Celebrating National Health Center Week 2022

August 8, 2022

National Health Center Week is being celebrated from August 7 – 13, 2022, and we want to take the opportunity to thank the clinicians and administrative staff across Aledade’s 140+ member community health centers for all they do. America’s CHCs have provided essential healthcare services to some of America’s neediest populations over the last 50+ years. In this blog, we will spotlight three CHC staff members and their contributions to the communities they serve. 

Mona Broomfield, RN, BSN; Director of Quality; PrairieStar HC, Hutchinson, KS

When the opportunity to work at a CHC arose, Mona Broomfield spent days researching what CHCs do. After realizing what services CHCs provide to rural and underserved communities, she knew that this was the right place for her. She said, “As an individual who grew up in a poor, rural area, there weren’t any medical and dental care services nearby. My family and others in the community often went without. A CHC in the area I grew up in would have changed many lives.”

Over the last 20 years of her career, Broomfield has continued to serve her community with the ultimate goal of improving access to care and the health of every patient who walks through the door, regardless of their circumstances. Of Broomfield, Travis Houk, Aledade’s Senior Market Lead for CHCs in Kansas, said, “Mona does an exemplary job of keeping this CHC on track and ahead of the field when it comes to quality. There isn't a metric or initiative she doesn't track and she drives her team to reach perfection.”

This is best exemplified by the years she spent building up the clinic's hypertension workflow and process, leading them to win a 2020 Million Hearts Award. She was also instrumental in the design and procurement of a mobile medical van that allows the CHC to provide point of care in their community. 

While working at a CHC has its challenges, it’s also very rewarding, especially with a focus on value-based care. “My favorite thing about working at a CHC is being an intricate part of our community. By placing an emphasis on wellness through prevention, the dynamics start shifting and patients start experiencing improved outcomes,'' said Broomfield. However, the most important takeaway for her is that she can’t do it alone. “It takes a village. This shift has the potential to slow down and decrease healthcare costs for the industry, and improve quality of life for many.”

Eric Gayle, MD, FAAFP; Vice President, Medical Services; Regional Medical Director, New York City; The Institute for Family Health, NY

Dr. Eric Gayle’s desire to work at CHCs came from his own experience. “When I immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica, my family and I did not have any healthcare coverage. CHCs are where we sought care. After completing my training, I realized that my personal beliefs and interests aligned with the CHC mission and I wanted to provide care to those who need it most,” said Dr. Gayle.

Victoria Njoku-Anokam, Aledade ACO Executive Director in New York, said, “Dr. Gayle is an exemplary clinical leader and a strong advocate for value-based care delivery. He places high standards on delivering quality care and holds himself accountable for meeting those standards as he practices himself. He is also a leader in his community and does everything he can to promote health equity.”

This is not always an easy task at a CHC. With limited resources, it’s often difficult to meet and address social determinants of health affecting patients and positively impact outcomes. However, value-based care helps close those gaps. Dr. Gayle said, “Any shared savings we earn, we reinvest in resources for the future care of patients.”

Dr. Gayle’s favorite part of being a family physician at a CHC? Providing care across the spectrum. “I get to see patients of all ages and provide them with great care and help them get better.”

Lee Ann Fragale, RN; Care Manager Coordinator; Coplin Health Systems, WV

Lee Ann Fragale’s passion for serving patients and her community, along with Coplin Health Systems’ core values of quality, people access and commitment, drew her into the CHC realm. 

For the last several years as Care Manager Coordinator, she has worked tirelessly to accomplish value-based care goals. Teresa Lonsinger, Senior Practice Transformation Specialist at Aledade, said of Fragale: “She has been a great team leader from the moment when she was hired at Coplin Health Systems. She has worked hard to get their providers buy-in and even staff members working the ACO initiatives.”  

At Coplin Health Systems, Fragale is able to provide care that she values. Even though there are challenges they face, they work to address them the best they can. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. The most rewarding thing to me about working in value-based care is seeing the patient and family’s needs being met. There is no greater joy for me than watching the relief of patients and families when they thought there was no way they could afford quality healthcare, but they received it.”