National Mammography Day October 19, 2018

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) and Northern Radiology Imaging, Watertown, have collaborated to provide mammography screening appointments to qualifying NCFHC patients on National Mammography Day, Friday, October 19, 2018 at Northern Radiology Imaging.

October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many organizations use the month of October to help raise awareness, and funds, for cancer research. The third Friday in October, as proclaimed by President Clinton in 1993, is National Mammography Day – a day dedicated to encourage women (and at risk men) to get, and or schedule, a mammography appointment. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. In 2018 the Society estimates that approximately 266, 120 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women, and another 64,000 women will be diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer.

“In keeping with NCFHC’s mission, providing accessible health services to all patients, the opportunity to work with Northern Radiology Imaging for this day-long event allows us to proactively help our patients and educate them about the importance of routine mammography screenings,” states Cheryl Fazio, RN, Clinical Operations Officer, NCFHC. “We will use the day on Friday, October 19th as a means to engage and educate our patients, and highlight our commitment to breast cancer screening as part of necessary preventative care,” states Ms. Fazio.

Additionally, to help support and raise breast cancer awareness, Northern Radiology Imaging will be “Lighting the Night Pink” during October by providing pink light bulbs to the community. The pink bulbs are available at Northern Radiology Imaging, 1571 Washington Street, Suite 101, Watertown, for $5.00 each. The community is encouraged to place one of the pink light bulbs in a visible spot – garage lighting or porch lighting – to help raise awareness about breast cancer and to help support the hundreds of thousands of men and women that have fought, or are fighting, breast cancer. The $5.00 donation will go directly to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer organization. Community members wishing to make their own mammography screening appointment may contact Northern Radiology Imaging directly at, 315.786.5000.

 

 

Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) is proud to have been awarded Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition. As a PCMH facility North Country Family Health Center is recognized for a focus on delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time with a team that works together to coordinate all the needs of the patient. A large part of being a PCMH facility is providing patients with more personalized care – assisting individuals through what is often a very complex healthcare system. As part of the recognition NCFHC demonstrated that their employees are maximizing health information technology and care coordination while improving patient outcomes and enhancing the overall patient experience. Congratulations to all staff!

Advancing Health Information Technology

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) has been awarded the Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) from. The award is presented to health centers who demonstrate leadership in providing telehealth and health information technology services that include electronic prescribing, health information exchange and telehealth services.

NoCo Open House Tuesday, August 14th at 4:00 p.m.

Staff will celebrate National Health Center Week with two events – the first, an Open House, which is open to the public, on Tuesday, August 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at NCFHC’s main office, 238 Arsenal Street, Watertown, and the second, an employee celebration, on Thursday, August 16th. “We are excited to open our doors to the community on Tuesday, August 14th to showcase our recently renovated facility,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director. “We were thrilled to receive a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in May 2016 through the Health Infrastructure Investment Program. NCFHC was able to leverage this grant award and invest in its infrastructure at our main location to expand clinical space, create a centralized check-in/check-out area, redesign the WIC Program client flow, and promote further integration of medical, behavioral health, and dental services. Specifically, we were able to add six new primary care exam rooms, one additional dental exam room, and a care coordination suite.”

National Health Center Week 2018

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) will join over 1,400 other Community Health Centers across the United States in celebrating National Health Center Week, August 12-18, 2018. The theme of this year’s celebration is, “Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Healthcare Heroes.”
The first Community Health Centers, also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers, were established in the United States more than 50 years ago by community residents and healthcare providers who believed that everyone should have access to quality healthcare no matter who they are, where they live, or their ability to pay. This movement launched healthcare services, and a variety of healthcare providers, into medically underserved areas all across the country. Today, Community Health Centers are located in over 10,000 communities in every state and territory and the District of Columbia and serve over 27 million people, 8 million of which are children!
“The statistics are staggering – 1 in 12 people living in the United States depend on Community Health Centers to provide them with quality healthcare services,” states Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, NCFHC. “We served just over 10,000 patients in 2017 who made nearly 36,000 visits to our medical, dental, and behavioral health programs.” NCFHC is a Patient-Centered Medical Home and a Federally Qualified Health Center – designations that reflect quality of care and a commitment to breaking down barriers and providing healthcare access to all. NCFHC is one of 65 Community Health Centers in New York State, delivering services to over 2.2 million patients annually via 750 delivery sites within the state. NCFHC has nine permanent delivery sites and provides preventative oral healthcare services via a mobile School-Based Dental Program throughout six school districts in Jefferson and Lewis Counties.

