MRPC News Release

For immediate release
Nov. 17, 2015

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge or Roxie Murphy at (573) 265-2993

MRPC learns about Phelps County health care project

ST. JAMES, Mo—There is a pilot project underway in Phelps County to help transition emergency room visitors to primary care doctors, and the board of Meramec Regional Planning Commission learned more about "Journey to Primary Health Care,” during its regular board meeting on Nov. 12. The project is underway at Phelps County Regional Medical Center, and Wil Franklin of Integrated Health Network (IHN) is the consultant assisting with the three-year project, funded in part by a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health. MRPC is serving as facilitator of the task force, now being put together, that will help guide the project, which started about six months ago.

“Transition of care is the process by which people move through the process of healthcare,” Fanklin said. “It’s about shifting care from backend care to primary and preventative care.”
IHN has been working in the St. Louis area to help transition the medically underserved from ongoing emergency room visits to primary care physicians and medical clinics to ensure better health care, such as early diagnosis and preventative and wellness care. IHN also provides centralized coordination, which means providing assistance to patients for referrals and appointments and ensuring that medical records and test results follow the patient from one medical provider to another. While IHN has worked with urban hospitals, PCRMC is its first rural hospital.

Franklin noted that Phelps County was unique in that the hospital was closely tied to Your Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center, in Rolla. He expects this partnership to be beneficial in helping patients make the transition to a doctor.

In other business, Amanda Wiggins of Kean and Company, LLC, reported that MRPC's audit for the year ending June 30, 2015.

“There were no adverse findings and the audit, as it has been in the past, was clean,” Wiggins said.

MRPC ended the 2014-15 fiscal year with $1.67 million in assets and a deficit of $111,033. Some $65,000 of that loss was a failed Intermediary Relending Program loan made to a business in the region that had to be written off. The board approved the audit.

In other business, the MRPC board:
• Approved a contract with the city of Bland to perform occupancy inspections.

• Approved the executive committee's earlier decision to submit a three-year planning grant request to the Economic Development Administration

• Approved submission of grants to the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Development Disabilities Council to continue the mobility manager program.

• Approved a contract to assist with the development of a state plan for the Delta Regional Authority within Missouri.

• Reviewed the results of the state legislative priorities survey and began work on the federal legislative priorities list; and

• Approved MRPC financials for the month ending October 31.

The next MRPC meeting will be held Dec. 10. Meetings are open to the public.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professionalstaff of 24, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance,transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

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