HEALTHLINC REACHES THE TARGET:  BP GOLD ACHIEVEMENT LEVEL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   November 20, 2017

  

Valparaiso, IN – HealthLinc reached the Target BP: Gold achievement level as determined by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA).  The Gold achievement level was awarded for HealthLinc’s exceptional blood pressure control rate of >70% throughout the patient population. The AHA and AMA partnered to launch Target: BP in 2015 to improve blood pressure control and build a healthier nation by reducing the number of Americans who have heart attacks and strokes by urging medical practices, health service organizations, and patients to prioritize blood pressure control.

 

HealthLinc is committed to continued quality improvement,” states Beth Wrobel, HealthLinc CEO.  “This recognition affirms that we are on “target” to reaching our quality goals.”

 

The control rate was achieved by breaking down the 3 recognized barriers to success as outlined by the American Heart Association that may contribute to uncontrolled blood pressure including systems, provider, and patient factors.

 

“As a part of our on-going quality control program, we were able focus on patients who were uncontrolled at the time of the visit,” said Dr. Ruth Stevens, HealthLinc Chief Quality Officer.  “We received medication management assistance from our clinical pharmacists and used behavioral health counselors to assist patients in addressing self-management goals, as they relate to blood pressure control and life-style changes.”

 

As a result of this accomplishment, HealthLinc will receive an announcement in trade publications and acknowledgement in an AMA Journal; premier recognition on the Target: BP website; along with a Gold listing on a Target: BP recognition display at conferences across the United States, including AHA and/or AMA meetings.

 

For more information about HealthLinc and Target:  BP, contact Jodie Wexelberg at (888) 580-1060 ext. 2627 or jwexelberg@healthlincchc.org.

 

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HEALTHLINC APPOINTS NEW CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   November 9, 2017

 

Valparaiso, IN –  HealthLinc announces the appointment of Dr. Carl Toren as Chief Medical Officer.  Dr. Toren will be responsible for guiding the medical direction of HealthLinc and its providers.  Since April 2016, he has been the site medical director at the East Chicago HealthLinc office, and for the past two months, has been serving as interim Chief Medical Officer.

 

Dr. Toren has an A.B. from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, a M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Illinois, and a M.P.H. from the University of Illinois School of Public Health in Chicago, Illinois.  He completed his Pediatric Residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and has extensive experience helping the underserved in the Chicagoland area.

 

He is also the Medical Director for Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center, Medical Consultant to the City of Chicago’s Head Start Program, and served for over 3 years as a medical missionary in a rural hospital in western Ethiopia that he has continued to visit on a regular basis for the past 30 years.   In addition to his responsibilities as Chief Medical Officer, he will also remain as site director for the East Chicago HealthLinc office.

 

“After an extensive, nation-wide search it was Dr. Toren who stood out as the most qualified candidate,” states Beth Wrobel, Chief Executive Officer.  “He has been an asset in East Chicago, bringing a wealth of experience to the patients and community.  We are thrilled that he has agreed to serve as Chief Medical Officer for HealthLinc.”

 

For more information about HealthLinc contact Jodie Wexelberg at (888) 580-1060 ext. 2627 or jwexelberg@healthlincchc.org

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HealthLinc, Inc. (www.healthlincchc.org) is a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services to people of all ages regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. HealthLinc clinics are located in Valparaiso, Valparaiso Porter-Starke Services, Michigan City, Knox, Mishawaka, South Bend, and East Chicago, and accept Medicare, Medicaid, Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), some commercial insurance plans, and uninsured patients on a sliding-fee scale based on their income.

 

HEALTHLINC PREPARES FOR OPEN ENROLLMENT

Valparaiso, IN –  HealthLinc clinics throughout Northwest Indiana will participate in the health insurance marketplace Open Enrollment period beginning November 1 through December 15, 2017.    Each clinic will have health insurance Navigators on hand to assist individuals looking for information on their health insurance options and in getting signed up.  Even those currently covered are welcome to stop by and have their insurance coverage reviewed.

