Health Centers Gather for 2024 Health Center Controlled Network Annual In-Person Meeting

The Health Federation of Philadelphia (HFP) hosted its annual Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) in-person meeting on Thursday, June 6 and Friday, June 7 at Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Representatives from health centers around Pennsylvania gathered for an opportunity to learn, network, and collaborate with others across the HCCN and around the state. 

“This is my first time at the HCCN meeting,” Dr. Dallas Malzi, Chief Medical Officer at North Side Christian Health Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said. “Our health center is pretty small, so we like to get as much input from other health centers as we can. We recognize that every health center is a little different, so it’s really important that we are a part of this larger federation because, in the end, sharing ideas is one of the best things you can do for population health and Federally Qualified Health Centers in general.”

Dr. Dallas Manzi

Dr. Dallas Malzi, Chief Medical Officer at North Side Christian Health Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shares a brief presentation at the 2024 HCCN in-person meeting

There were many important topics covered over the two-day meeting. On day one, participants heard from Christopher Brandt, President and CEO of Expanse Health, about electronic health records and the key components to optimizing these systems. HFP’s HCCN team also unveiled their Patient Engagement Strategic Plan to help members develop and support patient engagement initiatives using health information technologies. The team hopes the framework will enhance the working relationship between the individual and the healthcare provider, maximizing outcomes and improving healthcare experiences.

Participants received an update from the HCCN team about UDS+, the electronic submission of de-identified, patient-level data to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and discussed best practices for social drivers of health assessments and referrals. The first day ended with a discussion on artificial intelligence and other evolving technologies in the healthcare industry. While only scratching the surface, the session certainly gave participants lots to take home and think about.

Participants work together at the 2024 HCCN in-person meeting

Participants gathered in small groups throughout the first day to brainstorm ideas and share their experiences

“Artificial intelligence is something I am interested in learning about,” Dr. Malzi said. “We have an opportunity to start using some AI at North Side. Anything you can do to multiply the workforce is really something I’m interested in. Our clinical work software has the ability to use AI, but there’s a lot of pitfalls and problems with patient safety and security, so we would rather not be the guinea pig. We want to hear what other people are doing and experiencing.”

Participants work together at the 2024 HCCN in-person meeting

Day two focused on Azara DRVS, a data reporting and analytics tool used by many HCCN members. Azara’s Clinical Transformation Team worked with participants to discuss and share key ways to roll out the tools available in DRVS across the care team.  

With five staff members in attendance, the group from ChesPenn Health Services won the award (a “Thank You” from the HCCN team) for most participants from one FQHC. When asked why it was important to have a larger group attend the meeting, each participant stressed the value in the topics covered and the impact it will have on their roles at ChesPenn.

Led by Suzanne Cohen, the Senior Director of Population Health at HFP, the HCCN team includes: Holly Hainsworth, Director of Population Health Initiatives; Khai Williams, Director of Clinical Informatics; Jessica Chen, Quality Improvement Program Manager; Brett Pickus, Health Information Technology Project Manager; Anoosha Vijjapu, Data Analyst; and Emma Moulder, Project Coordinator.

The HCCN is a grant-supported program open to Federally Qualified Health Centers and look-alikes across Pennsylvania. The project focuses on supporting patient-centered health care delivery and population health. The HCCN helps health centers to optimize use of information technology tools and supports quality improvement efforts such as data collection, management, analysis, and reporting. The HCCN data warehouse represents de-identified health services and outcomes data for over 500,000 health center patients in Pennsylvania.

This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $3,081,634 with 0% financed with nongovernmental sources.