REP. JOHN HUFFMAN learns about high-tech dental equipment at The Dalles’ location of One Community Health. From left, Mary Davidson, MPH, RDH, EPP and Elizabeth Aughney, DDS, clinical integration director.
Rep. John Huffman (R-The Dalles) took a tour of One Community Health in The Dalles last Wednesday.
At the visit, steered by Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA), Huffman listened intently as OCH leaders shared a video and recent health data, demonstrating the steady uptick they’ve been seeing in patient care and services.
“It’s really exciting to see how everything here has evolved so quickly yet effectively,” Huffman said. “I’m thrilled about what One Community Health is doing for health and dental care for the Mid-Columbia region. It’s great to be here again and actually see the success.”
Over the last few years, OCH has been serving an increased number of patients, partly because more people are now eligible for Medicaid. The center has responded to the boosted demand with a proactive, comprehensive approach to treating the “whole person.”
Leading the OCH meeting and site tour were Dave Edwards, CEO, Elizabeth Aughney, DDS, clinical integration director, and Lynne Frost, DNP, clinical operations director, all from OCH. The two discussed the demographics of patients served, the shared needs that have emerged through OCH surveys, as well as some clinic statistics. For example, in the past three years, OCH experienced a 19 percent increase in medical patient visits while dental visits climbed by 54 percent.
“While we’re serving mostly Medicaid and uninsured patients, these numbers reflect an entire community of patients who are seeking affordable, quality services in a caring environment and integrated structure,” Aughney said. “This means working together and removing the silos within our own approach to treatment, for example, addressing dental needs to help prevent other physical conditions or illnesses.”
The health center has expanded its staff and worked to better integrate the primary health care and dental programs. OCH also has enhanced its in-house preventive care solutions and strengthened community partnerships to help facilitate behavioral, nutrition and wellness programs.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of One Community Health, a nonprofit, federally qualified health center which was founded in 1986 and originally called “La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center, Inc.”
“We were really grateful to have Representative Huffman come learn about our current needs and also how much we’ve accomplished in just a few years’ time,” Edwards said.