 

The following is information for each clinic:

 

Every Tuesday & Wednesday,
9am-4pm
HealthLinc East Chicago
1313 W. Chicago Avenue, East Chicago, IN

 

Every Tuesday & Wednesday,
9am-4pm
HealthLinc Michigan City
710 Franklin St., Suite 200, Michigan City, IN

 

Every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday,
10am-5pm
HealthLinc Mishawaka
420 W 4th St, Mishawaka, IN
Every Monday & Thursday,
9am-5pm
HealthLinc Valparaiso
1001 N Sturdy Road, Valparaiso, IN

 

Appointments are suggested.  Call 1-888-580-1060 X 4405 or email navigator@healthlincchc.org to schedule an appointment.  Bilingual Assistance is available at each site.  For more information about the health insurance marketplace open enrollment period, contact Lauren Lamb at (888) 580-1060 ext. 2294, or llamb@healthlincchc.org.

 

HEALTHLINC AND INDIANA LEGAL SERVICES LAUNCH FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIP FOR NORTHWEST INDIANA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 18, 2017

 

HEALTHLINC AND INDIANA LEGAL SERVICES LAUNCH FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIP FOR NORTHWEST INDIANA

 

(Valparaiso, Indiana):  Indiana Legal Services and HealthLinc have recently partnered to provide no-cost, civil legal aid to HealthLinc patients who are in need of legal services for issues related to their health. This medical-legal partnership, funded by grants from the Indiana Bar Foundation and Legacy Foundation, is the first of its kind in northern Indiana.

 

“Community health centers are a vital way for our attorneys to connect with eligible clients in communities across our state,” said Jon Laramore, Executive Director of Indiana Legal Services.  “We are excited to partner with HealthLinc to connect those who typically can’t afford an attorney with the resources to address legal needs that also impact their health.”

 

Indiana Legal Services will provide training to HealthLinc staff in all seven clinics on how to identify needs that qualify for civil legal aid. As a part of the program, qualifying patients also will receive annual screenings for potential health-harming circumstances that may reveal the need for civil legal services.

 

Patients meeting the criteria will work with attorney Emma Douglas to get their issue resolved at no cost. Qualifying legal issues could include insurance and benefits claims, substandard housing, and criminal record expungement.

 

“The medical-legal partnership, a relatively new healthcare service, has proven to have a major impact on the health of patients throughout the nation,” states Beth Wrobel, HealthLinc Chief Executive Officer.  “Many health-harming factors have their roots in legal problems and create barriers to our patient’s ability to live healthy, productive lives.  We look forward to our providers “prescribing” a visit to our own site legal services.”

 

Indiana Legal Services already has existing partnerships with several health care providers including Eskenazi Health, Indiana University Health, and Community Health Network. Its partnership with Eskenazi’s Midtown Community Mental Health Clinic was named one of 2015’s outstanding medical-legal partnerships by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

 

Read how Eskenazi Health’s North Arlington clinic connected “Joyce” to free legal aid from Indiana Legal Services through its medical-legal partnership.

 

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Media Contacts

Jodie Wexelberg

Office: (219) 413-5100, ext. 2627 Cell: (219) 218-2860

jwexelberg@healthlincchc.org

 

Lisa Vielee

Cell: (317) 979-4424

lisa@welldonemarketing.com

 

 

 

 

About Indiana Legal Services

With eight regional offices, Indiana Legal Services is the state’s largest poverty law firm serving low-income and senior clients in all 92 Hoosier counties. The not-for-profit firm provides free representations on civil legal matters focusing on basic needs like habitable housing, debt collection, quality health care, tax assistance, income security, and protection from domestic abuse, among others. ILS was established in 1966 and resolves more than 10,000 cases per year.

 

About HealthLinc, Inc.

HealthLinc, Inc. (www.healthlincchc.org) is a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services to people of all ages regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. HealthLinc clinics are located in Valparaiso, Valparaiso Porter-Starke Services, Michigan City, Knox, Mishawaka, South Bend, and East Chicago, and accept Medicare, Medicaid, Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), some commercial insurance plans, and uninsured patients on a sliding-fee scale based on their income.

HEALTHLINC RECOGNIZED FOR OUTSTANDING PATIENT CARE IN HYPERTENSION AND DIABETES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 21, 2017

 

HEALTHLINC RECOGNIZED FOR OUTSTANDING PATIENT CARE IN HYPERTENSION AND DIABETES

 

Valparaiso, IN – HealthLinc has received The Guideline Advantage™ Hypertension Control and Diabetes Management Achievement Award for attaining specific quality improvement metrics supported by American Heart Association Hypertension Guidelines and American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes.

