Monthly Update
July 2015

CCC Board of Directors Meetings:

All CCC Board of Directors meetings are held at 1111 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702.


  • Next Meeting: August 11, 2015 from 2:00-4:00 pm.


The CCC Board will also meet September 22, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. These dates are subject to change pending Board approval.

  CCC IT Update -- Care Coordination Tools

There are individuals working throughout the community to help people find the resources they need to maintain and improve their health.  These "navigators" help connect patients with resources, ranging from medical services to food assistance to housing and more.  Currently, the work to identify necessary resources is done independently by each navigator through time-consuming research and network development.  These navigators play critical roles for their clients and the community and deserve better tools. 


The need for better tools was identified earlier this year as part of the CCC's navigation workgroup.  In response, the CCC solicited proposals for services and has ultimately contracted with Aunt Bertha as part of the Community Resource Directory (CRD) initiative. Aunt Bertha is a local company, who has created a tool they liken to "the aunt we all deserve" -- one who advises you on where to get help when you need it. The goal of the CRD is to provide navigators with a single, comprehensive place to search for resources currently available based on an individual's location, household size, and household income.  The tool will also allow navigators to leave notes and reviews on resources as well as create and save a list of their favorite resources.  


The project will be implemented in phases.  The initial phase, to be piloted in October 2015, will focus on IDS-prioritized resources. Next year, the Aunt Bertha CRD will be integrated into "Mini-Navigation," a software program in which all participating community navigators will document their work with each client. The integration of the two tools will allow Aunt Bertha to give personalized advice for the individual being assisted ... from WITHIN the new software program.  Each phase of the project will incorporate reviews of how the tools are working for the participating entities to help consolidate into as few separate tools as possible and make them smarter as we go.  

:: 512-978-8164

Contact: Mark Hernandez

CMO Message -

Mark Hernandez, MD


I have done something this summer that I have rarely done in my professional career. I took a summer vacation. I will not bore you with details (think beach vacation), but I knew even as I headed into it I was likely to spend a fair amount of time checking email and attending to things back home. So I decided to wake up each morning and lock my cellphone in the room safe.




I would never had believed that such a simple act could be so impactful. Spending several hours actually engaged in the moment as opposed to being wherever my email box and text application forced me to go was life changing. And it's not lost on me that I would probably be better at my work if I could similarly adopt new ways of focusing during the workweek. I hope that each of you either has found peace with your personal technology, or is striving to get there. And don't forget to take some time for yourself this summer.


- Mark

CCC Clinical and Operational Project Updates


This month's newsletter highlights current work in clinical areas that were introduced in prior newsletters -- homeless services and clinical protocols.  


Update 1:  Healthcare for the Homeless


In the December 2014 newsletter, we introduced the CCC's street medicine project with a discussion of issues related to caring for the homeless population.   We noted the interrelationship between homelessness and poor health and the complexities with trying to care for this population through a quote from the website of the National Coalition for the Homeless:


Poor health is both a cause and a result of homelessness. Many people are reduced to homelessness because of poor health, which can rapidly escalate into employment problems, financial difficulties and housing issues with over half of personal bankruptcies in the US resulting from health issues. Homeless persons also suffer from multiple health problems at a much higher rate than the general population with increased exposure to the elements, disease, violence, unsanitary conditions, malnutrition, stress, and addictive substances.

While the street medicine program continues to provide services as part of our mobile care teams DSRIP project, the CCC has recently initiated a comprehensive look at how best to care for this population.


The CCC Healthcare for the Homeless Steering Group was initiated in May 2015 and is being led by Dr. Ted Held and project managed by Curk McFall.  The purpose of the Steering Group is to ensure that there is a framework of services within the CCC's integrated delivery system (IDS) that effectively meet the needs for - 

  • Individuals and families experiencing homelessness,
  • Individuals and families who have experienced homelessness in the past, or
  • Individuals and families who are at risk of experiencing homelessness. 

To this end, the CCC Healthcare for the Homeless Steering Group will -  

  • Develop partnerships with existing community entities who provide social services and supports for the target population within Austin and Travis County;
  • Build constituency among community stakeholders to foster combining community services (when possible) and identify and develop evidence-based interventions to address social, medical, and behavioral healthcare needs;
  • Collaboratively design a care framework that is evidence-based, patient-centered, multidisciplinary, and will increase awareness of homelessness by engaging the citizens of Austin and Travis County;
  • Integrate preventative medicine and primary care (medical and behavioral health) to enhance the continuity of care as a means to build on provisioned healthcare and social services that are provided across a network of clinics; and
  • Ensure the availability of sufficient funding to sustain healthcare and continuity of care services for individuals experiencing homelessness, provider availability, and the multidisciplinary array of services required to provide evidence-based, patient centered care


The Steering Group is comprised of representatives from ten organizations with additional organizations that provide services for individuals experiencing homelessness serving on workgroups, as needed.  The July meeting of the Steering Group focused on the need for a gap analysis regarding available services for this target population.


Update 2:  Clinical Protocols


In the May, 2014 newsletter we spotlighted the CCC's work to transform local health care delivery through the identification, documentation, and implementation of evidence-based care protocols.  Protocols may be developed by the relevant working group or adopted by the working group from a respected source.  The initial protocols completed targeted the following conditions:  Diabetes, Hypertension, Hepatitis C, Depression and Anxiety, and Heart Failure.


Since the completion of the initial set of protocols, the CCC has developed and documented a protocol management process and is currently developing and preparing to implement 7 new protocols.  Two address prevention/population health issues and five are focused on management of current health conditions.


