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WV community health centers ready for ACA

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Louise Reese Louise Reese
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Louise Reese is the chief executive officer of the West Virginia Primary Care Association. She has more than 25 years of progressive health care management expertise, and before assuming the leadership position at the WVPCA, she was a senior consultant with Dixon Hughes PLLC.

The West Virginia Primary Care Association's 30 community health center organizational members provide high quality health care at more than 240 clinical sites statewide. These community health centers are "one stop shops," offering a broad range of services, including primary care, dental care, behavioral health care and more, as well as sponsoring more than 90 school-based health centers, which are dedicated to their communities and schools. WVPCA member centers often are the only providers in rural West Virginia communities, and they are available to all West Virginians, regardless of their ability to pay. The centers currently care for more than one in five West Virginians.

WVPCA member clinics have accepted the challenge of health care reform and Medicaid expansion head on, with the hiring of hundreds of trained and certified enrollment specialists called navigators and assisters — all dedicated to enrolling West Virginia's uninsured population in the Medicaid program and WV Insurance Marketplace. Further, WVPCA member clinics across the state have broken ground on new facilities and have expanded services for the benefit of their communities.

Further, the WVCPA, along with 24 member community health centers, have banded together with Highmark West Virginia to form West Virginia's first and only Medicaid-only provider sponsored network — West Virginia Family Health — which will provide health care for West Virginia's most underserved and fragile populations. This partnership will create jobs in the state, foster investment in local communities and result in improved health care outcomes — this is truly "health care for West Virginians, by West Virginians." As West Virginia transitions toward a managed care model, West Virginia's community health centers bring decades of experience and success in providing these types of services. Further, West Virginia's community health centers are dedicated to integrating primary care and behavioral health care.

The West Virginia community health center network is the most comprehensive network in the United States, with community health center sites touching each corner of the state. These centers are outperforming national peers and have surpassed benchmarks in key areas, such as diabetes and heart disease, according to recent clinical measures. The dedication of these community health centers is what keeps WVPCA "Miles ahead of the curve ... Minutes away from home." 

Please visit your local community health center and see what makes it a wonderful choice for your medical home. Visit the WVPCA's website at www.wvpca.org for more information.