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April 2012

St. Louis Regional Health Commission
Healthcare Happenings
In This Issue
St. Louis Approaches "Gateway to Better Health" Launch July 1
RHC Dental Initiative Improves Access by 19% to date
Regional Psychiatric Stabilization Center Opens with Plans of Expansion
Nurses for Newborns/SLU Awarded $100,000 for second year
Commonwealth Fund Releases St. Louis Report and Scorecard
Welcome New RHC Staff: Danny O'Malley, Latriece Kimbrough, Rosie Stafford
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The St. Louis Regional Health Commission (RHC) is a collaborative effort of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, the state of Missouri, health providers, and community members with a mission to improve the health of uninsured and underinsured citizens in St. Louis City and County.


The Healthcare Happenings newsletter is our way of keeping you informed on our progress in these efforts.  Thank you for taking time to read this newsletter and for your commitment to improving the health of those in our community with limited access to healthcare services.  




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In July 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the "Gateway to Better Health" Demonstration Project.  CMS outlined several objectives of the Demonstration Project, including:


Preserving the safety net of health care services in St. Louis City and St. Louis County for the uninsured until a transition to health care coverage is available under the Affordable Care Act; and

Implementing a pilot program to transition the "St. Louis model" to a defined health coverage benefit model as opposed to a direct payment model by July 1, 2012.


The RHC serves as the fiscal agent for the region for this Demonstration. Visit for more information.


Through this Demonstration, RHC has provided more than $50 million to community health centers in St. Louis to date - funds otherwise not available to the region. This support has made possible more than 100,000 uninsured patient visits to community health centers in St. Louis since July 2010, preventing tens of thousands unnecessary emergency room visits in the region.   


In addition to this success to date, hundreds of individuals have been diligently working to prepare for the July 1, 2012 "go live" of the pilot coverage model portion of the "Gateway" Demonstration.   About 17,000 uninsured St. Louisans will need to be enrolled to make the model a success.   


Since enrollment began in November, 8000 individuals have been enrolled at qualifying community health centers. All materials concerning the Demonstration are available for review at For more information, contact Angela Brown


The Commission would especially like to thank the team at the State of Missouri, especially our friends at the MO HeathNet and Family Support divisions, for all their extra efforts to make this model such a success for the region.



In November 2009, the RHC invested nearly $1 million to support the hiring of additional dentists (with necessary support staff and supplies) in community health center settings in 2011. In February 2011, dental grant initiative funds were awarded in full ($207,000) to Betty Jean Kerr People's Health Centers (BJK People's), Family Care Health Centers (Family Care), and Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Centers (Grace Hill). St. Louis County Department of Health (STL County) was also awarded funding, pending the opening of the new John C. Murphy Health Center in Fall 2012. 

Now six months into the grant award, we are pleased to report that all awardee institutions are well on their way toward meeting the grant initiative goal of +2,000 annual dental visits per grant-funded institution (over CY2010 volumes). Awardee institutions provided 23,705 combined dental visits during the first six months of the grant year. Annualized, this equates to an estimated 47,410 combined dental visits by grant year end. This compares to 39,939 total dental visits in CY2010, which represents a 19% increase from 2010-2011 (if current trends remain stable). Awardee institutions also report a positive community reaction to the dental grant initiative. The full midyear report can be downloaded at   


 mpc picIn May 2010, the State of Missouri asked the RHC to facilitate a regional planning process in the wake of the closure of acute and emergency mental health services at the State's mental health hospital in St. Louis, the Metropolitan St. Louis Psychiatric Center (MPC).

The RHC's Regional Psychiatric Capacity Task Force, chaired by Jim Sanger, CEO, SSM Healthcare Systems, began meeting in August 2010, and was charged with developing recommendations to address long-term solutions for the closure of MPC. One of the major recommendations from this team was a plan to re-establish services at MPC through the development of a Stabilization Center that includes an acute psychiatric access center and a brief treatment unit.  This collaborative process was featured in the October 2010 issue of St. Louis Magazine.   


We are pleased to announce that the new St. Louis Regional Psychiatric Stabilization Center (PSC) has opened! Currently the PSC offers crisis mental health emergency room with 16 stabilization beds available for persons referred from a regional hospital. The Center will be open for public "walk ins" in the near future. This capacity will expand up to 50 beds later this year.   Detailed information is available at


Many thanks again to the region's two largest health systems, BJC HealthCare and SSM Health Care, and the State of Missouri, who have partnered under a unique private-public partnership to reopen these vital mental health services for the region.   The RHC was pleased to provide up to $1.5 million in start-up funds to make this new service a reality for St. Louis.


For more information, you may contact the new President of the St. Louis Regional Psychiatric Stabilization Center, John Eiler.



shake handsIn 2010, BJC HealthCare, Saint Louis University, and Washington University provided $1.5 million in research funding to be administered by the RHC to identify innovative models that have the potential to improve the health of the St. Louis community and foster long-term relationships between academic researchers and community organizations.  


In February 2012, the CUHRP steering committee awarded Nurses for Newborns (NFN) and Saint Louis University (SLU) with full funding ($100,000) for a second year of CUHRP support for its Integrating Injury Prevention Activities into Home Visitation Program. Nurses for Newborns and SLU join

  • Breakfast Club, Inc. and Washington University in St. Louis,
  • Gateway Greening and Washington University School of Medicine,
  • St. Louis Diabetes Coalition and Saint Louis University, and
  • Maternal, Child and Family Health Coalition and Saint Louis University, School of Public Health 

in receiving full funding of $200,000 to support university/community partnerships in St. Louis. Congratulations to Nurses for Newborns, St. Louis University, and all CUHRP award recipients. More information about these exciting initiatives may be found at 



commonwealth logoThe Commonwealth Fund recently released its Local Health System Scorecard, a tool featuring St. Louis that uses publicly available data to show how regions across the country's health system performance compare to each other and the nation. Check out the full report and the scorecard tool on the Commonwealth Fund website.   



The Regional Health Commission welcomes three new staff members. In December, Danny O'Malley joined the RHC as the Manager of "Gateway" Operations, working closely with the State of Missouri on many technical aspects of the Gateway Demonstration. Danny came to the RHC from the State of Missouri's Family Support Division, where he served as an Eligibility Supervisor. 


Latriece Kimbrough joins the RHC as the Director of Finance. Latriece is a member of the inaugural class of the St. Louis American's Salute to Young Leaders and comes to the RHC from the YWCA Metro St. Louis, where she was the Chief Financial Officer. 


Rosie Stafford is the new Director of Strategic Engagement, working closely with the advisory boards and managing the RHC's communications and community engagement efforts. Prior to working at the RHC, Rosie worked at a community health program in rural southern India after earning her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011. 

Your dedication and continued support are what make these efforts possible.  We look forward to continued partnership with you in the months ahead. To find out more about RHC and regional health care happenings, please visit our Twitter and Facebook pages for daily updates.

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Robert Fruend
Chief Executive Officer
St. Louis Regional Health Commission