The CCC is coordinating the development and adoption of clinical protocols to --

  • Describe evidence-based care;
  • Establish minimum standards for quality;
  • Reduce inappropriate variation in practice;
  • Provide a rational and clear basis for referral; and
  • Promote efficient use of resources.

Once developed, the protocols will be reviewed annually to ensure continued appropriateness and/or determine need for updating.  The protocols currently being reviewed are -- Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Depression/ Anxiety, Heart Failure, and Hepatitis C.  


There are a number of additional protocols in various stages of development.

  • A tobacco protocol, developed by the population health workgroup, is complete and staff are working on necessary EHR changes to assist with implementation.  The population health group will also begin work on a pre-diabetes protocol this summer for implementation later this year. 
  • Protocols to be developed by the end of calendar year 2015 include pre-diabetes (also developed by the population health workgroup), adult asthma, pediatric asthma, chronic pain, and chest pain.  The Chest Pain protocol is the first protocol to be adopted from an external source rather than created internally.
  • The initial OB protocol, the Normal Interval OB Care Protocol, and related referral guidelines are being drafted for review by the OB Workgroup in July.

System Facitity Updates

Central Health Southeast Health and Wellness Center


Central Health Southeast Health and Wellness Center helps close the nutrition gap for children over the summer months.



Thanks to the sponsorship of Sendero Health Plans and the support of the Capitol Area Food Bank's Summer Lunch Program, in just 9 days a total of 184 children and 97 adults have received at least 1 healthy meal.  The program continues weekdays through August 21st and is exceeding expectations.


Another new service being offered at the Central Health Southeast Health and Wellness Center is CommUnityCare's Hepatitis C clinic.




Mr. Meredith (shown center with his medical team Victoria Vargas, MA, Jorden Niquette, PA, and Maria Lawlor, MA) was the first patient to receive care. Hepatitis C is a slow progressing disease, with symptoms that may not appear for years, if at all. However, if the disease is left untreated, it can lead to liver damage and potentially even liver cancer. Mr. Meredith was relieved to receive care and stated, "Ya'll do good work!"


Please visit the Central Health Southeast Health and Wellness Center website or contact Elizabeth Marrero for more information about the center and its offerings.

Central Health Brackenridge Campus


Fox7 news spoke with Central Health President and CEO Trish Young Brown about Central Health's plans to redevelop its Brackenridge campus when hospital operations transition to the Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas in 2017.  Click here to learn more about this exciting project:  UMC Brackenridge campus to be redeveloped into a mixed-use site -

University of Texas Dell Medical School


Dell Medical School Accreditation Press Conference - June 29, 2015


Pictured from left to right: 

  • Larry Wallace Executive VP, COO, Central Health 
  • Christann Vasquez, President, Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas
  • Clay Johnston, MD, PhD, Dean
  • Sarah Eckhardt(D) Judge, Travis County
  • Gregory L. Fenves, President, The University of Texas at Austin 
  • Sen. Kirk Watson (D) Texas
  • Sue Cox, MD, Executive Vice Dean for Academics


The future of medical education in Austin continues to evolve. . .  The medical school, in collaboration with its community and partners, has a rare opportunity to rethink everything, including health, community, care, education, research and innovation. The school received its preliminary accreditation and already has nearly 2,500 applications from which to recruit its first class of 50 students who will begin in June 2016. Dell Medical School's differentiators, including its groundbreaking curriculum and how it connects with its community distinguish it amongst all other medical schools. It recently joined Seton in welcoming its first new residents, and celebrated with Huston-Tillotson University at the groundbreaking of the new community health and wellness center. Chair of Pediatrics Dr. Steve Abrams shared his expertise regarding the risk of obesity in breast-fed infants. Austin's burgeoning medical district, anchored by Dell Medical School and the new hospital, is getting closer to completion. Onward!

Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas


Construction continues on the new hospital, as does both clinical planning and operational work to transform local healthcare delivery...


On the clinical side, robotics may one day help restore a human range of motion to persons who've experienced stroke and spinal cord injuries. Dr. Roger Parthasarathy, a physical medicine and rehabilitation medicine specialist with the Seton Brain and Spine Institute, is working with University of Texas mechanical engineering researcher Ashish Deshpande, Ph.D. They spoke to KVUE's Jim Bergamo about their exciting collaboration.


Operationally, University Medical Center Brackenridge staff continue to prepare for their big move to the new Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas by holding a series of clean-up days as part of Project Cleanup!


The first Project Cleanup! was held May 19-20 and focused on cleaning out all old holiday/party supplies.  The second session was held on June 16-17.  This session focused on recycling all paper, magazines, reference books, manuals, meeting minutes, etc.  A list of guidelines was sent out to all hospital associates to ensure all required documentation thrown away met requirements and regulations.




The Education Transition and Training Team broke into two designated teams with their own assigned departments to visit. Each team worked from 10am -12pm both days and each used a patient bed to weigh each department's paper poundage that was collected. All collected paper items were then hauled off by Shred It, our recycling company.


The teams collected 4,791 pounds of paper items, which is the equivalent to more than 2 tons!


The winners for the June event were:


Grand Prize Winner - Health Information Management

  •  "Most Poundage" weighing in at 1 ton of paper

Runner Up's -

  • Radiology - "Oldest Document"
  • 7thFloor - "Oldest Reference Manual"
  • ICU - "Oldest Roster" with an employee still working at UMCB

At the official award ceremony, the Grand Prize winner was presented with the "Golden Trash Can" trophy filled with various goodies for their department to enjoy along with warm Tiff's Treat cookies. Each runner-up department received their own goodie bag filled with a variety of treats.


Future planned Project Cleanup! events include:

  •       August 18 & 19 - Equipment
  •       September - Miscellaneous
  •       October - 2nd Round of Paper