Community Health Centers not only help prevent illness and foster wellness, they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in every community. “We have approximately 120 individuals who come to work each day in positions including clinicians, nurses, social workers, dentists, dental hygienists, care coordinators, and many more, who work together to provide high quality, integrated healthcare to all of our patients,” states Cheryl Fazio, RN, Clinical Operations Officer. “Our staff work together to address all factors that may contribute to poor health including, lack of nutrition, transportation, and stable housing. Additionally, our model of care focuses on integration of all services, from medical to behavioral health to dental, to ensure we provide whole person care. It is the staff and their commitment to our mission to improve the health and wellness of individuals in our community that has made the organization so successful today.”
Staff will celebrate National Health Center Week with two events – the first, an Open House, which is open to the public, on Tuesday, August 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at NCFHC’s main office, 238 Arsenal Street, Watertown, and the second, an employee celebration, on Thursday, August 16th. “We are excited to open our doors to the community on Tuesday, August 14th to showcase our recently renovated facility,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director. “We were thrilled to receive a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in May 2016 through the Health Infrastructure Investment Program. NCFHC was able to leverage this grant award and invest in its infrastructure at our main location to expand clinical space, create a centralized check-in/check-out area, redesign the WIC Program client flow, and promote further integration of medical, behavioral health, and dental services. Specifically, we were able to add six new primary care exam rooms, one additional dental exam room, and a care coordination suite.”
North Country Family Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to over 10,000 North Country residents annually at its community-based locations in Watertown, Lowville, and LeRay and at its school-based locations in Watertown, Adams Center, and Mannsville. NCFHC also provides nutritious food vouchers and other support to approximately 5,000 pregnant women, infants, and children each month through its WIC Program; assists approximately 4,000 individuals with insurance enrollment annually; and provides special initiatives to help high-risk pregnant and parenting women and individuals who experience insecure housing.
For more information about North Country Family Health Center or its programs, visit www.NoCoFamilyHealth.org or call (315) 782-9450.

NoCo Telephone Issues ~ Monday, August 6th

North Country Family Health Center continues to experience telephone issues today — please contact us at 315-786-6734 until further notice. We may be reached at this number at any hour of the day or night.
Additionally, if you are a client of our WIC Program please contact WIC at 315-836-6341.

World Breastfeeding Week Celebration in Watertown and Lowville

The North Country Family Health Center’s Jefferson and Lewis County Women, Infants, and Children’s (WIC) Program is hosting their Big Latch On events on Friday, August 3, 2018 in Lowville, and on Saturday, August 4, 2018 in Watertown, in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, 2018. The Big Latch On will be held for the first time in Lowville at the Forest Park Pavilion, 5485 Bostwick Street and for the third consecutive year at the JB Wise Pavilion, 175 Black River Parkway, Watertown. Both events will run from 9:30 a.m. through noon – specifically 10:30 a.m. for the one minute world-wide latch on event. The events are free and open to the public.
World Breastfeeding Week is held the first week of August each year and is celebrated around the world. The week is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA); the WABA is a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding worldwide. This year is the 26th celebration for WABA. The Big Latch On is recognized in over 30 countries. Last year over 18,000 children were breastfed during the same one minute all around the world. “The goal of the event is to support, encourage, and promote breastfeeding,” states Angel Carter, WIC Director. “It is an opportunity for area breastfeeding moms to come together and celebrate the benefits, and beauty of, breastfeeding.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding through the first 12 months of a child’s life. There are numerous benefits of breastfeeding – both for baby, and for moms. “Breast milk helps keep your baby healthy. It supplies all the necessary nutrients in the proper proportions. It protects against diseases like diabetes and cancer. It is easily digested – no constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach,” states Kit Veley, FNP, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

