2023 was a very busy year for grant funded quality improvement programs. Kentucky REC is proud to work with so many organizations committed to improving the health of our fellow Kentuckians. Awardees were chosen by the advisor team and presentations were made at our Annual Conference. Below are the organizations chosen in 2023 for their exemplary performance.

Hypertension Learning Collaborative: The Blood Pressure Buster Award

University of Kentucky North Fork Valley Community Health Center participated in the Hypertension Learning Collaborative over the past year. Their focus has been to improve hypertension in their population of focus, by identifying patients to refer to and educate patients through the CARE SMBP program and implement workflows that improve rates in statin therapy.

North Fork Valley has a wonderful physician champion, Dr. Douthitt, along with a great team that helped to facilitate the PDSA cycles that were tested and provide CARE SMBP education to their patients. They met and exceeded all of the goals that were set for each measure of the Collaborative and had great patient success stories throughout the process. This in itself is a huge accomplishment, but they were also able to make these improvements during a very hard time for Eastern Kentucky with the devastating floods that impacted their patients and staff. This clinic’s strong desire for their community of patients and their health outcomes is a driving force in their success. Congratulations to North Fork Valley for their “Blood Pressure Buster Award!”

The Colorectal Cancer Crusader Award

Pennyroyal Healthcare Services is headquartered in Princeton, Kentucky and became a FQHC in 2013. They have 3 locations: Princeton, Oak Grove, and Hopkinsville. They have participated over the past several years in multiple grants around improving Colorectal Cancer screening rates.

They have implemented several PDSA cycles such as provider assessment and feedback reports, provider reminders, and patient reminders such as writing due dates of FIT tests, and wonderful community events have led to CRC screening improvement across all clinic locations. They recognize the need to work in multiple areas to improve this measure. This clinic’s commitment spans across their staff: from their CEO, Quality Improvement Coordinator, providers, and staff, make their work a true team effort.  Congratulations to Pennyroyal for their “Colorectal Crusader Award!”

Asthma Grant Practice Innovation Award

The Kentucky REC Team would like to recognize King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) for their outstanding performance in the first year of their participation in Asthma Improvement grant. KDMC is a not-for-profit, regional referral center covering a 150-mile radius that includes southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky. KDMC’s primary service area encompasses four counties in two states, Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties in Kentucky, and Lawrence County, Ohio.

The organization serves a population of approximately 175,000 lives. As part of the first year of this grant, KDMC has engaged an internal multidisciplinary team comprised of Pulmonology Administration, Pharmacy, AS-ME Certified Educators, Health Informatics, Data Analysts, and Marketing resources to lead this quality improvement opportunity across their organization. KDMC is piloting focused improvement with three adult primary care provider practices and their outpatient pulmonology practice to develop, test, and optimize successful workflows that will be scaled throughout the ambulatory population.

KDMC has developed a system-wide database to identify and monitor patients with asthma for targeted outcome improvement. They have expanded AS-ME services and have launched marketing campaigns to outreach to the community to create awareness of asthma as a disease state and how their services can help.

The improvement team has created Clinical Decision Support tools such as EHR-embedded asthma screening tools, developed built-in alerts to aid providers in identifying patients with asthma to complete ACT screenings, and have developed a more robust AS-ME referral process and tracking mechanism to monitor completion of education so that no patient falls through the cracks who could benefit from services. KDMC has hosted numerous community engagement activities increasing asthma awareness and AS-ME resources since the start of this partnership.

The team has conducted health screening fairs, provided asthma awareness education to middle schoolers across the region and have conducted in-service trainings for school nurses, athletic trainers & coaching staff as well as area fire & rescue personnel as part of this grant.  Additionally, in an effort to promote the implementation of Kentucky’s Stock Albuterol program, KDMC has partnered with Greenup County Public School System school-based clinics to provide clinic staff training & guidance in the implementation of this valuable and potentially life-saving resource for area children.

Prediabetes Learning Collaborative: Diabetes Prevention Pioneer Award

KDMC is a hospital system based in Ashland, Kentucky. They also have locations in Boyd, Carter, Johnson, Floyd, Elliott, Lawrence, Greenup Counties in KY; Lawrence, Scioto Counties in Ohio. They are currently working with patients of 2 providers; Jane Strader, MD and Shayne Bennett, APRN, for their population of focus in the Prediabetes Learning Collaborative.

These two providers currently have 1776 patients between them. Their goal is to improve the health outcomes of their patients with prediabetes by referring them to the National Diabetes Prevention Program. They are also working on identifying patients with prediabetes who are not currently listed as prediabetic in their chart. They have made impressive strides in improvements with all these measures, surpassing all goals in just the first six months of the project. This clinic’s commitment from their provider champions and improved workflow is a driving force in their success. Congratulations to KDMC for their “Diabetes Prevention Pioneer Award!”

Exemplary Coverdell Stroke Grant Partner

Cumberland Family Medical Center has been instrumental in helping to grow our work within the Coverdell grant. Their excitement and dedication for utilizing the CARE Collaborative program to help their patients has led to numerous stories of success within their patient population by improving the self-management of their own blood pressure and encouraging lifestyle modifications.

Beyond the success they’ve had with their patients, they have also provided best practices for implementation and monitoring of the CARE Collaborative program as it has spread to other grant participants. Their stewardship on implementing the CARE Collaborative and cooperation to share their barriers as well as successes has made working with this practice extremely beneficial and enjoyable. We can’t thank them enough for their hard work on the Coverdell Stroke Grant.

Diabetes Learning Collaborative: The Sweet Success Award

Mt. Sterling clinic is a small practice in Montgomery County, Kentucky.  They currently have 3 providers and are utilizing one of those providers in the current Diabetes Learning Collaborative with us and the Kentucky Department for Public Health.  They currently serve nearly 2500 patients in their rural practice.  Their goal is to improve the health outcomes of their diabetic patient population by improving A1C Poor Control, BP Control, Referrals to the DSMES program and Diabetic Eye Exams.

They have made strong strides in improvements with all these measures, nearly surpassing all goals ahead of schedule, and achieved this while learning their newly implemented EHR software earlier in the year.  They’ve also begun electronic DSMES referral usage with eClinical with staff and clinicians; resulting in more workflow efficiencies for their staff. This clinic’s strong desire for their community of patients and their health outcomes is a driving force in their success.  Congratulations to Mt. Sterling Clinic for their “Sweet Success!”