“Maria Amelia is a single mother who faces chronic economic fragility due to low income, as well as other cultural and social barriers. Maria Amelia came to Southwest Utah Community Health Center dba Family Healthcare more than ten years ago after searching for a primary health care home in her St. George, Utah community. She receives medical and dental care at Family Healthcare. She has a need for service in Spanish, which Family Healthcare offers. She is a beneficiary of the generous funding support provided by Delta Dental Community Care Foundation. In 2022, Maria required bridge work on her front teeth. The costs associated with this procedure were well beyond her financial capability. Family Healthcare providers were able to help Maria Amelia by drawing on the generous funding support provided by Delta Dental Community Care Foundation. Maria describes her experience as being excellent. She is very happy with care provided by Family Healthcare and grateful to have received financial support that allowed her to reclaim her oral health and a smile she is proud of. Her message to others who struggle economically and feel culturally marginalized is; “I 100% recommend that you seek dental care with Family Healthcare. They are thorough, compassionate, and always find a way to help. I only have great things to say about my experience and am thankful for the support Family Healthcare and Delta Dental have provided. The fact that I can receive such high-quality care at a cost I can afford has really changed my life. In the past I found it hard to make dental appointments due to financial hardships. Now, I’ve found a place that is affordable for my family. It makes me happy that I can give my kids the oral hygiene care they need.”
“My experience with Family Healthcare has always been great. The staff and doctors are very friendly to me. I received assistance to have work done on my smile line and a missing tooth. I am grateful to the clinic and the doctors because, with their help, I have regained my smile and self-confidence once again. I will return to Family Healthcare because of how well everything went.”
– Noemi’s care at Family Healthcare was funded through a generous grant made by the Delta Dental Foundation. She was shy about the idea of smiling for our camera.
“Mi experiencia con Family Healthcare siempre ha sido excelente. El personal y los médicos son muy amables conmigo. Recibí ayuda para hacerme un trabajo en la línea de mi sonrisa y me faltaba un diente. Agradezco a la clínica y a los médicos porque con su ayuda he recuperado la sonrisa y la confianza de nuevo. Volveré a Family Healthcare por el gran servicio que ofrecen.”
– La atención de Noemi en Family Healthcare se financió a través de una generosa subvención otorgada por la Delta Dental Foundation. Le daba vergüenza la idea de sonreír para nuestra cámara.”
Advocating for patients with chronic care needs
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Family Healthcare providers have been working with many special needs patients to help ensure they are healthy and safe. Family Healthcare is involved in a program called Chronic Care Management that allows a Registered Nurse to provide advocacy assistance for patients as they navigate a very complicated health care system.
One of these patients, who has multiple medical and behavioral healthcare needs, was assigned to the Chronic Care Management Program, and a Family Healthcare RN was then able to do what was required to arrange in-home health services for the patient. However, the patient ended up refusing care and landed in the ER multiple times with blood sugar levels higher than 800, a bone infection leading to amputation, and behavioral challenges that hindered the ability to deliver care.
The Chronic Care Management program allowed the Family Healthcare Registered Nurse to intervene throughout this process, as the patient moved from one skilled nursing facility to another, facing roadblocks and insurmountable challenges without help, including the loss of their home. The patient has ongoing needs for which Family Healthcare will continue to advocate and provide a healthcare home with integrated medical, behavioral, and dental care.
This is one example of how Family Healthcare providers advocate for patients and work with other agencies to help patients access the critical support services, as well as the healthcare they need and deserve.”
Teamwork in Chronic Care
Teamwork – by Laura Christensen, RN
As a Case Manager with Family Healthcare, I case manage one of Nurse Practitioner Betty Gould’s patients. The patient has chronic, life-threatening anemia. Recently, this patient was discharged from hospital and had run out of her over the counter iron supplement because she couldn’t afford it. Having not taken this supplement for a few days her anemia worsened, and she was again hospitalized, needing a blood transfusion due to critically low Hemoglobin.
