The 29th iteration of our Spring Primary Care Conference and Annual Membership Meeting brought to Portland enthusiastic attendees from 19 states and exhibitors from 18.
The keynote address by Linda Rudolph, Co-Director of the Climate Change and Public Health Project for the Public Health Institute demonstrated the direct relationship between health outcomes and education, race, income, rate of inequity, and all environments. She concluded that climate change is a health emergency requiring an agro-ecological food system and other major systems changes. (Watch Dr. Rudolph's keynote address below.)
The four-day event closed with the annual membership meeting at which Anita Monoian (Yakima Neighborhood Health Services) closed another chapter of her leadership for the PCA and Kevin Munson of Mat-Su Health Services in Alaska took over as chair of the board of directors for the next two years. (Anita Monoian and Keven Munson at the Spring Primary Care Conference 2015 pictured right.)
During the final moments of the meeting, Jennifer Kreidler-Moss, COO at Peninsula Community Health Services, won the coveted $1000 grand prize for her participation in the new “I Know my 19” game.
After 29 years, the conference continues to evolve and surprise. For example, where did the attendees actually come from? Yes, they represented 19 states, but 31% hailed from Washington, 30% from Oregon, 17% from Alaska, and 10% from Idaho. Representation by NWRPCA’s state PCA partners was strong, with nine Oregon PCA attendees, eight Idaho PCA attendees, seven Alaska PCA attendees, and four attendees representing the Washington Association of Migrant and Community Health Centers.
And which health centers turned out in force? Multnomah County, where the conference was held, brought a team of 12, and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center brought nine. Little Bethel Family Health Clinic brought eight reps all the way from Bethel, Alaska, and seven attendees traveled from Yakima Neighborhood Health Services. Our neighbors to the east, part of Region VIII, made a showing: six representatives of Utah Navajo Health Systems attended the conference!
The stated job roles represented at the conference were pretty consistent with tradition: 19% were FQHC board members; 14% CEOs and Executive Directors; 9% CFOS or finance managers/directors; and 6% COOs and operations directors. Other job roles strongly represented included quality improvement, clinic management, chief medical officer, and the O&E family, including outreach and enrollment workers, patient navigators and assistors, and eligibility specialists.
The conference experienced a few firsts, including: a total of 46 exhibitors from 18 states (most from Washington and California, and a good number from Oregon); the first time one of our health centers attended as an exhibitor (Southcentral Foundation from Anchorage, Alaska); attendance by Pat Linton, CEO of Seward CHC, one of our newest grantees; and the introduction of an expo hall game called “I Know my 19!” that called upon participants to link exhibitors to specific program requirements in order to find practical solutions to their challenges.
NWRPCA’s rather new Member Services Coordinator, Alyssa Panning, arranged for the presentation of our three prestigious annual awards.
Dr. Patrick Luedtke of Lane County, Oregon, received the Helping Us Help You award from the NWRPCA staff.
Debra Morrison of Neighborcare Health received the Summit award for leading an outstanding project to integrate behavioral health into primary care, specifically addressing the simultaneous occurrence of diabetes and depression.
And Maria Loredo, who relocated to Oregon 50 years ago as a migrant farmworker herself and is now the long-serving Chief Operating Officer of Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, received the Legacy Award in honor of a career dedicated to health and wellbeing for the underserved.
Susan Johnson, Region X Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided an energetic final federal update, and then Leigh Anne Jasheway, Master of Public Health, “Mistress of Public Hilarity,” offered a humorous look at our health centers’ fifty-year history through a practical lens: how you deal with change is more important than what change you have to deal with.
View pictures from the Spring Primary Care Conference on our Facebook page.
2015 Spring Primary Care ConferenceTraversing the Healthcare CrevasseThanks to everyone who helped make the 2015...
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U58CS06846, "S/RPCAs," total award $950K, with 65 percent of program funded by nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.