Hertford resident Guy Simmons has received national attention for the work he does to improve healthcare in Eastern North Carolina.
Simmons, who serves as the Board Chair for Ahoskie based Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, was one of ten finalists, from more than two hundred nominees, for the National Association of Health Center’s national Health Hero award. The award is part of National Health Center Week events going on across the country.
“As Chair of the Board of Directors, Guy Simmons exudes the mission of community health centers,” wrote Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center Chief Executive Officer Kim Schwartz in nominating him for the award.
"Simmons has more than 20 years of experience as a health center board member and offers his extensive expertise generously. He uses every opportunity to advocate for access to health care. He will often, at his own expense, travel many hours to Raleigh, Washington DC, or to one of the five counties served by RCCHC to attend a meeting that could have a benefit for their patients, staff, and health centers in general. As a steadfast advocate, Simmons has even drafted a proposal to offer military veterans with health care experience, particularly medical practitioners, a tax code change as an incentive to continue serving in health centers.
“Service as a CEO of a rural [health center] with a highly vulnerable population is challenging, but, having someone like Guy literally walking beside me and encouraging us all is the greatest gift,” writes Schwartz. “Guy is a tireless advocate for [health centers] and frankly to anyone who can’t advocate for themselves.”
Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center (RCCHC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves about 25,000 patients, who live in 37 zip codes in northeastern North Carolina, through four primary medical and behavioral health centers (located in Ahoskie, Colerain, Creswell, and Murfreesboro), a school-based health center, and a migrant seasonal farm worker outreach program. A health center will be opened in Woodland in Northampton County in early 2019.
RCCHC joins 1,124 other Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) with almost 8,139 primary care service sites located in urban and rural under-served areas throughout the United States and its territories. There are 30 FQHCs in NC, representing 150 clinical sites. Community Health Centers provide a range of primary care medical, dental, behavioral health and enabling services to help improve the health status and decrease health disparities of the medically under-served people in our country. Community Health Centers address the unique and significant barriers to affordable and accessible health care services for our community.
At RCCHC, it is believed that all people should have ready access to the full range of quality primary, preventive, enabling and supplemental medical health care services, including pediatrics, dental care, mental health care and substance abuse services, either directly on-site or through established arrangements, regardless of ability to pay. Care is provided in a medical home setting. RCCHC provides complete preventive and primary health care services for the entire family.
Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed Aug. 12-18 as Community Health Center Week in North Carolina, noting that more than 500,000 patients, most of whom are uninsured, are served through 42 centers serving 85 of the state’s 100 counties. Health centers work to reduce health disparities and improve health for individuals and families.
“Community health centers help people across North Carolina who would otherwise lack access to medical services get the quality, affordable health care they need,” Governor Cooper said. “These centers are the core of primary health care for many of our communities and can reach beyond the doctor’s office to address factors that impact health including mental illness, substance use, and access to food and housing.
“Even with the great work of community health centers, far too many people lack access to health care so we must keep pushing to expand health coverage in North Carolina,” Gov. Cooper added.
Community Health Centers in North Carolina provide health care to medically underserved areas, and help to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and visits to the emergency room. They treat patients for a fraction of the average cost of an emergency room visit, lower the cost of children’s primary care by about 35 percent and are led by patient-majority boards.
They also provide preventive care, and bring high quality medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and enabling services under one roof, without regard to the patients’ ability to pay.
North Carolina’s Community Health Centers plan events during the week-long observance ranging from health and wellness fairs, open house and tours to a community health walk, a fun run and school supply drives.
For more information on community health centers in North Carolina, visit the N.C. Community Health Center Association at ncchca.org.
Free Diabetic Classes
Classes sponsored by: Hertford Health Maintenance Alliance
Session Zero (Information):08-06-2018 @ 5pm
Location: Vidant Wellness Center (117 Hertford County High School Rd, Ahoskie NC)
Contact Lifestyle Coaches: 252-209-3366 or 252-209-3475 or 252-209-0237
Class times: 5:00pm until 6:00 pm on dates below: 2018- 2019 sessions
Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center is pleased to announce our newest site will be located in Woodland, NC in the old Southern Bank Building on Main Street. The Board of Directors of RCCHC voted unanimously to name the new Woodland Primary Care for Dr. John H. Stanley, in honor of his more than six decades of dedicated service to the health and welfare of not only Woodland residents but all of Northeastern North Carolina.
Dr. Stanley will join RCCHC and work alongside the staff to continue his legacy of quality, patient centered healthcare. Dr. Stanley has long sought a successor so that his patients and the Woodland community could continue to have access to primary care in their hometown.
“Working with RCCHC to open an office in Woodland is a welcome solution to making sure my patients have health care after I am no longer practicing,” said Dr. John H. Stanley.
