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Horizon Health Services recognized for service

Achieving high quality is driving force for Ivor clinic

IVOR

Devotion to providing quality health care to patients has earned national recognition — and some money — to Horizon Health Services Inc. (HHS), which has a location in Ivor. This past August, the agency received a Quality Improvement Award (QIA) through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is a nod not only to the highest performing health centers in the country, but also those places that have made notable improvements in overall service.

HHS got a QIA as a National Quality Leader, which ranked in the top 1% to 2% of all health centers in one or more of the clinical quality measures that promote behavioral health, diabetes health and heart health in 2019. It’s for the middle measure that the agency has stood out. HHS also was named as a Health Center Quality Leader for achieving the best overall clinical performance among all health centers. Each earned $33,392 for the agency. Then there’s the Health Disparities Reducer Awards ($28,875), which recognizes health centers that met or surpassed the Health People 2020 goals, or made at least a 10 percent improvement across different racial and ethnic groups from 2018 to 2019. All three awards got HHS a total of $104,159.

“It’s something we’re quite proud of,” said Cheryl Ebersole, CEO of HHS. She explained that the agency is not with the regional health department, but is a non-profit federally qualified health center that operates in Southampton, Sussex and Surry counties.

She credits the staff for the recent successes.

Our mission as a non-profit is to provide quality, comprehensive and affordable care to all individuals … especially the under-served, those patients who are uninsured or under-insured. All our services are on a sliding fee scale,” said Ebersole. “That makes us a safety net provider.”

HHS started in 1979 as the Ivor Medical Center, then expanded to Waverly and then to Surry, and now has 4,600 patients.

“Quality is the driver,” she said, “It speaks to the quality of the clinical team.”

Also speaking about the honors was Dr. George Coleman, who has been with the clinic for 16 years, said, “It took a team to make it happen, and years [for the place] to mature into what it is today.”

Dr. Valencia Williams holds up a Certificate of Achievement presented by HRSA to Horizon Health Services Inc. “In recognition of ranking among the top 10 percent of health centers for best overall clinical performance.” — Stephen H. Cowles The Tidewater News

Dr. Valencia Williams, now in her 11th year there, calls the recognition, “Icing on the cake. We’re very excited [about the awards]. It’s validation of what we do every day.”

Lois Brown, a Family Nurse Practitioner, is also thrilled by the honors. Referring to the recognition of how well the clinic has promoted diabetes health, Brown said, “We help keep patients’ sugars good and provide lots of extra advice.”

Kim Sadler, chief operating officer, said, “I’m incredibly proud of the quality care this center provides to our patients and community.”