North Country Family Health Center’s WIC Program, not only provides vouchers for nutritious foods to women, infants, and children, but also provides breastfeeding support and education in our communities. WIC offers Certified Lactation Counselors and Peer Counselors to all WIC moms to help them reach their breastfeeding goals. In 2017, 74% of mothers enrolled in the WIC Program initiated breastfeeding their newborn at birth.
WIC staff have coordinated, and will be hosting, free face painting, arts and crafts for children, games, raffles, and a variety of other fun activities at the Big Latch On events. Light refreshments will also be served. The events will take place, rain or shine and is free to those interested in participating! For more information on WIC, breastfeeding support, or the Big Latch On events please call the Jefferson County WIC office at 315-782-9222, or the Lewis County WIC office at 315-376-6427, or visit the North Country Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Facebook page. WIC staff would like to thank both MVP Health Care (Watertown event) as well as Fidelis Care (Lowville event) for their sponsorship.

NCFHC’s 19th Annual Night on the River to be held at 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

North Country Family Health Center’s annual spring fundraiser, A Night on the River, will be held at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, Clayton, on Friday, May 11, 2018. The 19th annual cocktail reception and dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will offer guests an evening of food, drinks, music and silent auction opportunities. Music will be provided by Oceans Below. Tickets are $75.00 per person and are available by contacting the North Country Family Health Center’s office at 315-782-9450, x8037 or mlynch@NoCoFamilyHealth.org.

The evening’s highlight is the variety of featured auction items as well as silent auction items donated by local individuals and businesses. This year’s main featured auction item is “Compass Rose” a 2’x 2’ hand-blown German glass piece with kiln-fired images by local artist Scott Ouderkirk of Glass Goat, Hammond, New York. Additional featured auction items to date include: two $2,000 gift certificates to Sundance Leisure; a two person round-trip flight to New York City aboard a twin engine Beech Baron; a three night stay in Lake Placid in a luxurious Adirondack Chalet; a two night stay in Key West, Florida at the Curry Mansion Inn; and a two person guided turkey hunt with guide Jim Costello of Alexandria Bay. New for 2018 is an all-day pre-event auction on Froggy 97 on Friday, May 4, 2018 from 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Individuals will have the opportunity to bid via the radio station on a two person fishing trip inclusive of a shore dinner with Captain Rich Clarke, SignMan Charters, Clayton, New York. “Our on-air live auction is new for us this year and we are excited to provide an opportunity for radio listeners to call into the station, or go to Froggy’s Facebook page, to bid on an amazing day of fishing – what a great way to celebrate the beauty of the St. Lawrence River,” comments April Fallon, Marketing & Community Relations Director.

Also new this year staff at NCFHC have teamed with local artist, Lisa Morgia, Morgia Designs, to design and sell candles for the event. Candles are available in two sizes, 12 ounce and 4 ounce, and come in three scents – vanilla, grapefruit mango and love spell. Each large candle holds a sterling silver compass charm within its own wick; the small candles adorn an anchor charm. Large candles are $25.00 and small candles are $10.00. Sterling chains are offered too and are $15.00 each. A compete flyer regarding candle sales is available on NCFHC’s Facebook page. Candles and chains are available for sale by contacting Mickey Lynch, Senior Administrative Assistant, at mlynch@NoCoFamilyHealth.org or by calling Mickey at 315.782.9450 x8037.

“We continue to be grateful for the community’s support of our mission to improve the health and wellness of those in our community,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director. “Our event continues to be a success thanks to the amazing generosity of so many local individuals and businesses.”

