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State Official Visits Maple City Health Care Center

topics: quality of care

Dr. Jennifer Walthall

Dr. Jennifer Walthall

Dr. Jennifer Walthall visited Maple City Health Care Center and Vista Community Health Center in September 2017.

Dr. Walthall is the Secretary of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).

As Secretary of FSSA, Dr. Walthall oversees Indiana’s aging services, disability services, early learning and child care, family resources (SNAP, TANF, and job training), mental health and addiction, and Medicaid. She and her team manage nearly 4,000 employees.

Dr. Walthall described the results of her visit in an email that she sent to FSSA staff. She copied the email to Maple City and Vista Health Centers.

In her email, Dr. Walthall explained the purpose of her visit. “I kept hearing about this place and their unconventional approach to delivering services to the community.”

“Then, I saw a dashboard of outcomes for community health centers for the state. At the top were the scores of Maple City / Vista, then a large gap, and then everyone else’s. I knew I needed to make a trip to see what was going on.”

“What I found,” Dr. Walthall wrote, “was pretty astonishing. This health care practice is truly a community-centric space that serves a vulnerable and challenging population.”

Dr. Walthall described three core principles that she identified as contributing to the success of Maple City and Vista Community Health Centers: 1) Economy of Trust, 2) More than Money, and 3) Work with Abundance.

Regarding the Work with Abundance principal, Dr. Walthall wrote, “The premise here is that the employees at Maple City and Vista feel like they have everything they need in order to bring their A-game to work for the people they serve.”

In Dr. Walthall’s email, she listed Maple City / Vista employee benefits that include a voucher for child care, free staff health care, a shared employee retirement program, and equitable pay.

“As I listened to employees,” Dr. Walthall wrote, “I found that while these benefits are important and helpful to them, what they valued more is the fact that they are organized in teams.”

“This team-based health care model allows employees to grow in their own skill and knowledge. It also facilitates thinking with others about the people they serve in a whole-person manner.”

“I think that what the folks at Maple City have been able to build over the last 20 years is a sweet spot located at the intersection of love, skill, response to need, and reimbursement for the people who work there.”

“The proof of their success is not only employee retention, it is also their off-the-chart patient health outcomes.”

Dr. Walthall concluded her email by encouraging her staff to adopt the value of abundance “so that not only current members of our staff, but our new generations of public servants are empowered to help us drive our social service outcomes off the charts.”

All of us at Maple City and Vista appreciate Dr. Walthall’s visit. We have a keen sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, but it’s rewarding to see that our perceptions are confirmed by an outside reviewer – especially by a person who brings such a broad knowledge of efforts around the state.

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