PITTSBURG — The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas has been recognized for quality among 44 other institutions across the nation.

CHC/SEK has been named a National Quality Leader by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The designation is given to federally qualified health centers, which focus on patient outcomes. CHC/SEK was the only health center in Kansas to receive the designation.

“Here we work to improve patient outcomes through preventative measures, chronic disease management, prenatal care,” Chief Quality Officer Terry Schirk said. “Receiving this honor means we were consistently above the national average for quality of care for multiple outcomes.”

Chronic disease management includes working with patients with high cholesterol, diabetes and other diseases to keep them as healthy as possible, connecting them with physicians and necessary medication. Preventative measures include things like cancer screenings, while prenatal care makes sure mothers have access to medication and early doctors appointments to ensure a healthy birth.

CHC/SEK is leading the state, and nation in all of these efforts.

“This is a team effort between our staff and our providers that make us a quality leader,” Schirk said. “We have an amazing staff and amazing physicians that work together extremely well to provide outstanding care.”

CHC/SEK was also recognized as a health center quality leader for achieving the best overall clinical performance among all health centers.

The center was awarded $162,110 in quality improvement funding for its 2016 achievements. The funding is part of $105 million in grants awarded to health centers by HRSA. It was the largest award for quality outcomes in the state.

“We will sit down and assess what the funding will be used for. We may expand to meet special needs of our growing diabetic population, or something else,” Schirk said. “We will identify further needs and use the funding to continue providing access to high quality, affordable health care.”

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.