Once stabilized, she was discharged to home, with home health services. My case manager role includes following up after the hospital discharge of a Family Healthcare patient. Per protocol I called the patient to check on her and help schedule a follow up appointment with her primary care provider, Betty Gould. I also reached out to the home health nurse to let her know she could call me regarding this patient if needed. After visiting the patient in her home, the home health nurse called back, concerned that this patient lacked food, had no means of accessing food, and couldn’t afford the iron supplement she so critically needed.
I reached out to a Family Healthcare Care Coordinator, who immediately jumped in to help with food resources for this patient. I then called Betty Gould to explain the medication situation. Betty decided to issue a prescription for the iron supplement, with a voucher to help cover the cost. When it was learned that the patient was homebound and would not be able to pick up the supplement prescription herself, Betty, without hesitation, offered to drop off the prescription with voucher at the pharmacy herself. Then another obstacle presented itself. The patient did not qualify for the voucher because she had insurance. Betty, again thinking quickly, looked to see if we had free samples and to our delight we did! I called the home health nurse who agreed to pick up the free iron supplements and deliver them to the patient that day. The patient was very grateful and told me that Betty really takes the time to listen and understand her patients. Betty has genuine compassion for her patients, which really shows in examples like this one.
“Recently my 85-year-old grandpa was diagnosed with COVID-19. My family and I were worried about his situation with him being a high-risk COVID-19 patient. I wanted my grandpa to be seen by a provider but realized on such short notice it would probably have to wait. Seth was kind enough to squeeze my grandpa in at the end of the day. We set up a 3:45 tele visit. After a wait, Seth called and performed the tele visit with my grandpa. However, Seth wanted to see my grandpa in person that night.
So grandpa and I went to see him at the Hurricane clinic. When we arrived, I quickly noticed that the clinic was shut down, lights were off, and it appeared that all staff had left. However, Seth came out that side door and took my grandfather’s vitals. It was obviously clear that Seth was staying late to see my Grandpa. Seth could have left for the night and asked my grandpa to come the next day. However, he was willing to sacrifice his personal time to see my Grandpa after hours.
Seth took my Grandpa’s vitals and gave us much-needed comfort. Leaving the clinic that night, I was impressed with Seth. He was kind, attentive, and willing to serve my Grandpa. He left a great impression on me with his willingness to do what is in the best interest of his patients”
“When I first became a Family Healthcare patient, about two or three years ago, I was in high school and was facing some dark times in my life. But I had hope that in the right environment, with the right care, I could be happier.
As a therapy patient I’ve had a very positive experience, and good results. I’ve learned how to look at things with a new perspective, with more empathy for others. I now approach life and problem solving differently. By breaking bad thought patterns and using my new coping skills, I have a much more positive outlook, and feel happier.
My mother, and other members of my family are also Family Healthcare patients. English is their second language, so they like the fact that Family Healthcare staff speak Spanish, as well as English, which makes things more comfortable for them. They no longer have fear about reaching out for health care.
Family Healthcare is definitely worth a try. The staff are welcoming, and helpful. The sliding scale fees make it accessible and affordable.”
