Fair Haven Community Health Center (FHCHC), a federally qualified health center (FQHC) that serves a client base that is 71% Latino/a and 15% African-American at two locations in New Haven, recently received a two year grant from the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health).
The grant will enable FCHC to develop medical-dental integration leadership and information technology capacity. Because the health of one’s teeth can affect one’s physical health and vice versa (e.g., dental decay can complicate heart conditions and pregnancy; type II diabetes is associated with gum disease), the grant will foster champions for medical and dental provider coordination. At the technology level, a barrier to integration has been that electronic medical and dental records have not been readily interoperable (e.g., medical records use diagnostic codes when dental records use billing codes) necessitating both short and long term solutions that the funding will support.
The grant is the second of its kind. The Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, also based in New Haven, was awarded a two year grant under the same funding opportunity in the previous grant quarter. Both grantees were selected because they demonstrated vision and capacity to be integration early adopters. It is hoped that lessons and practices will emerge that can be shared with other community health centers in Connecticut.