The event is made possible through the generosity of Event Sponsor UnitedHealthcare as well as Major Sponsors: Community Bank, NA; Continental Construction; and 7News/Fox 28/MeTV North Country; Sponsors: A.T. Matthews & Dier Agency; BCA Architects & Engineers; Bonadio & Co., LLP; Car-Freshener Corporation; Community Broadcasters; Foy Benefits, Inc.; Joey Marie Horton; Krafft Cleaning Service; NBC Watertown; Joseph & Diane Recupero; Thousand Islands Landscaping Company, Inc.; and Visualutions, Inc.; Supporters: Budget Blinds of Watertown; David D. Crapser, UBS Financial Services Inc.; Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes; Northern Credit Union; Pepsi Beverages Company; RBC Wealth Management; Dr. Gerald & Donna Schneeberger; UBS Financial Services – The Couch Group; and Westelcom; Friends: Bay Brokerage, Inc.; Leo Coleman; and Meola Enterprises, LLC; Special Thanks: 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel; John Aitken Photography; Coughlin Printing Group; Charles Garlock & Sons; Lavender’s Blue; McQuade & Bannigan; Morgia Designs; Party Rentals; Diane Recupero; Stephens Media Group; and Kathy Williams.

North Country Family Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to approximately 10,000 North Country residents annually at its community-based locations in Watertown, Lowville, and LeRay and at its school-based locations. NCFHC also provides nutritious food vouchers and other support to approximately 5,000 pregnant women, infants, and children each month through its WIC Program; assists approximately 4,000 individuals with insurance enrollment annually; and provides special initiatives to help high-risk pregnant and parenting women and individuals who have insecure housing.

For more information about North Country Family Health Center or its programs, visit www.NoCoFamilyHealth.org or call (315) 782-9450.

2018 Final Cover NOTR

 

 

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield awards $133,500 grant to NoCo for school-based dental units

Ribbon Cutting at Ohio Street School: Left to Right:
Eve Van de Wal, regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield; Joe Butler, Mayor, City of Watertown; Patti  LaBarr, Superintendent, Watertown City School District; Henrique Montandon, 4th grade student, Ohio Street School; Teri Duffy, 4th grade student, Ohio Street School, Mark Taylor, Principal, Ohio Street School; and Mark Gaines, North Country Family Health Center Board Member and General Manager, NBC Watertown.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has awarded a $133,500 grant to the North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) to purchase five mobile, school-based dental units to enhance NCFHC’s School-Based Dental Program. The grant will allow NCFHC to update its dental equipment and serve more students each year.

NCFHC provides school-based dental services at 12 school locations within five school districts throughout Jefferson and Lewis Counties and must continually move six existing portable dental units between the 12 sites. The new funding will allow NCFHC to purchase the additional mobile school-based dental units over a three-year period, 2018-2020, increase the School-Based Dental Program’s efficiency and almost double its capacity to serve children in need of preventive dental services.

“A big part of our mission at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is helping to improve the health of the communities we serve. We’re all becoming more aware of the significant role our oral and dental health plays in our overall health and well-being, so we are very excited to partner with the North Country Family Health Center to bring this school- based dental service directly to more local children throughout the region,” said Eve Van de Wal, regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Member and Community Health Improvement (MACHI) grant program provides funding to local, nonprofit organizations that share the organization’s vision for healthier communities. The initiatives supported span multiple years and include specific objectives and measurable outcomes for improving community health. The grant dollars are disbursed over several years to ensure they significantly and positively affect public health.

“Partnering with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield will allow us to increase the number of children we serve within our School-Based Dental Program which means the difference of a child receiving preventive oral healthcare and education, or not, in many instances,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, North Country Family Health Center. “Providing services to children directly where they are – in school – puts children at ease and allows parents to not have to worry about transportation, the cost of losing paid time at work to take their children to appointments, and out of pocket costs for services. The partnerships we have with local school districts and community supporters, such as Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, allow the Health Center to carry out its mission to improve the health and wellness of those in our community. We embrace these partnerships which allow us to provide more accessible care to children and their families.”

