Sep 25, 2015

First Choice Receives Quality Award and Expansion Grant

First Choice has been providing limited behavioral health services to augment its primary healthcare services to patients for many years.

Now, First Choice can expand its behavioral health services, under the leadership of a new Behavioral Health Services Director, to provide additional counseling and substance abuse recovery services to the high-need communities where our health centers are located.

First Choice is one of 14 community health centers in New Mexico to receive the Expanded Services funding.  In all, New Mexico health centers received $4,059,463 to serve 8,426 new patients. 

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced nearly $350 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support health centers nationwide in providing primary care services to those who need them most.  The awards include approximately $350 million for 1,184 health centers to increase access to services such as medical, oral, behavioral, pharmacy, and vision care.

The US Department of Health recognized First Choice as one of 389 health centers nationwide with the highest clinical performance compared to its peers. 

Four other health centers in NM achieved this distinction: Ben Archer in Hatch, NM; La Clinica de Familia in Las Cruces; DeBaca Family Practice in Fort Sumner; and La Clinica del Norte in El Rito, NM.

First Choice was also recognized in the Clinical Quality Improvers Category, along with 14 other health systems in New Mexico.  Each of the winners demonstrated significant improvement in their patients’ health.

The award to First Choice is for $77,799 and is intended to help First Choice  to continue to improve cost effectiveness, access, use of Electronic Health Records and other proven strategies to maintain or exceed quality performance.

“These funds will allow high performing health centers to continue to deliver better, smarter care to their patients,” said Tonya Bowers, Acting Associate Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care.