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Region’s health care leaders partner to give Fresno County Medi-Cal patients greater access to care

Region’s health care leaders partner to give Fresno County Medi-Cal patients greater access to care

@TheSunGazette

FRESNO COUNTY – Family HealthCare Network (FHCN) – the nation’s seventh-largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) – is taking their 41 years of primary and specialty care and partnering with the region’s largest health care system, Community Medical Centers. Announced last week FHCN and Community Medical centers are expanding services for Medi-Cal patients by providing greater access to outpatient, primary and specialty health care services in Fresno County.

“In a region with one of the lowest doctor-to-patient ratios in the state, and where approximately 50% of the area’s adult residents have Medi-Cal – this partnership benefits Fresno County patients who need largely primary and preventative care services,” said Paramvir Sidhu, MD, FHCN’s chief medical officer.

The Valley has far fewer primary care physicians than the rest of California.  There are only 39 physicians per every 100,000 Valley residents.  The state average is 50 physicians per every 100,000.  In Fresno County alone, almost 75% of children ages 0 to 5 are enrolled in Medi-Cal.

“We look forward to the opportunity to partner with like-minded individuals to provide continued care to the underserved communities in Fresno.  The ability to work together to expand affordable and accessible health care is tremendous,” said Kerry Hydash, president and CEO for Family HealthCare Network.  “I have seen the impact of Family HealthCare Network and CRMC’s services and programs in the communities served by both organizations, and our goal is to collectively have an even greater positive impact.”

FHCN operates 23 locations, of which 19 are community health centers – in Tulare and Kings counties – with 700,000 annual patient visits. The network has about 1,100 employees and 220 licensed professional staff.

A primary goal of the partnership is to improve timeliness of care and reduce the number of patients who receive outpatient-level care in emergency department settings. But the partnership will also allow FHCN to operate existing clinics on Community’s downtown Community Regional Medical Center campus at the Deran Koligian Ambulatory Care Center. The center has about 125,000 annual patient visits and provides outpatient services in pediatrics, women’s health, special services (HIV/AIDS), surgical services, dental, eye, family and internal medicine, and a prompt care (walk-in) clinic.

“This partnership is great for our region because we’re committed to increasing access to primary and specialty health care services for underserved populations,” said Craig Wagoner, Community Regional Medical Center’s CEO.  “We’re building on both organizations’ strengths to better meet the growing demand for health care services in Fresno County.”

Community is the largest health care system in the Valley and provides the highest level of care in the region.  Its downtown CRMC campus is home of the Table Mountain Rancheria Trauma Center – the only Level 1 trauma center from Los Angeles to Sacramento.  It also houses the Leon S. Peters Burn Center, the Valley’s only comprehensive burn center, and has one of the busiest emergency departments in California.

FHCN will contract with the same group of physicians Community contracts with to provide care to patients seen in the Deran Koligian Ambulatory Care Center.  Additionally, FCHN will work with UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program to continue training residents and fellows in the clinics.

FHCN could begin operating the clinics as soon as this summer.

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