Community Benefits Achievements

Cape Cod Hospital, Falmouth Hospital, and Cape Cod Healthcare (CCHC) continued to stand out in the areas of quality, innovation and patient appreciation in FY17. The system garnered several important awards and recognition.

  • America’s 100 Great Community Hospitals – Cape Cod Hospital was named to the list of America’s 100 Great Community Hospitals by Becker’s Hospital Review for the sixth consecutive year. This recognition is based on quality of care and service to our community, and demonstrates that the hospital is successfully and consistently achieving top results in patient care and satisfaction.  
  • American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With the Guidelines® - Falmouth Hospital earned the Get With the Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for the eighth consecutive year. This achievement recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in implementing specific quality improvement measures outline by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients. Cape Cod Hospital earned the Silver Plus Achievement Award.
  • Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score – Cape Cod Hospital achieved straight A’s in the annual Hospital Safety Score for the sixth straight year. Falmouth Hospital was recognized with a B Hospital Safety Score. The Hospital Safety Score is the gold standard rating for patient safety and is compiled by The Leapfrog Group, a non-profit hospital safety watchdog.
  • RN Residency Accreditation – The RN Residency Transition Program at CCHC earned “Accreditation with Distinction” from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. This is the highest recognition awarded by the program. The Commission noted the strength of the CCHC program’s leadership, and highlighted the program’s flexibility to grow into other areas within the healthcare system.
  • Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll – The Division of Epidemiology and Immunization, Massachusetts Department of Public Health named Cape Cod Hospital to its honor roll for Hepatitis B Birth Dose for achieving 95% coverage in our maternity department.

Focusing on key health priorities

In FY17, the expansion and implementation of hospital-based and community-based health improvement activities mirrored the quality of and commitment to clinical achievements. The release of the 2017-2019 Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment Report and Implementation Plan served as the guide for implementation of health improvement strategies, partnership development and identification of community investment opportunities.

CCHC’s Community Benefits activities focused on the four key health priorities identified in the report: chronic and infectious disease, behavioral health, access to care, and disease prevention and wellness. These priorities were addressed through new and existing hospital programs, collaboration with a network of federally qualified health centers, grant investments in community-based health and human service organizations, and expanding participation in regional coalitions and task force efforts.

Chronic and infectious disease management, prevention, screening, and detection efforts were supported through a variety of CCHC Community Benefits activities. Hospital efforts included cancer survivorship services, oncology support groups, and physician-led cancer prevention workshops and health fairs. A partnership with the Cape Wellness Collaborative provided patients undergoing cancer treatment with free community-based services such as massage, acupuncture and nutritional counseling to complement their treatment at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital.

CCHC partnered with Team Maureen, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to ending cervical cancer, to produce an HPV prevention public service announcement targeted at youth and young adults. The video was accepted for screening by the Global Health Film Festival at the American Public Health Association’s annual conference in Atlanta.

In FY17, CCHC launched the CCHC Congestive Heart Failure Clinic designed to provide residents with chronic disease self-management and wellness resources. Nutrition counseling, disease education, and pharmacology are integrated and offered to patients to assist them in staying well and active at home and in the community.

As a recipient of state and federal grants including the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grant for the region, CCHC Infectious Disease Clinical Services coordinates regional HIV/AIDS screening, testing, care management, and health related supports for residents with HIV and AIDS through partnerships with community-based health and human service organizations.

CCHC Community Benefits provided grants to the Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Center and HOPE Dementia and Alzheimer’s Services to fund new support groups, free counseling for families, and respite grants for caregivers. The YMCA Cape Cod in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness received funding from CCHC to develop support groups and wellness programs to address the co-morbidities of diabetes and depression.

CCHC partnered with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and the UMASS Laboratory of Medical Zoology to offer an innovative tick testing program for our region. CCHC funding subsidized a portion of each tick test submitted by Barnstable County residents. Tick disease results were provided to the resident, and aggregated disease surveillance data was shared with collaborating agencies.

CCHC’s Centers for Behavioral Health expanded staff capacity and outpatient services to increase access and strengthen regional health services for individuals with mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders. As a partner in new privatized services awarded by The MA Department of Mental Health, CCHC staff collaborated with community-based agencies, coalitions, advocacy groups, and law enforcement to implement a new model of crisis intervention services for our region. CCHC is also a collaborative partner with the MA Department of Public Health and MA Department of Mental Health on the Zero Suicide initiative to increase suicide prevention and reduce suicide deaths on Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Working with community partners

CCHC Community Benefits provided grant awards to two federally qualified health centers, Duffy Health Center and Outer Cape Health Services, to support regional efforts to reach and serve high risk target populations with behavioral health needs. Outer Cape Health Services launched the Community Resource Navigator program to provide short-term case management and assistance with social determinants of health for individuals with behavioral health disorders on the Lower and Outer Cape. Duffy Health Center maintained key behavioral health services for homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness in Barnstable County.

