Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Inc. was awarded a perfect score during its Operational Site Visit performed by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on Sept. 12. HRSA is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. During this site visit, Rural Health was accessed to ensure that it is compliant with 93 requirements to include services offered, and budget and staffing compliance. Operational Site Visits occur every three years.

Rural Health is the first community health center system in Virginia to be awarded a perfect score this year, per the Virginia Community Healthcare Association.  Community health centers provide quality primary health care services to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations. Discounts are available to those who qualify based on income and family size; community health centers receive funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration in order to offer these discounts.

Operational Site Visit reviewers commented that Rural Health demonstrates its mission in, “Everything they do every day,” with Gloria Warner saying Rural Health is, “Extraordinary….outstanding…ahead of the curve with its work here.” Per review team leader Jeff Zonis, of the 19 site visits he’s done this year, only one other met all 93 requirements, “It is rare to have a perfect score…..this is an amazing group of people,” Zonis said.

As Operational Site Visits are conducted throughout the country, reviewers identify  “Promising Practices” that other community health centers can emulate. The review team is recommended Rural Health’s collaboration with Eastern Shore Community College to train dental assistants be recognized nationwide as a promising practice. Said Dr. Buhari Mohammed, “Rural Health assessed workforce needs, and addressed that by providing the training leading to certification for dental assistants. An amazing concept.” In addition, he stated Rural Health’s program to measure how diabetes patients are faring was outstanding. Controlling diabetes is a Health Resources and Services Administration priority.