NCFHC operates school-based dental only sites at Alexandria Central School, Copenhagen Central School, Lowville Academy & Central School, Ohio Elementary in the Watertown City School District; Clarke Middle/High School in the South Jefferson School District; and Glenfield Elementary, Port Lyden Elementary, and South Lewis Middle/High School in the South Lewis School District.

NCFHC has been providing dental services to residents of the North Country for over 20 years through its community-based and school-based locations. NCFHC’s School-Based Dental Program began in 1994 and was the first school-based dental clinic in New York state to have a dental hygienist and part-time dentist working together to provide preventative and restorative dental services to students in school.

In addition to the dental sites, NCFHC also operates four comprehensive school-based health centers that provide medical, behavioral health, and dental services in the Watertown City and South Jefferson school districts, as well as two additional school-based health centers providing medical and behavioral health services in the Watertown City School District.

In 2017, more than 2,000 students utilized the NCFHC’s school-based services. No student is turned away from the School-Based Health Centers—students are seen for sickness, chronic health issues, annual physical exams, dental services, and counseling services to name a few. All services are provided with no out-of-pocket cost, including co- pays and deductibles, to families.

 

 

 

NoCo Celebrates National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month

North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) joins school-based health center providers and advocates from across the nation in recognizing the month of February as National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month. National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month is sponsored by the School-Based Health Alliance, a national organization that promotes and supports school-based health centers to assure all children received high quality, comprehensive healthcare. The Alliance is celebrating the month with the theme, Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies.

North Country Family Health Center opened its first school-based primary care site at North Elementary in the Watertown City School District in December 1993. Since 1993, NCFHC has opened five additional School-Based Health Centers and expanded its school-based services to include not only medical services but dental and behavioral health services as well.

Today, NCFHC operates six School-Based Health Centers in the Watertown City and South Jefferson School Districts. Students in the Watertown City School Districts are served at School-Based Health Centers at North Elementary (serves all elementary aged children), Harold T. Wiley Intermediate School, Case Middle School, and Watertown High School. Students in the South Jefferson School District are served at School-Based Health Centers at Mannsville Manor Elementary and Wilson Elementary. Students who attend the Clarke Middle/High School at South Jefferson utilize the School-Based Health Centers at either Mannsville or Wilson Elementary. In addition to the six School-Based Health Centers NCFHC also provides school-based dental only services to students at Alexandria Central, Copenhagen Central, Lowville Academy & Central School, and South Lewis Central. In 2017, over 2,000 students utilized the School-Based Health Centers. Currently NCFHC staffs 19 employees within its school-based sites.

“We are very proud of our School-Based Health Centers and our employees who staff our Centers,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, North Country Family Health Center. “Having the opportunity to provide care to children right where they are, in school, is critical. Our goal is to help students stay well and avoid school absences – we truly believe that healthy students learn better.”

No student is turned away from the School-Based Health Centers and all services are provided with no out of pocket cost to families. Therefore, health insurance co-pays and deductible do not apply to families. Students are seen for sickness, chronic health issues, annual physical exams, dental services and counseling services to name a few. “As a working parent within the Watertown City School District I utilize the NCFHC School-Based Health Center for my children, who attend South Jefferson schools. It is a fabulous service and I feel confident with my children’s diagnosis. I don’t have to take extra time off from work when my kids are sick because they have the opportunity to be seen right at school, and if my kids need a prescription it is ready to go when I get to the pharmacy,” states Rebecca Sullivan, Physical Education teacher Ohio Street School.

“Our School-Based Health Centers are a great back-up plan for parents. We communicate with student’s primary care provider and coordinate the care they need – whether it is just a cold or a chronic ongoing issue,” states Heather Lupia, School-Based Health Center Administrator. “We enjoy being at the schools and are proud of all the services we can offer students.”

Enrollment in school-based health centers is easy! Parents, or guardians, can visit the North Country Family Health Center’s website, www.NoCoFamilyHealth.org, on the site’s main page under school-based care to sign-up their son or daughter. Anyone needing assistance enrolling their son or daughter can contact the School-Based Health Center Administrator, Heather Lupia, at hlupia@nocofamilyhealth.org.