By Tereasa Wade, KAHC Public Affairs Officer August 8, 2014
The ribbon cutting officially marks the FMC's transition to a "patient-centered medical home" model of care.
"The new model of health care emphasizes partnering with patients to equip and empower them along their wellness journey -- it's a comprehensive care plan that goes with patients wherever the military sends them," said Col. Thomas S. Bundt, KAHC commander.
The transition to patient-centered care started in 2011 with the Surgeon General's initiative to change the patient's experience with medical services and to diminish the rising costs of health care.
The remodeling of the family clinic is the beginning of KAHC's ongoing vision of the patient centered approach to improve the patient care experience.
The ceremony marks the end of the first phase of improvements to the clinic that will allow Kenner to meet the needs of the Fort Lee community.
"We are pleased to be able to offer patients the ability to manage all their health needs while in our clinic," said Kim Schoen, a registered nurse and nurse manager for Family Medicine.
Bundt also praised the clinic for earning National Committee for Quality Assurance Level 3 recognition during the transition to patient-centered care, noting that Level 3 is the highest a clinic can achieve.
"It is national recognition for the way we operate," explained Bundt. "It shows we are meeting all the requirements and all the standards for a patient-centered medical home."
The ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening is open to the Fort Lee community and will be followed by guided tours to allow patients to see and obtain an explanation of some of the changes that they will experience when receiving care.
"Right there, on the spot, they are able to obtain answers," Schoen said. "They receive their care and they leave safer and healthier. "
Although the Family Medicine Clinic remodeling is complete, plans are in the works to bring those upgrades to the Active Duty Clinic as well. Capt. Elizabeth Batts, a nurse practitioner in the ADC, said her clinic is expecting to see some walls coming down within the next month.
"We're excited about our upcoming renovation," she said. "There will be a little more elbow room for all the extra technicians and assistants, as well as providers and patients. Once it is all done, it will be quite large and will rival the epitome of what a patient centered medical home should be."
Lt. Col. Kenneth West, chief, Primary Care Division at Kenner, said "the intent of all the changes is to find out what's going on in the life of a patient -- to learn about their goals and objectives and then tailor a wellness plan for that patient's life."
"The reality is that your time in this clinic is a very small portion of time in your day, week, month or year," Bundt said. "We are helping you understand how to take care of yourself. You are the person who is responsible for your health. We're the support.
"The bottom line is we want folks to know that we are here for you all," he continued. "You are not here for us. I hope everyone will be able to join us for the grand opening on Monday."