Katy Trail Community Health receives National Quality Leader award

By Faith Bemiss - fbemiss@sedaliademocrat.com

Katy Trail Community Health received recognition as a National Quality Leader recently by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. The center was one of only two recognized in the state of Missouri.

Katy Trail is also one of 71 centers, out of 1,375, to be recognized nationally.

“Millions of American rely on health centers to provide them with quality health care,” HHS Acting Deputy Secretary Dr. Mary Wakefield said in a media release. “These quality improvement awards will support health centers to continue to deliver superior health care that engages patients, improves care coordination and bridges overall access to care.”

“What it means for the folks who come to Katy Trail Community Health is that we are achieving the healthy people 20/20 measures that we are required to measure,” KTCH CEO Chris Stewart said by phone Wednesday. “Things like preventative services, immunizations, and also we are meeting the chronic disease measures that all health centers are measured on.

“So, for the community it means that the care that we deliver to folks is being delivered through a model that shows results, and we can document them,” she added.

Stewart noted that the most important aspect of the clinic are the people staffing the facility.

“More than anything else, is that our clinicians, our physicians, our nurse practitioners, and our dentists, are the real leaders in this effort,” she added. “They’re just really invested in delivering the model that we deliver. The success of Katy Trail is really squarely on their backs and on the backs of the employees of our organization.

“They’re the ones who have made the difference in our patients’ lives,” she noted. “Obviously our clinical leaders are the ones who are really leading the charge.”

Along with the recognition, KTCH also received a financial award of $136,887. Stewart said they will use the funds for quality improvement initiatives.

“Our goal for using those dollars, frankly, is to invest in our own employees, in terms of continuing to educate them on the best practices (and) performance improvement, so we can even improve more,” she added.

According to a media release, KTCH received awards and funds in the categories of electronic health record reporter, clinical improvements, health center quality leaders and patient centered medical home recognition.

“The national quality leader is a very difficult one to achieve,” Stewart noted. “We’re only one of two in the state of Missouri. The others are reflections of us using electronic health records to report all of our clinical quality data. That just assures that the data is accurate. We use that record obviously to initiate improvements. The other measures … just said that we did better this year than we did last year.”


By Faith Bemiss


Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.

Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.

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