The Guideline Advantage is a quality improvement program in collaboration with American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and American Heart Association that helps outpatient healthcare organizations provide the most up-to-date, research-based care related to prevention and early detection of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The program promotes the use of evidence-based metrics and quality improvement strategies to help organization improve care and provide patients every advantage for a healthy life.

HealthLinc earned the award by meeting or exceeding specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of patients at a nationally recognized level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications, and risk-reduction therapies as appropriate.

“HealthLinc is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our community, and implementing The Guideline Advantage program helped us to accomplish this goal by tracking and measuring our success in meeting these internationally-respected guidelines,” said Beth Wrobel, CEO.

“We are pleased to recognize HealthLinc for their commitment to improving patient care,” said James R. Langabeer II, MBA, PHD, EMT, national Chairman of The Guideline Advantage Steering Committee and Professor of Emergency Medicine and Clinical Informatics at    The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “Preventive health screenings and chronic condition management have a major impact in the health of our communities across the United States. Programs like The Guideline Advantage, which helps providers stay up to date with the latest guidelines and apply them to their patient populations, are critical in our world of fast-paced innovations in technology and patient care.”

 

For more information about HealthLinc, contact Jodie Wexelberg at (888) 580-1060 ext. 2627 or jwexelberg@healthlincchc.org.

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HealthLinc Receives Health Care Grants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 20, 2017

 

HEALTHLINC RECEIVES HEALTH CARE GRANTS

 

Valparaiso, IN – HealthLinc has been awarded the Health Center Quality Improvement FY 2017 Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funds are given when quality measures are met and used by health centers to continue improving the effectiveness and quality of health care provided to their communities.

“Americans deserve a health care system that’s affordable, accessible, of the highest quality, with ample choices, driven by world-leading innovations and responsive to the needs of the individual patient,” said Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Tom Price, in a release from Tuesday, August 15. “Supporting health centers across the country helps to achieve that mission.”

 

HealthLinc received grants in four categories including EHR Reporter’s for $10,500, Clinical Quality Improvers for $22,013, Health Center Quality Leaders for $33,563, and Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition for $55,000 for a total of $121,076.

 

“We continue to see greater need for the services provided by community health centers, and we want to be able to meet those needs,” states Beth Wrobel, HealthLinc CEO. “These grant awards are very important for our ability to continue to provide and expand quality health care to our patients.”

 

New data from Human Resource Service Administration (HRSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that in 2016, 26 million people, or 1 in 12 U.S. residents, relied on a HRSA-funded health center for their primary health care.

 

For more information about HealthLinc and the Health Center Quality Improvement Grant, contact April Currier at (888) 580-1060 ext. 2798 or acurrier@healthlincchc.org

 

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HealthLinc Achieves Highest Level Awarded to Patient-Centered Medical Home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 19, 2017


HEALTHLINC ACHIEVES HIGHEST LEVEL AWARDED TO PATIENT-CENTERED MEDICAL HOME

 

Valparaiso, IN – HealthLinc has been recognized as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) for five of their community health centers. To reach PCMH Level 3 status, each site had to meet an extensive set of standards as outlined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Each of the sites renewed under the current 2014 guidelines.

 

Patient-Centered Medical Homes provide comprehensive and coordinated care that includes allowing patients to have a voice when decisions are being made about their health care and treatment.

 

The HealthLinc sites in East Chicago, Mishawaka, Michigan City, and Porter Starke will be eligible for renewal in 2020, and the Valparaiso site will be eligible for renewal in 2019. The new 2017 guidelines include additional standards in the areas of oral health, dental care, and an increased emphasis on whole patient care, social determinants of health, mental health and quality.

 

“We have consistently achieved Level 3 status since starting this project in 2012, which is a testament to the commitment and hard work of our staff to make sure that our patients are at the center of everything we do,” states Beth Wrobel, Chief Executive Officer. “Our patients know they will be respected, treated fairly, and given equal access to care, regardless of their source of payment.”

 

For more information about the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCHM) status level, contact Jodie Wexelberg at (888) 580-1060 ext. 2627 or jwexelberg@healthlincchc.org.

 

Health Linc Hosts Ribbon-Cutting Event for New Telehealth Program

Health Linc Hosts Ribbon-Cutting Event for New Telehealth Program

Valparaiso, Indiana. – HealthLinc celebrates its newest site addition – the “Healthy Vikes” telehealth clinic on Wednesday, August 23 at 5:00 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Middle School located at 1600 Roosevelt Road, Valparaiso, Indiana.