Woodland Mayor Ken Manuel also endorses RCCHC’s engagement,”There are many people in town, with whom I have personally discussed the idea of the establishment of a new health care facility and they have all expressed excitement.”
Northampton County Health Department Director Andy Smith said, “RCCHC will bring a valuable resource in terms of providing patient care to citizens of Northampton County without them having to travel and we are proud to support their endeavor.”
Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center is seeking capital grants to remodel the former Southern Bank building which was purchased in December 2017.
“This is an exciting expansion for us. We anticipate opening in early 2019 once the remodeling is completed,” said Kim Schwartz, RCCHC CEO.
Dr. John Stanley of Woodland and Luther Culpepper, RCCHC Board Member in front of the RCCHC designated Dr. John Stanley Woodland Primary Care Clinic to open in early 2019.
This will be the first clinic for RCCHC in Northampton County. Woodland Primary Care will provide primary medical, behavioral and coordination of care with access for all patients offering a sliding fee discount program based on the Federal Poverty guidelines of household income and size.
RCCHC, an FQHC since May 2005, provides comprehensive primary care and pediatric services with locations in Ahoskie and Murfreesboro (Hertford County), Colerain (Bertie County) and Creswell (Washington County) North Carolina. As a designated Migrant and Community Health Center, RCCHC’s mission is to provide comprehensive care that reduces health disparities for the Roanoke Chowan area. Additionally RCCHC staffs The Hertford County Student Wellness Center which operates during the school year and allows students to seek behavioral health services without having to leave campus, reducing absenteeism and in turn keeping students in the classroom giving them a greater chance to successfully complete curriculum requirements.
RCCHC operations are a HRSA Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b.
The board of advisors of the Bertie-Hertford Community Foundation announces the establishment of the RCCHC Roy D. Sr. and Yvonne Flood Endowment Fund, according to Natalie Jenkins Peel, NC Community Foundation Regional Director.
This fund supports the Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center that provides a range of primary medical and behavioral healthcare services in underserved areas. The RCCHC Roy D. Sr. and Yvonne Flood Endowment Fund will provide health education to local students, as well as provide medical care for community members in need. The funds that supported the establishment of this endowment came from a fundraiser at the Nebo Baptist Church in October 2017.
Pictured: Kim Schwartz, RCCHC CEO, Yvonne Flood, and Dr. Viola Vaughan-Holland, RCCHC board member
“The incredible contributions both Dr. Flood and Mrs. Flood from a whole person perspective set the solid foundation for our community health center’s mission to be fully operational in Hertford County,” said RCCHC CEO Kim Schwartz.
Dr. Roy D. Flood Sr. was a local physician and founder of the Roanoke Chowan Hospital, which is one of the primary healthcare facilities in the area. Flood was also instrumental in the recruitment of physicians to Hertford County and Ahoskie, a long-underserved community. This is the second endowment named in Flood’s honor.
“Roy and Yvonne Flood devoted their lives to health and education, and the endowment fund named for them will continue their vitally important work,” said Guy Simmons, RCCHC board president. “We are thrilled that our community has contributed so enthusiastically and generously.”
“Dr. Flood has made significant and vital contributions to the community over the years,” said Laura Beasley, BHCF board president and NCCF statewide board member. “It is so fitting to create another endowment that honors his leadership and legacy in the community.”
About the Bertie-Hertford Community Foundation
The Bertie-Hertford Community Foundation is a growing family of philanthropic funds, resource area for nonprofits, source of grants for worthy local causes and partner for donors. BHCF is led by a local volunteer advisory board that helps build community assets through the creation of permanent endowments, makes grants and leverages leadership—all for the benefit of Bertie and Hertford counties. Whatever your means or charitable goals, the BHCF makes it easy to become a philanthropist. BHCF was founded in 1999 and it an affiliate foundation of the North Carolina Community Foundation. In addition to Beasley, board members include: John Tayloe (vice president), Lindsay Vaughn (secretary-treasurer), Gail Carter, Austine Evans, Richard Hoggard, Robert Lee, Anna Pierce, Karen Ray, Penny Rose, Marti Tyler and Ron Wesson.
Tax-deductible contributions, made payable to the Bertie-Hertford Community Foundation, can be mailed to the North Carolina Community Foundation, 3737 Glenwood Ave. Suite 460, Raleigh, NC 27612. Contributions can also be made online at nccommunityfoundation.org.
About the North Carolina Community Foundation
The NCCF is the single statewide community foundation serving North Carolina and has administered more than $130 million in grants since its inception in 1988. With nearly $247 million in assets, NCCF sustains 1,200 endowments established to provide long-term support of a broad range of community needs, nonprofit organizations, institutions and scholarships. The NCCF partners with a network of affiliate foundations to provide local resource allocation and community assistance across the state. An important component of NCCF’s mission is to ensure that rural philanthropy has a voice at local, regional and national levels.
For more information, visit nccommunityfoundation.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @NCCF.