What’s New at Marin Community Clinics?
New Board Chair takes office in July
Jerry Oken, a long-time board member and supporter of Marin Community Clinics, will become the Board of Directors Chair in July, serving a two-year term. Oken, a resident of San Rafael, and his wife Becky have been Clinics donors for over 20 years.
Oken, who has a professional background in finance, accounting, and general management, joined the board eight years ago. He has been involved ever since, including a previous stint as chair. CEO Linda Tavaszi reports that he has just the right leadership skills to help guide the Clinics through the uncertain times that are ahead.
Telemedicine comes to the Clinics
Marin Community Clinics recently completed a pilot program to test the effectiveness of using telemedicine technology with behavioral health patients. (In telemedicine, clinical experts remotely consult “real time” with patients or other clinicians, using a WebEx platform.)
In the pilot, behavioral health patients came to the Clinics and spoke with their psychiatrist, who was out of the area. Each patient interacted with the psychiatrist via computer, and he was able to prescribe necessary medications through on-line access to the electronic medical record.
Patient satisfaction was very high, so the Clinics is now exploring other possible uses of this technology.
Improved Access to Cardiac Care
In another effort to improve patient access to specialty care, Marin Community Clinics and Cardiology Associates of Marin & SF (CAMSF) have formed a partnership to provide consultations at our San Rafael Campus Clinic.
Currently, consultations are provided eight hours/week by CAMSF cardiologist David Hill, MD. With this new arrangement, Clinics patients with suspected heart problems can be evaluated within a week and be seen in their “health home,” rather having to travel to an unfamiliar medical setting.
Hannah Bichkoff, Patient Care Navigator, was recently nominated for the 2017 Heart of Marin Award in the category of Excellence in Innovation. The nomination recognized her work in the development of the Clinics’ Patient Care Navigator Program and the hands-on guidance and advocacy she provides to patients in need.
In March, CEO Linda Tavaszi was inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame. Tavaszi was recognized for her leadership in health and human service settings and her strong commitment to helping the underserved, as well as her success in community problem-solving and mentoring of young professionals.
Survey of Social Needs
Many of our patients have issues that can become barriers to seeking and receiving care. We wanted to learn how we could better serve them; so, in 2016, we conducted a patient survey. Housing, transportation, and legal assistance were identified as the greatest social support needs.
Consistent with our belief that supporting patients outside the exam room will improve their health and well-being, we are taking proactive steps. We are working with Marin Transit, have formed a partnership with the New Beginnings Law Center, and are exploring a temporary housing program for homeless patients who are recovering from illness.