FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – A federal agency has named Norton Sound Health Corporation a leader amongst nationwide community health centers in quality care. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recognized NSHC with five awards in honor of the organization’s improvement achievements in the areas of overall quality, access, health equity, and COVID-19 public health emergency response.
NSHC is among 27 health centers in Alaska that HRSA recognized for quality achievements in 2021. Of those Alaska health centers, NSHC is among only three to receive an overall quality award and to receive five or more awards.
NSHC earned a silver Health Center Quality Leader award, meaning that it ranks among the top 11-20% of health centers to achieve the best overall clinical performance nationwide. The quality metrics in this category include different cancer screenings, weight and body mass index screenings, and other preventative health measures. NSHC was the only Tribal health center in Alaska to receive an overall quality award, which marks NSHC’s fourth such award.
HRSA also recognized NSHC’s achievements in the following ways:
- Access Enhancer Award: NSHC increased the number of patients served across multiple service areas while maintaining the highest level of quality services in those areas. NSHC had significant increases in medical and dental visits as well as an increase in total patients served.
- Health Disparities Reducer Award: NSHC achieved improvements in blood pressure and infant birth weight screenings across racial and ethnic groups to higher than the goal for Healthy People 2030.
- COVID-19 Public Health Champion Award: NSHC made contributions to providing critical public health services to health center services during the COVID-19 public health emergency. NSHC was among the top 10% of health centers to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and/or COVID-19 diagnostic testing to the largest proportion of health center patients.
- Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition Award: All 16 NSHC primary care sites are recognized as patient centered medical homes, as certified by the National Center for Quality Assurance.
NSHC commends the different departments involved in the improvements recognized by these awards and the teams that helped compile the information used in the Uniform Data System, which HRSA uses for the quality improvement awards.