequence of compliance with the National Standards is the greater consistency in the quality and quantity of education offered to people with diabetes.  The participant in an ADA Recognized program will be taught, as needed, self-care skills that will promote better management of his or her diabetes treatment regimen.  All approved education programs cover the following topics as needed: diabetes disease process; nutritional management; physical activity; medications; monitoring; preventing, detecting, and treating acute complications; preventing, detecting, and treating chronic complications through risk reduction; goal setting and problem solving; psychological adjustment; and preconception care, management during pregnancy, and gestational management.

Assuring high-quality education for patient self-care is one of the primary goals of the Education Recognition program.  Through the support of the health care team and increased knowledge and awareness of diabetes, the patient can assume a major part of the responsibility for his/her diabetes management.  Unnecessary hospital admissions and some of the acute and chronic complications of diabetes may be prevented through self-management education.

“The process gives professionals a national standard by which to measure the quality of the services they provide”, commented Rhonda Pfenning, RN.  “And, of course, it helps consumers to identify these quality programs.” 

For more information or to get involved in these education programs, contact CCCHC program coordinator’s Rhonda Pfenning, RN at 701-873-4445 or Jean Langeliers, Licensed Registered Dietitian at 701-873-7788 ext. 109.