California HealthCare Foundation Announces LEAP Award Winners

Projects range from treating latent TB infection to reducing specialty care wait times

The California HealthCare Foundation announced today it has selected five recipients for the LEAP Award (Leveraging Excellence, Advancing Practice), which recognizes the spread of model practices in California’s health care delivery system and promotes innovative ways to address the growing needs of the state’s underserved populations. The organizations will each receive $25,000.

The LEAP Award recipients are:

  1. Community Health Clinic Ole (Napa County),
  2. Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (Contra Costa County),
  3. Northeast Valley Health Corporation (Los Angeles County),
  4. Redwood Community Health Coalition (Marin, Napa, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties), and
  5. Venice Family Clinic (Los Angeles County).

“The LEAP Award winners comprise clinics of different sizes and shapes and employ a variety of approaches to address problems ranging from latent tuberculosis infection to emergency room utilization to wait-times for specialty care,” said Mark D. Smith, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of CHCF. “Perhaps most importantly, at a time when public hospitals and community clinics are searching for ways to serve more patients, all five models have the potential to be replicated.”

A summary of the projects follows. More in depth profiles will be published at in October.

Tuberculosis Screening and Treatment (Community Health Clinic Ole)

Clinic Ole developed an integrated program for addressing tuberculosis infection that features early adoption of the Quantiferon-Gold blood test to detect infection as well as a group visit for Spanish-speaking patients with latent tuberculosis infection. As a result, patient compliance and satisfaction have increased and the clinic has shown significant cost savings.

Expanding Access to Specialty Care to the Underserved (Contra Costa Regional Medical Center)

Contra Costa Regional Medical Center trains family medicine and internal medicine physicians to provide care in its outpatient specialty clinics. Primary care physicians work side by side with specialists who act as consultants to extend the medical center’s ability to care for underserved patients and minimize wait times for specialty care.

Emergency Room Utilization Reduction (Northeast Valley Health Corporation)

This project addresses patients’ excessive use of local emergency rooms. A comprehensive look at the problem has led to several linked interventions, including a “Fever Is Your Friend” campaign designed to change patient behavior by teaching parents that many childhood fevers do not require medical treatment; improvements in clinic scheduling and access; and case management for frequent users.

The Quality Culture Series (Redwood Community Health Coalition)

Redwood Community Health Coalition developed and implemented the Quality Culture Series, a training program that engages clinic staff to understand the value of quality improvement at all levels of the organization and teaches specific techniques useful in both clinical and administrative quality improvement efforts. The QCS series has led to the spread of formal quality improvement methodologies throughout coalition clinics. All coalition health centers have at least five clinical or administrative quality improvement projects under way; some have as many as 20.

Access to Chronic Pain Management for the Underserved (Venice Family Clinic)

In collaboration with local acupuncture and chiropractic colleges, Venice Family Clinic has established a multi-disciplinary program to address chronic pain conditions. The goals of the program are to help patients better manage their chronic pain and to demonstrate that integrative medicine can help with chronic pain in a cost-effective way. Results of patient evaluations have led to the addition of mental health services as a key part of the program.

About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.