KVHC updates Houlton Rotarians on topic of health care

Diane Hines, Houlton Rotarian, Special to The County
4 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Rotary Club met for its luncheon meeting on Monday, June 3, at Watson Hall. Rotarian Leigh Cummings inducted a new member, Devan Cote, who works at Key Bank in Houlton. Cote will take Rotarian Rob Faulkner’s place at the bank when he retires. Cote moved to Houlton with his family and they have two daughters. He is an avid bird watcher and loves Houlton for its friendly folks and beautiful architecture.

Members were reminder of the upcoming Annual Dinner on June 24 at the Shiretown Motor Inn and also that dues for the new year can be paid anytime now. Rotarian Fred Grant introduced his guest speaker Vicki Moody from Katahdin Valley Health Center. Moody majored in education and business in college and began her career in Portland at Maine Medical Center in Human Resources. She later went to work for Houlton Regional Hospital with her family. More recently, Moody began to work in rural health and so the Katahdin Valley Health Center was a good fit and became their chief operations officer.

KVHC has a mission statement to provide community accessible, quality health care with compassion and dignity with a vision to be the provider of choice and to promote health care access to all. No one is turned away who needs care. Moody said KVHC was founded in 1974 and now has six health centers in three counties (Aroostook, Penobscot and Piscataquis). There are 208 staff members, 43 practitioners, and 165 team members. KVHC offers a sliding fee scale and they offer quality care and follow stringent guidelines to keep their Federally Qualified Health Center certification.

In 2018, KVHC served 14,024 patients. Twenty-two percent were uninsured, 20 percent were on Medicare, 25 percent were on Medicaid and 33 percent were on private health insurance. Of these patients, 46 percent were below the 200th percentile of poverty level, 13 percent had incomes higher than the Maine average and 12 percent were higher income levels than the national average.

KVHC saved patients $2.8 million with 61 percent receiving assistance for prescriptions and 39 percent using their sliding fee discounts. The Health Resources and Services Administration recognized KVHC as a top Health Care Quality Leader in 2018, placing in the top 30 percent out of 1,352 community health centers across the United States.

Moody explained that the centers are open 365 days a year and have on call service after hours. There are pharmacies in Millinocket, Patten and Houlton with fee mail order and home delivery. Services offered are primary care, dental care, behavioral health, acupuncture, chiropractic care, physical therapy, therapeutic massage and optometry. The sliding fee scale applies to all services. They also provide services to schools in immunization, dental, sports medicine, behavior care, and vision care.