Health Care for the Homeless Receives National Recognition

Manchester’s Health Care for the Homeless (HCH Manchester) program a special grant for its sterling performance providing high quality health care to a vulnerable population in the most cost effective way.

Published 9/22/2015

City Leaders, CMC and Non-Profits Hailed for Leading the Nation with Highest Levels of Clinical Quality 
Recognizing a successful public / private partnership between New Horizons, Catholic Medical Center, Families in Transition and the City of Manchester, the US Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Manchester’s Health Care for the Homeless (HCH Manchester) program a special grant for its sterling performance providing high quality health care to a vulnerable population in the most cost effective way. 
HCH Manchester received $135,678 for clinical excellence and expert use of health information technology (HIT). Based upon rigorous national quality standards, HCH Manchester Ranked in the Top 10% of  205 HCH programs nationwide, located in cities large and small; and Ranked 3rd among the more than 100 freestanding, small scale HCH program peers across the country. 
Categories of federal excellence for HCH Manchester included:
Electronic Health Records - Clinical data reports from the full universe of patients using EHR
Health Center Quality Leaders - Highest Clinical performance compared to health center peers 
Access Enhancers - Increasing total number of patients served between 2013 and 2014
High Value Health Centers - Improved cost (compared to the national average) while increasing quality and improving access between 2013 and 2014.
“The entire city benefits from the outstanding level of cooperation between non-profit agencies, Catholic Medical Center and the City of Manchester,” said Ted Gatsas, Mayor of Manchester.  “These men and women actively seek populations in need by getting out into the community. This program is making a difference in peoples’ lives.”
“Our core mission is to serve those most in need and it is our honor to participate in providing care to this community,” explains Dr. Joseph Pepe, President and CEO of Catholic Medical Center.  “It is a testament to the good work of all these people that this funding represents the highest quality health care in the nation delivered in a cost-effective way to handle the needs of this vulnerable population.” 
For Maren Martel of Manchester, HCH meant access to services that changed her life.  On her first visit, she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and a few other chronic ailments. Her failing health kept her from getting a job which meant she had no way to pay for a place to live.   Now, Martel takes her daily medications, and is living in an apartment full time, feeling great.  When she isn’t taking care of her beloved Mastiff dog, Maren spends much of her time giving back to HCH as a member of the board of this program.   “Without HCH and this health care program, I would not be living the way I am today,” says  Martel.  “This gave me something to live for. 
HCH Manchester provides primary medical care, behavioral health and addiction counseling to homeless men, women, children, teens and families without regard for their inability to pay. In 2014, a total of 1,356 patients received care through 6, 812 visits.  Manchester Health Department was first awarded the federal HCH grant in 1987.  Catholic Medical Center has been host to HCH clinical operations since 1995. HCH Clinic sessions are offered daily at New Horizons and at Families In Transition (FIT).  HCH patients access Mental Health care and Addiction services through partners at The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, Pastoral Counseling Services, and Serenity Place.  HCH Manchester is a member of Bi-State Primary Care Association for technical assistance in clinical, business and regulatory areas.  HCH Manchester is a member of Community Health Access Network (CHAN), a statewide HIT collaborative that supports clinical data, federal reporting and business applications.  And HCH Manchester is a member of the National HCH Council which promotes clinical excellence among HCH program peers nationwide. The success of HCH Manchester cannot happen without these partnerships. 

For almost 30 years, Catholic Medical Center and Manchester Health Department have partnered to care for the city’s homeless population through this HCH Manchester effort. The goal remains:  to reach out and connect with every homeless person in order to address the dire health and human service needs that stem from living on the streets, not having a place to call “home”.   
“The only way we can be successful is through aggressive outreach to members of the community, and with the support and cooperation of various agencies and non-profit groups such as ours,” explains Maureen Beauregard, President and Founder of Families in Transition.  “You never know what someone will need when they walk through the door and we have to work together to ensure those needs are met.”
“Our motto has always been, ‘Whatever it takes’, and we will continue to serve our city’s at risk population,” says Tim Soucy, Public Health Director for the City of Manchester.  “There will always be a need for these services and I am grateful to be working with a large network of groups dedicated to lifting up the lives of those who need some extra help.” 
Photo Caption: 
(left to right) Maureen Beauregard, Families in Transitions, Paul Mertzic, Catholic Medical Center, Marianne Savarese, CMC Health Care for the Homeless Program, Maren Martel, Board Member CMC Healthcare for the Homeless Program, Mayor Ted Gatsas, City of Manchester, Charlie Sherman, New Horizons of NH & Tim Soucy, Manchester Health Department.