U.S. Representative Tom Reed visited The Resource Center on Tuesday, May 1, praising the co-located and integrated health care services TRC offers and pledging to assist the agency in its efforts to better serve the community.
TRC was honored to host Congressman Reed, who toured our Second Street facility in Jamestown to learn more about the services offered there and to see firsthand the progress on renovations being made to the building.
The Congressman’s visit came about after he accepted an invitation from Heather C. Brown, Assistant Executive Director, to tour TRC’s Carl Cappa Building. The facility houses TRC’s Community Health Center, offering Primary Care, Dental and Behavioral Health Services to the entire community. TRC Community Health Center is a safety-net provider, one in which more than 80 percent of the people receiving services are Medicaid recipients. Heather and several other TRC representatives – Kelly Dimitri, Chief Financial Officer; Marcia Restivo, Director of Clinical Services; and Jennifer Gesing, Director of Behavioral Health and Care Coordination Services – shared some of TRC’s successes as well as the challenges The Resource Center faces in ensuring that thousands of Chautauqua County residents have access to high-quality health care.
In fact, the number of people served by TRC Community Health Center was one thing that surprised Congressman Reed. Heather shared that about 10,000 people receive services each year, with Marcia adding that as many as 300 people come through the doors of the Cappa Building each day. Heather said TRC established its Primary Care clinic to treat the people at the core of its mission, those with developmental disabilities. In 1993, TRC expanded its Primary Care services to include anyone in the community. She told Mr. Reed that of the 10,000 people served by TRC each year, fewer than 1,000 have developmental disabilities.
Kelly noted that there is “a clear need in the community” for the health services TRC provides, and Mr. Reed agreed.
“If you weren’t here, the magnitude on the community would be devastating, I would imagine,” he said.
The Congressman and his hosts toured the ongoing renovations at the building. The next phase of the multi-year project is nearing completion, with The Resource Center expecting to unveil its redesigned Primary Care section by the end of May. This follows external façade work and the expansion of the dental offices, work that was completed in 2016. The building, which formerly was a furniture showroom, has been retrofitted over the years, and TRC officials said the facility was in need of an upgrade. They said patients will appreciate the new, modern offices.
“We’re so excited,” Marcia said. “They deserve to have a nice place to come.”
“Renovations include new efficient waiting rooms, new operatories for the dentists and the doctors, all new facilities that are going to be state of the art,” Heather said. “Everything’s going to be just efficient and new and much better from a customer and provider perspective.”
The redesign of the Primary Care section includes an integrated waiting room as well as a team room, where providers from TRC’s Primary Care and Behavioral Health offices can meet to discuss a patient’s all-around health. Congressman Reed said he likes this approach, because often a person will go to see his primary care physician, and that doctor may not be aware of other health concerns that the patient has. At TRC Community Health Center, people can receive several types of services under one roof, and the various providers can communicate with one another to maximize a person’s care.
Mr. Reed was favorably impressed by what he saw at The Resource Center and the way TRC provides care to the community.
“The whole integrated model of healthcare, making sure that when a patient walks in, when a client walks in, they have access to all the services they need in one location – the whole gamut of care, so patients don’t have to be lost in the bureaucracy of healthcare – for me, this is an example of how health care should be delivered,” the Congressman said.
In discussing the challenges The Resource Center faces, TRC officials cited inadequate reimbursement rates, the transition from a traditional fee-for-service care model to a value-based system, and licensing regulations that make it difficult for TRC to attract out-of-state providers, particularly psychiatrists. Jen noted that behavioral health providers from Erie and Warren are interested to working for The Resource Center, but are frustrated by New York State’s licensure rules. Congressman Reed said his office would see if it can assist in these areas.