By Wayne Allen
One of the core principles that drives Compass Community Health is providing nonjudgmental compassionate care to the entire community. As a Fully Funded Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), services offered by Compass Community Health are available to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
“We are open to everyone and because of that, some of our patients tend to have a lot of chronic illnesses,” said Sonie Hash, Program Director for Compass Community Health.
Because Compass Community Health is a fully funded FQHC, they have access to grant funding to support operations and enhanced reimbursements.
“Access to grant funding and enhanced reimbursements allows us to continue to serve people. One of the other great things about being an FQHC and a community health center is, having a mission to provide nonjudgmental compassionate care,” Hash said.
Hash said the achievement of their mission to provide nonjudgmental compassionate care, can be quantified through patient satisfaction survey results.
“Our patient satisfaction survey shows gratitude from patients. They say such nice things about our staff and providers, about how comfortable we made them feel and we’re very proud of that,” Hash said. “That’s how we want people to feel, they can come here no matter what and we’re going to treat you like the person you are and give you top quality care that you’re entitled to.”
Compass has built such a reputation their patients have come to expect a high quality of care.
“You know in Scioto County, word of mouth is everything. If you’re doing a good job, people will tell their friends and families and if you’re not they will just slay you in a multitude of ways,” Hash said.
As an FQHC, Compass is held accountable to certain standards of care.
“Before we were a fully-funded FQHC, we had a look alike status. As a look alike, you have to operate under all of these rules and regulations, but you don’t get that added support operationally,” Hash said.
She said Compass decided they were going to operate as a fully funded FQHC even if they were not designated the status.
Hash believes operating under those standards, should send a positive message to the community. She said the providers at Compass will work with patients if they have reservations about certain avenues of treatment.
“I think people appreciate we try to meet them where they are and try to work with them even if it’s making baby steps,” Hash said.
They also have a pharmacy within the center, where people can fill prescriptions on the way out the door.
When asked what kind of advice she would give someone who’s aware of a health issue and hesitant to go to a doctor because of the inability to pay or another factor.
“We’ve got the resources to connect you. We’ve got people who can walk you through online services. If you don’t have insurance or you don’t understand the marketplace stuff, we have a person here that can walk you through all of that.”
Hash said one of the unique things about Compass staff and providers is, they go above and beyond to help patients.
Hash pointed to the example that made them a Red Cross Hero earlier this year.
Compass Community Health and the Portsmouth Police Department were presented with the Blood Hero Award at the Red Cross Hero Breakfast.
According to award information, “(A) patients’ blood work came back with a serious nature, and when patient could not be reached, police was contacted and followed up at patient’s residence to find them unresponsive and they saved her life,”
Hash said she would encourage people who have gotten used to feeling bad to visit them and they will try to figure what’s going on.
“You don’t have to worry about being judged. We understand health takes a back seat sometimes,” Hash said.
At the Compass Community Health facility, located at 1634 11th Street, Portsmouth, there are no steps and is all one level.
“If people have transportation barriers, we can sometime knock down those barriers down. If they are not coming because they need a ride, they need to call us,” Hash said.
For more information about Compass Community Health and the services offered call 740-355-7102 or visit www.compasscommunityhealth.org.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT