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The Skanner News
Published: 17 September 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. -- North by Northeast Community Health Center has been certified by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) as a Tier 3 Patient-Centered Primary Care Home, the highest certification that a clinic can achieve.

“This recognition is a huge accomplishment for our staff and shows that it’s possible to get really high quality health care at a small neighborhood clinic like ours,” said Dr. Jill Ginsberg, North by Northeast’s Medical Director.

Patients in a Patient-Centered Primary Care Home (PCPCH) work with a health care team to ensure they receive the most appropriate services and know how to use them. According to the OHA, the key components of a PCPCH are:

  • Access to care: Patients get the care they need, when they need it.
  • Accountability: Recognized clinics are responsible for making sure patients receive the best possible care.
  • Comprehensive: Clinics provide patients all the care, information and services they need.
  • Continuity: Clinics work with patients and their community to improve patient and population health over time.
  • Coordination and integration: Clinics help patients navigate the system to meet their needs in a safe and timely way.
  • Patient and family-centered: Clinics recognize that patients are the most important members of the health care team and that they are ultimately responsible for their overall health and wellness.

North by Northeast’s patient-centered efforts also include a Patient Wellness Council which provides input to the clinic staff and board of directors, home visits by a Community Health Worker, a proactive management program for patients with diabetes and hypertension and a barbershop blood pressure program.

“Because we’re out in the community we can meet people where they’re at – like in the park or the barbershop – and then introduce them to our staff and providers. This works well for people who may have good reason to be distrustful of the medical system,” Ginsberg said.

North by Northeast Community Health Center is the only medical clinic in Oregon focused on African American health. They were founded as an all-volunteer free clinic in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, when Pastor Mary Overstreet Smith of the Powerhouse Temple Church of God in Christ in North Portland met Dr. Jill Ginsberg, then a family physician with Kaiser Permanente.

Pastor Mary enlisted Dr. Ginsberg’s help to start a clinic that had evening hours and would be an alternative to the emergency room for uninsured people who needed basic care for diabetes and high blood pressure. Since then, the health center has grown and become a trusted resource in the African-American community. In 2008 they moved from the church annex to the current location in the Garlington Center at 3030 N.E. MLK Jr. Blvd. They are now looking for larger space and will move when their lease expires in late August 2016.


For more information about North by Northeast Community Health Center and how to support their work, visit www.nxneclinic.org

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