A Note From Kelly Huntsman, CEO


Kelly Huntsman, CEO Primary Health Care, Inc.

Happy New Year from PHC!

The “fresh slate” feeling of a new year is invigorating and our team is feeling that with the expansion of a new clinic and launching several new and innovative programs. Excitement is definitely in the air! With that, we realize that there is some uncertainty about what the future holds. We know that Primary Health Care will continue to do what we have steadfastly done for the past 30 + years – providing care for the vulnerable and underserved living in Central Iowa.

We are appreciative of the support we have received, on both sides of the aisle, for the programs and services provided by community health centers and know that our many advocates will continue to carry that message for us into 2017! If you are interested in learning more about advocating for community health centers, see the National Association of Community Health Center’s website Campaign for America’s Health Centers.

PHC continues to innovate and expand services to provide care for those who are in need. We are excited to be expanding our dental services with the opening of a new dental clinic at 1200 University Ave. in Des Moines. The clinic will be co-located with the University Medical Clinic, Pharmacy, The Project (HIV services) and the Homeless Outreach team. The addition of this clinic will provide comprehensive dental care to an underserved population with high dental needs and chronic medical conditions. Dentists and staff will begin seeing patients in late February. We hope you will join us on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 for an open house at the PHC Campus on University Ave. in Des Moines where you can tour the newly renovated space and meet our staff.

We extend our gratitude to the Delta Dental Foundation who provided a leadership grant that helped make the construction of this clinic a reality. Additional funders who provided generous support include the Iowa Department of Public Health, Forselles Inc., HRSA, Principal and many individual donors. Thank you for your support and dedication to moving our mission forward!

Happy New Year!

Centering Pregnancy© at Story County Clinic in Ames

by Megan Sloat, CNM

We are very excited to begin Centering Pregnancy © as our model of prenatal care at the Story County Clinic. Centering Pregnancy brings 8-10 women (all due at the same time) together for their prenatal care. The model follows the recommended schedule of 10 prenatal visits, but each visit is two hours long – giving women 10x more time with their provider. Moms engage in their care by taking their own weight and blood pressure and recording their own health data. This is followed by private time with their provider for a belly check.

Once health assessments are complete, the midwife and support staff “circle-up” with moms and their support people. There is a facilitated discussion and interactive activities which are designed to address important and timely health topics, while leaving room to discuss what is important to the group. Centering materials help moms and providers ensure that everything from nutrition, common discomforts, stress management, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and infant care are covered in group.

Providing care in this way allows moms and providers to relax and get to know each other on a deeper and more meaningful level. Members of the group form lasting friendships and are connected in ways not possible in traditional care. Centering groups comprised of women of different ages, races, and socio-economic backgrounds see those differences diminish in importance as they share the common experience of pregnancy, birth, and family care.

Numerous published studies show that Centering Pregnancy moms have healthier babies and that the model of care nearly eliminates racial disparities in preterm birth. We also expect that Centering Pregnancy promotes self-care and self-confidence among women and their families, ultimately contributing to their health. And finally, Centering Pregnancy is a fun way to receive prenatal care! We look forward to providing this service to our pregnant moms. If you or someone you know is pregnant and want to learn more about this program, please call the PHC Story County Clinic at (515) 232-0628.

–some text borrowed from centeringhealthcare.org

PHC’s Impact In Central Iowa

Your support of Primary Health Care helps the underserved living in Central Iowa, those that experience barriers to receiving care. PHC aims to help with preventative, primary care and keep patients out of the emergency room and the hospital, where the care can be more costly. Having a medical home also improves the quality of life for our patients.

Maybe you are wondering, what does “barrier to care” mean?  A barrier is defined as “an obstacle that prevents access”. PHC specializes in creating opportunities for access to healthcare and supportive services . For example, transportation can be a barrier. To help overcome this obstacle, Primary Health Care has clinics in the neighborhoods where our patients live and work. Clinics are also in close proximity to bus routes. Both of these solutions allow for greater access to care; a patient can walk to a nearby clinic, or she and her children can take a bus that stops near a clinic.

Your gift to PHC helps sustain the innovative programs and services that support vulnerable families and individuals living in our community. Thank you for your generosity!


Upcoming Events, Save the Date:

  • Community Health Center Day at the Capitol — Tuesday, February 7 @ the Capitol
  • University Dental Clinic Open House  —  Tuesday, March 21 @ 1200 University Ave., Des Moines
  • The Project / Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus Collaboration Concert  —  Saturday, March 25 @ First Christian Church, Des Moines
  • Primary Leaders in Health Awards  —  Tuesday, May 16 @ Forte, Des Moines
  • National Health Center Week —  August 6 -12, @ stay tuned for more details!
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