CCHC provided funding and coordination with four federally qualified health centers to increase regional Medication Assisted Treatment outpatient services across all regions of Cape Cod. In addition to expanding outpatient treatment options, CCHC implemented a Recovery Specialist program in the emergency departments at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital. In partnership with Gosnold on Cape Cod, the Recovery Specialist program provides peer-recovery professionals to engage patients and assist in referrals and transition to inpatient and outpatient substance use disorder treatment programs upon discharge from the emergency departments.

CCHC led an effort to improve care for pregnant women on Cape Cod with substance use disorders. Our Moms Do Care program, a program funded through a three-year Massachusetts Department of Public Health grant, provides integrated prenatal care and substance use treatment for pregnant women with opioid use disorders. Physicians and clinical leaders at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital are active contributors to the Neonatal Quality Improvement Collaborative of MA to improve care of newborns and families impacted by perinatal opioid use and neonatal abstinent syndrome.

CCHC’s support reached beyond clinical settings through a partnership with Cape Cod Child Development to increase acceptance of Early Intervention services by families with newborns exposed to substances in utero. A grant to the Mothers and Infants Recovery Network helped to launch additional support groups in new locations on Cape Cod including the Barnstable County correctional facility for women.

CCHC’s commitment to improve access to care was demonstrated through support of existing programs and new initiatives designed to reduce barriers to care for vulnerable populations. In partnership with the Cape and Islands Emergency Medical Services System, CCHC introduced an innovative model to provide medical interpreter services for limited-English speaking patients in pre-hospital settings. The program provides phone based interpreter services to paramedics and first responders on ambulances to improve communication with patients during transport to the hospital. In FY17, partnerships increased from two to thirteen municipal fire and rescue departments. Also, CCHC Interpreter Services continued to provide free medical interpreter services for limited-English speaking patients in community-based primary and specialty care offices across the region.

CCHC Community Benefits grant funding supported the coordination of the Specialty Network for the Uninsured (SNU). The SNU program provides free/sliding-scale fees for visits to specialists for uninsured and under-insured residents of Barnstable County. Coordination of visits with local specialists reduces the need for residents without coverage for these services to travel outside of the region, and addresses a gap in certain services not offered by federally qualified health centers.

A CCHC grant to the Barnstable County Human Services Department supported the SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) program to increase the number of seniors who received Medicare counseling, education, and enrollment assistance at Council on Aging offices across all 15 towns in Barnstable County.

Strategic workforce development partnerships with Cape Cod Community College, local vocational programs, and several high schools in the region were strengthened in an effort to ensure a strong and skilled future workforce on Cape Cod. CCHC provided funding, job shadowing and training opportunities for diverse allied health programs, including nursing and CNA employment tracks.

Disease prevention initiatives

CCHC health improvement implementation strategies also addressed disease prevention for all residents of Barnstable County and sustaining the wellness of elders and caregivers. A specific area of focus in FY17 was to increase access to nutritious food for low-income populations. CCHC provided a strategic grant to the Family Pantry of Cape Cod to launch a mobile food pantry to deliver healthy foods to isolated seniors and caregivers in remote geographic locations.

The FlavorRX project featured collaboration between Sustainable CAPE and Emerald Physicians, an affiliate of CCHC, to ‘prescribe’ plant-based foods and offer incentives for Mass Health patients to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets. CCHC also partnered with the Cape Cod Fisherman’s Alliance to increase the number of food pantries as distribution points for the Fish for Families program. The program provides locally sourced fish and shellfish as a nutrient dense protein option for food pantry clients across Cape Cod.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People, a walking and health promotion program for residents and visitors to Cape Cod, was continued through a partnership between the US National Park Service, the Cape Cod National Seashore, and Cape Cod Healthcare. CCHC staff including physicians and physical therapists provided classes, education and resources to residents participating in the program. The Parkinson’s Support Network was awarded funding to offer additional wellness programs and support groups for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers.

Calmer Choice was awarded a CCHC Community Benefits grant to offer community-based universal prevention programs that teach young people how to effectively and safely manage stress and resolve conflict with the goal to diminish the risk of violence, substance abuse, and other self-destructive behaviors. The Cape Cod Hoarding Task Force received funding to offer broad community education events on the topic of hoarding and specialized training for members of the task force who work directly with residents on issues of hoarding and health.

In addition to these hospital-based programs and grant funded community-based projects, community benefits and hospital staff continued to play leadership roles in health and human service organizations and coalitions across Barnstable County. These include, but are not limited to, the Barnstable County Human Services Advisory Council, Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council, Behavioral Health Provider Coalition of Cape Cod & the Islands, Cape & Islands Community Health Area Network (CHNA 27) Steering Committee, Healthy Aging Cape Cod, Quality of Life Initiative, and the Substance Use in Pregnancy Task Force.