Mi hija adulta Daisy, y yo hemos sido pacientes de Family Healthcare desde que nos mudamos a St. George hace once años. Nuestra experiencia en Family Healthcare ha sido muy positiva, y mucho mejor a lo que estábamos acostumbradas en California. Todo el Personal de la clínica, han sido muy amables, de buen corazón y nos han ayudado mucho. Para mí son como unos ángeles. Tenemos tantas historias acerca del cuidado que hemos recibido. Ellos siempre tienen una solución para nosotros, no importa que tan grande sea el desafío. Por ejemplo: Yo estaba teniendo problemas de la vista y necesitaba una operación muy costosa, y Daisy, quien tiene Parálisis Cerebral, necesitaba aparatos ortopédicos para sus piernas. Family Healthcare me ayudo a adquirir la cirugía para recuperar la vista que yo necesitaba, realizada por doctores voluntarios y el personal médico en la Ciudad de Salt Lake. Y Daisy también pudo recibir los aparatos ortopédicos! Más recientemente cuando me estaba siendo difícil adquirir el examen de COVID-19 necesario en anticipación de mi cirugía, la clínica de St. George nuevamente en su afán de ayudar más allá de lo normal, el Doctor Samuel Christensen se tomó el tiempo de salir a mi auto y asegurarse que yo tuviera todo el papeleo necesario para asegurar que todo estuviese en orden para cuando yo fuera a mi cita de la cirugía. Quiero compartir nuestras buenas experiencias para que otras personas puedan obtener la ayuda para el cuidado de salud que necesitan. Mi mensaje para otros es que no deben tener miedo por no tener el dinero suficiente, o por no hablar Inglés muy bien. La clínica de Family Healthcare siempre tiene una manera de ayudarles, y su personal que es muy caritativo habla Español. Pueden estar seguros que ellos intentaran todo lo posible por ayudarles. Me gustaría añadir también mi agradecimiento a la doctora Helen McMahan, su atención siempre tan amable y al pendiente de proveer al paciente lo que necesita. Anel Robledo y Beatriz Giron mi agradecimiento especial a ellas, siempre dispuestas a ayudarle a uno y hacerlo sentir en confianza y si la ayuda no está a la mano, ellas siempre van más allá para encontrarla. Sin ellas mi cirugía no hubiera sido posible.
My adult daughter, Daisy, and I have been patients at Family Healthcare since moving to St. George eleven years ago. Our experience at Family Healthcare has been very positive, and a big improvement over what we were used to in California. The staff at Family Healthcare are all so kind, good-hearted, and helpful. I think of them as angels. I have so many good stories about the care we have received. They always have a solution for us, no matter how big the challenge is. For example; I was having vision problems and needed expensive surgery, and Daisy, who has Cerebral Palsy, needed braces for her legs. Family Healthcare helped me get the sight-restoring surgery I needed, performed by volunteer doctors and medical personnel in Salt Lake City. And Daisy was able to get the braces she needed too! More recently when I was having trouble getting a pre-surgery COVID-19 test here in St. George, Family Healthcare stepped in to help once again, and always going the extra mile, Dr. Samuel Christensen took the time to come out to my car and make sure I had the paperwork I needed to ensure things would go smoothly when I arrived at my surgery appointment. I want to share our good experience so that others can get the healthcare help they need. My message to others is that you don’t have to feel afraid that you don’t have enough money, or that you don’t speak English well enough. Family Healthcare always has a way to help you, and the compassionate staff speak Spanish. You can trust them to try everything they can to help you. I would also like to share my gratitude to my Doctor Helen McMahan, her kind attention and gentle care, always striving to provide the best care and assist her patients. Special thanks to Anel Robledo and Beatriz Giron for always being willing and ready to help and, make us feel comfortable with them, and if the assistance is not within reach, they always go above and beyond to find it. Without them, my surgery would not have been possible.
“One of our board certified family nurse practitioners worked with a patient who was an opioid prescription addict. He received medication assistant treatment and was supported by behavioral therapy to help him understand the underlying causes of addiction.
He went off opioids and attended regular session with his therapist. He continues to do well and is so thankful for everything in his life right now. Six months ago he was homeless, and now he is living in an RV with his wife who is also going through the program.
He just got a job promotion driving truck with a pay raise and loves it. His wife is currently pregnant, so they have a baby on the way. He is helping to care for his mother who is actually telling him how proud she is of him and how much she appreciates him.
He was skeptical about how he would do in the program, but it has changed his life. He states he was always a negative person complaining about how awful everything was, and the behavioral counseling has taught him to be thankful for things, and he keeps getting more and more to be thankful for.
He had a bad day the other day and strongly felt the urge to use. He told his wife he felt like using again and felt like he needed to go out for a walk instead. He listened to music on his walk, and actually was dancing down the streets on his way home from the walk much happier. He is happy to be learning different coping strategies and is proud of his success.
We continue to evolve Family Healthcare according to the model of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) which puts patients at the center of the healthcare system, and provides primary care that is “accessible, affordable, continuous, comprehensive, family centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective.”
We are looking for various roles across our care teams and administration. If you want to help others and make lives better through compassionate quality healthcare service delivery, then we’d love to hear from you!