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Caring For Our Community

GFHS Awarded 2018 Evelyn Schmidt Outstanding Service Award for MAT Program

June 18, 2018

GFHS is proud to be the 2018 recipient of the Evelyn Schmidt Outstanding Service Award, in recognition of our Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program.

In 2002, the North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) established the Dr. Evelyn Schmidt Outstanding Service Award. A pioneer in social and community medicine, Dr. Schmidt, affectionately known as “Evy,” was the first Executive Director/CEO of Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, NC, and served in that capacity for 40 years before retiring in 2011.

Each year, as a tribute to Dr. Schmidt, NCCHCA honors a community-oriented organization that has improved access to care through innovative, comprehensive approaches as evidenced by outreach efforts, preventive health and educational programs, quality and efficiency of care, and/or strong community support and involvement.

Criteria

This award is open to NCCHCA Corporate Members (i.e., Community Health Centers) whose history demonstrates:

  • Use of its unique assets and resources to address prevention and health education, patient care, and supportive services.
  • Dedication to patient care
  • Sustained, positive impact on access to care
  • Effective collaboration resulting in broad community support and involvement.
  • Exemplary management and implementation that can be replicated by other health centers, practices and communities.
  • Proven standards of excellence.

About GFHS’ Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program

The mission of the GFHS Medication Assisted Treatment program is to empower individuals and build self-efficacy to succeed in establishing and maintaining long-term recovery.

GFHS began its Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program on November 1, 2016. The GFHS MAT program works closely with community partners to extend opioid addiction treatment services to vulnerable populations, most notably pregnant women. This program seamlessly blends medication management and behavioral health care to treat opioid dependence for up to two years, while collaborating closely with obstetrics and/or primary care. With 84% of the GFHS MAT patient population, we have worked to create a robust program tailored toward pregnant women, providing individualized care personalized to their birthing experience, conducting monthly parenting groups, and coordinating with any other involved agencies such as CC4C and Child Protective Services.

Through its rich history of partnership with Gaston County Health Department (GCHD), GFHS can easily identify pregnant and parenting women, as well as HIV+/AIDS and Hepatitis C patients diagnosed by the Gaston County Health Department and GFHS, who need primary care, behavioral health, MAT and counseling services to overcome opioid addiction. Furthermore, one of GFHS’ clinic sites in Gaston County is co-located with GCHD’s Midwifery Clinic, serving Medicaid recipients with high-risk pregnancies, including over 60 opioid-dependent pregnancies per year. Therefore, the GFHS MAT program is uniquely positioned to serve those most in need through a program tailored to those specific circumstances. The GFHS MAT program has recently expanded to Catawba County working with the health department at Catawba Valley Maternity Services to serve their population of pregnant women dependent on opiates, as well, and is looking to expand to additional populations and service areas in the near future.

Pictured above, GFHS staff, left-right:  Veronica Feduniec, Lavondia Alexander, Donna Elliott, Emily Speece, Asana Blakeny, Reva Holland, Dr. Robert Forinash, Erin Myer, Robert Spencer, Erin Hultgren, John Stoy