Sunshine Community Health Center, Inc., a federally qualified community health center, is a private non-profit corporation governed by a volunteer community board. It has three primary health care delivery sites strategically located in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in Talkeetna, Willow and Wasilla. Sunshine is committed to providing quality, comprehensive health care services with special consideration for medically under-served populations.
Communities We Serve
Sunshine Community Health Center (SCHC) was founded in 1986 through a grassroots effort to bring the first basic health care option to this impoverished rural region. SCHC was originally located in the “Sunshine Community” area, a crossroads centered among the communities of Talkeetna, Willow and Trapper Creek. Its service area stretches nearly 160 miles along both sides of Alaska’s George Parks Highway, from Willow north to Denali National Park, and into the bush communities west of the highway. Today SCHC has three locations to serve patients; at mile 4.4 on the Talkeetna Spur Rd., 1 mile down Long Lake Rd. in Willow and at the crossroads of Bogard Rd. and Crusey St. in Wasilla.
What is the FTCA?
The Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act of 1992 and 1995 granted medical malpractice liability protection through the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) to HRSA-supported health centers. Under the Act, health centers are considered Federal employees and are immune from lawsuits, with the Federal government acting as their primary insurer.
This health center receives HHS funding and has Federal Public Health Service (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.
What Are Community Health Centers?
America’s Health Centers are private, not-for-profit, consumer-directed health care corporations which provide high quality, cost-effective, and comprehensive primary and preventive care to medically underserved and uninsured people.
These community-based providers are also commonly referred to as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) because they meet rigorous federal standards related to quality of care and services as well as cost, and they are qualified to receive cost-based reimbursement under Medicaid and Medicare law.
Health Center services generally include primary care visits, health education, disease screening and control, case management, laboratory services, dental care, pharmacy services, substance abuse counseling, and social services. Many offer evening and weekend hours for working families, provide care at multiple sites, use mobile clinics to reach rural and other hard-to-reach populations, and employ multi-lingual staffs. All Health Centers have a 24-hour system for after-hours calls.
Related article: What is a Community Health Center
Patient Centered Medical Home Role (PCMH)
You may have seen it on the news or heard the government talk about, but what exactly is Patient Centered Medical Home and what does it mean for you, the patient?
Providers affiliated with patient centered medical home focus on coordinating your overall care, rather than just treating the symptoms that brought you into the office today. In the medical home model, your primary care provider heads the team of medical professionals, including specialists, nurses, pharmacists, behavioral health professionals, nutritionists, medical assistants and other healthcare professionals all focused on the goal of improving your overall health. Electronic health record technology is used to coordinate and communicate your care and provide the best possible outcomes for you.
You, the patient, are the most important part of the medical home. We encourage you to take an active role in your own health and to work closely with the care team involved in your care, so you can be sure you are getting the care that you need.
As primary care providers in a patient center medical home, the benefits are:
- SCHC is available when you need us. You can communicate easily and efficiently with us to get appointments, medical records or refill requests by phone or our patient portal.
- SCHC knows you and your health history. We’re aware of your personal or family situation and can suggest treatment options that make sense for you.
- SCHC can help you understand your condition(s) and how to take care of yourself. We will help you make decisions and explain your options regarding your care.
- SCHC can help you coordinate your healthcare even if we are not the ones giving you that care. We will refer you to the specialists you need. We will ensure that they have the information needed to take care of you. We will help coordinate the care and will follow-up with you after you see a specialist.
- SCHC uses electronic health record technology to help prevent medical errors and make sure that we are always on the same page as your health care needs.
Sunshine Community Health Center
This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).