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DHHS Secretary Price Visits Unity for National Health Center Week

WASHINGTON – Tuesday, August 15, 2017– Unity Health Care (Unity) welcomed Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to the Parkside Health Center to celebrate National Health Center Week.

Secretary Price held a roundtable at Parkside Health Center to discuss with Unity staff the role Federally Qualified Health Centers play in helping improving the lives of neighborhoods across the nation and specifically in Washington. Unity treats over 105,000 D.C. residents each year in neighborhoods throughout Washington. Topics discussed at the roundtable included how Unity is working to address mental health, the opioid crisis, obesity, and the national primary care physician shortage.

Through grant funding from the District of Columbia Department of Health, Unity has begun a Medication Assisted Treatment program to treat individuals with substance abuse disorders like opioid addiction and link patients to supportive therapy. Marcia Hinkle, Unity’s Assistant Director of Social Services, shared with Secretary Price her work around treating individuals with substance abuse and mental health disorders. “When you walk away from something, you need to have something to walk towards,” said Hinkle.

Unity staff also shared how they are addressing directly the national primary care physician shortage through a partnership with A.T. Still University and the Wright Center to have a medical school and residency program within a community health center.  

“Unity is proud to be the only community health center in Washington, D.C. with our own medical students and residents treating the local community,” says Vincent A. Keane, President and CEO of Unity. “Primary care is really the backbone of our health care system and the key to improving health outcomes. Our innovative partnerships to address the physician shortage head on ensures access to these needed health services for all residents in every community in our great city.”

Following the roundtable, Secretary Price announced the release of $105 million in quality awards. Unity was proud to receive $80,500 to use to continue working to improve health outcomes for all D.C. residents.

Unity will be holding several other events to celebrate National Health Center Week, including a visit by Councilmember Trayon White at Unity’s Anacostia Health Center on Wednesday, August 16th and an open house at Unity’s Brentwood Health Center on Friday, August 18th.

About Unity Health Care

As the largest network of community health centers in Washington, D.C., Unity Health Care (Unity) provides a full-range of health and human services to meet the needs of our communities through a network of over 20 traditional and non-traditional health sites and a mobile medical outreach vehicle. Our team of compassionate and multicultural health professionals place Unity values into action every day to bring whole-person care and wellness to over 106,000 patients through 500,000 visits annually. Deeply rooted in the District’s neighborhoods for over 30 years, Unity strives to promote healthier communities through compassion and comprehensive primary and specialty health care and wrap-around services, regardless of ability to pay.

Roundtable Participants

Unity Health Care: Vincent A. Keane (President and CEO), Dr. Janelle Goetcheus (Chief Medical Officer), Dr. Diana Lapp (Deputy Chief Medical Officer), Marcia Hinkle (Assistant Director for Social Services), Dr. James Huang (Family Physician/Core Faculty), and Dr. Andrea Anderson (Family Physician/Core Faculty)

Department of Health and Human Services: Secretary Tom Price, Dr. George Sigounas (Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator), and Laura Caliguiri (Associate Deputy Secretary)

 

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