The school-based telemedicine program is a partnership between HealthLinc, Valparaiso Community Schools, and MHS and focuses on keeping children healthier and reducing the number of absences due to illness.

Available to all Valparaiso Community School students and staff, the Healthy Vikes Clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. when school is in session.

 

It allows children to be seen by a healthcare provider before work or school and without needing an appointment.  Registration and a parental consent form must be signed before services can be provided.

“We are proud to bring telehealth to Valparaiso Community Schools,” said Beth Wrobel, CEO of HealthLinc. “The advantages of getting an early diagnosis and immediate health care services can reduce classroom absences, which has been proven to positively impact learning.”

The services available through the “Healthy Vikes” clinic include, diagnoses and treatment for acute illness (strep throat, ear infections, rash, flu, and minor injuries), limited laboratory testing, and behavioral health services and referrals.

Using the Telemed ED, a clinical telemedicine system, a medical provider located at the HeathLinc clinic in Valparaiso and an on-site medical assistant employed by HealthLinc, students can be given a diagnosis, medicines prescribed (no medicines will be on-site at the school), and follow up visits scheduled, if needed. Parents can join the visit via phone conference, if desired.  In addition, a written summary of the visit is given to the student to take home.

“We are so excited to partner with HealthLinc to bring our community and our staff this convenient and efficient health care service,” states Julie Lauck Associate Superintendent of Valparaiso Community Schools.  “One of the best aspects of living and working in Valparaiso is the partnerships that are formed between the schools and our local businesses.  We are honored to open the Healthy Vikes Clinic with our HealthLinc partner.”

“Our involvement with the telehealth clinic ties into the goals for our Adopt-a-School program, allowing MHS to collaborate with schools on initiatives and programs focused on overall health literacy and awareness,” said MHS President and CEO Kevin O’Toole. “This clinic will help improve access to care issues for Valparaiso students and help combat chronic absenteeism. Healthier kids make better students.”
Services will be billed through the student’s health insurance.  If the student does not have insurance, services will be provided on a sliding-fee scale that is based on the household income.  If the student is uninsured, HealthLinc can assist with trying to secure insurance through the marketplace or HIP 2.0.

For more information about the “Healthy Vikes” Clinic, please contact jwexelberg@healthlincchc.org

NEW MYHEALTHLINC PATIENT PORTAL

A new way to communicate with your HealthLinc Team is now available! The new MyHealthLinc Patient Portal will allow you to:

  • Ask your healthcare provider questions
  • Receive important health information
  • Get a copy of your medical records
  • Request an appointment
  • See your statement AND pay your bill

 

Watch for your email invitation and then register to use the new and improved patient portal. To view just how easy the new portal is to use, look at the video link below:

 

http://www.healthlincchc.org/patient-portal

LOW AND NO-COST FLU SHOTS FOR HEALTHLINC PATIENTS AVAILABLE NOW

LOW AND NO-COST FLU SHOTS FOR HEALTHLINC PATIENTS AVAILABLE NOW

 

Valparaiso, IN – HealthLinc clinics throughout Northwest Indiana are offering no- and low-cost flu shots to their patients throughout flu season. Flu shots will be available at no cost to any HealthLinc patient who has a check-up, well visit, or other appointment already scheduled.

 

For those HealthLinc patients that do not have another appointment already scheduled, the cost for a flu shot is $15. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

HealthLinc has clinics located throughout Northwest Indiana including East Chicago, Valparaiso, Knox, Michigan City, South Bend (IUSB Campus), and Mishawaka.

 

“We know that influenza activity increases in October, and we like to make sure the community is aware that we have flu shots available,” states HealthLinc CEO Beth Wrobel. “Each of our clinics is stocked with flu vaccines, and we are offering them at no-cost to our patients that may already be coming in for another appointment including vision and dental appointments.”

 

Flu vaccinations can prevent flu illnesses and flu-related hospitalizations. The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for everyone six months or older.  It takes two weeks after vaccination for protection to set in.

 

For more information about the flu shot program, contact Jodie Wexelberg (888) 580-1060 ext. 2627 or jwexelberg@healthlincchc.org.