Cabin Creek Health Systems
"Partnering with the Plexus Institute has helped us engage and learn from our staff and brought us both theory and practices that help our health center to be a better a better place to work and to better serve our patients. Our Plexus friends do not try to transform us or get us to implement a best practice, but they do help us to understand the realities of organizational life, of relationships, motivation and making changes. They also remind us that our job is fundamentally about expanding social justice. Our relation with Plexus has educated and challenged us in ways that impact us daily, has expanded our friendships and connections and made our work more fun. You cannot ask for more from a partnership."
Craig Robinson and Amber Crist, Cabin Creek Health Systems
Cabin Creek Health Systems (CCHS) operates four community health centers in rural areas of Kanawha County, in southern West Virginia. The health centers serve communities with high rates of poverty, behavioral health risks and chronic disease. The service areas of the four clinics includes ten rural census tracts, over three counties, with 52,000 persons. The poverty rates are 50% higher than the nation's and 33% higher than the state rates.
The first health center (Cabin Creek Health Center), and still largest site, opened in 1973 in Dawes, WV as a result of an extensive community effort to improve access to primary care in a rural coal mining area. The second health center (Riverside Health Center) was opened in 2000. It is in a facility that adjoins a large high school in Belle, WV and serves as both a school-based and community health center. The third and forth health centers were opened in April 2006 in the communities of Sissonville and Clendenin.
The medical staff includes 7.0 FTE physicians, 8.0 FTE NPs/PAs, 1.3 FTE pharmacists, 2.3 FTE mental health providers. The comprehensive preventive and curative primary care services include prenatal care, pediatrics, adult chronic and acute care, school based health center services, 340(b) pharmacy services, and independent lab services. The health center is a provider for the West Virginia's Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and Family Planning programs. CCHS participates in a Health Disparities Collaborative to improve diabetes care.
There have been steady and substantial increases in all services over the past three years from 2004 to 2006: medical and behavioral health encounters increased from 19,900 to 42,300; medical users increased from 5,150 to 11,000.
The CCHS serves as the lead agency for the Rural Health Education Program (RHEP) in
a three county region and has recently been approved as lead agency for the Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Both RHEP and AHEC develop and coordinate rural clinical preceptorships for health professions students, including medical, nursing, physician assistant, social work and pharmacy students.