Story and Photos by Amy Falkofske
On Wednesday, June 27, the Potomac Primary Care Collaborative (PPCC) celebrated the completion of its year-long collaborative by celebrating the participating members. Each member organization received a framed certificate of completion. The members of the collaborative included AAA Pediatrics, Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic, Prime Wellness Clinic, All Pediatrics, Greater Prince William Community Health Center, Prince William Area Free Clinic, Rappahannock Family Physicians and Dr. Z’s Total Women’s Care. The PPCC was sponsored by a grant from Potomac Health Foundation with the Virginia Center for Health Innovation and Community Health Solutions helping to facilitate the collaborative.
The PPCC’s purpose was to engage and support primary care organizations as essential partners in improving health and health care for community residents, and to address regional health concerns such as maternal health, adult health, child health and senior health.
“The Potomac Health Foundation’s goal for funding the Primary Care Collaborative is that they see that this area is so diverse, and it’s continuing to get more and more diverse with new people moving in of all socioeconomic levels, and the foundation wanted to provide some capacity-building support to primary care of the area and also for the foundation to help identify through the project, where there are gaps in specialty referral and community resources,” said Ashley Edwards, Chief Innovation Officer at Virginia Center Health Innovation.
“The goals were to figure out what supports the primary care practices needed. We knew that there was likely a need for some community connections, meaning primary care practices being connected to resources that patients need to support their health outside the clinic walls,” said Sherrina Gibson, Senior Policy Analyst with Community Health Solutions.
Gibson also spoke about the results of the collaborative and noted an instance where a primary care physician treating a patient with diabetes learned of support groups and a diabetic-friendly food bank outside of the clinic.
“[Primary care practices] learned about resources they didn’t know before. They learned about each other. They learned how to work together with each other and how to deal with challenges,” said Gibson.
At the PPCC celebration event a new initiative was announced. Healthy Minds, Healthy Children will begin on July 1 and use a mini-fellowship model facilitated by the REACH Institute. The goal of Healthy Minds, Healthy Children is to train primary care providers to screen, diagnose and treat common mental health disorders in children, including ADHD, depression and anxiety. The REACH Institute will serve as curriculum lead. In addition, the Healthy Minds, Healthy Children team includes Virginia Center for Health Innovation as the project lead, Dr. Sandy Chung as the medical director and promotional partners, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners and Virginia Academy of Family Physicians.