This morning, we had 18 open appointments at 180 Park Ave.
We have walk-in/open access today from 8-12 at 63 Preble. (Two days until 3:00. New medical provider will expand hours this month to 3:00 pm five days per week.)
We have three open appointments at Brickhill.
We have same day access for new patients at all sites.
We can and do check extra-genital sites for GC infection.
We follow the CDC guidelines on sexually transmitted diseases.
We currently do not have a stand-alone STD clinic. If the City were to close its STD clinic, we would provide the same model they currently provide, which is a combination of walk-in hours and scheduled appointments throughout the week. Currently, about 20 patients are being cared for each week. We would offer these services at our three largest sites. People would be able to come for STD testing without being patients of the health center.
They would be required to give a name, birthdate, and telephone number just as they are currently required to do at India Street. We will do all that we can to continue the contract with the State of Maine which funds free testing for high risk groups.
As a federally qualified health center, we do not turn people away if they are unable to pay for services.
We are applying for a needle exchange license. We have recommended several possible sites for the exchange and are open to continuing the conversation about where the exchange should be located.
We are currently hiring more staff/providers, in general and particularly for our substance abuse grant and would bring on more staff/providers if we take on additional services (Positive Health, DTS, Needle Exchange).
We will be bringing in HIV expertise for the Positive Health program.
The responsibility for notification and transfer of patients when a practice closes is with that practice, in this case the City. The City staff assured Portland CHC that it had contacted and transferred the records of all active patients; the rest of the patients were considered inactive by the City staff and unable to be reached. Each patient needed to sign for records individually with the City of Portland to provide permission to transfer the record. Portland CHC had to depend on the City staff to locate and transfer patients.
Please Note: We have received legal counsel on how to transfer all records in compliance with State and federal health care law, so that we have ability to contact every patient if India Street closes.
Portland CHC has served more homeless patients, has better access and availability and a wider array of services for patients than at the previous HCH program. Homeless patients are able to access care not only at 63 Preble Street but at any of our locations. Many prefer to come to 180 Park Avenue or to our other four locations.
We provide care to children who are homeless, as well as adults. We work closely with the family shelter and provide care onsite, as well as transportation from the shelter to our 180 Park Avenue site for establishing a medical home, group visits and school readiness.
Patients experiencing homelessness are very satisfied with their services as evidenced by our patient satisfaction surveys.
We have done all of this, despite not having support from one of our most important community partners.
Portland Community Health Center’s Health Care for the Homeless Program, and all of our services, are closely monitored by the federal government, as well as reported to the National Quality Improvement Council to demonstrate that we meet highest standards for Patient Centered Medical Home recognition. Our health center, like the City’s federally funded health care programs, undergoes rigorous review.
The City’s programs have struggled with compliance, risking loss of federal funding (Health Care for the Homeless, now Ryan White Part C). Portland Community Health Center consistently meets all requirements and excels. We received a quality award from the federal government this past year, and an incentive payment for Patient Centered Medical Home development just yesterday, including specifically for our Health Care for the Homeless program.