Returning to his hometown of Goshen after medical school, Dr. James Gingerich, Medical Director, was familiar with the health disparity from one side of town to another, caused by perceived scarcity and lack of available resources. Dr. Gingerich wanted to approach his hometown differently, fostering a culture of efficiency and abundance. He then embarked on what he called a “modest experiment” by asking the question, “How can we approach this from a place of shared power based on equality, cooperation, and respect for everyone’s needs?"
With a staff of two, Dr. Gingerich, began his experiment with a “Carpe Diem” philosophy, to do whatever they could to put patient’s needs first. Now, with a staff of 110 and two facilities, Maple City expects to care for more than 6,500 people in 2020, while maintaining the same core values established nearly 30 years ago.
"Maple City Health Care is a manifestation of the community itself. The assets, energy, and trust come from the people."
At the heart of Maple City’s success is respectful dialogue between equals, with patients, staff, and the community working together to meet everyone’s needs. The staff meets in a daily circle, listening with curiosity, suspending judgement, and asking for what they need—offering what they can. The open atmosphere extends to patients so they feel safe to honestly participate in their care.
MAKING BETTER DECISIONS
One effective strategy—keeping people out of emergency rooms—has helped patients physically and financially. Maple City has made staff readilyavailable 24 hours a day, so that patients do not have to visit the ER. This, in turn, has evolved into a mutually-beneficial relationship between Maple City and Goshen Hospital, with the hospital honoring financial assessments and Maple City patients receiving access to specialists at discounted rates.
GETTING THINGS DONE
Dr. Gingerich attributes positive inroads with patient care to relationships—between patients, staff, and the medical community. One strategy used to reduce barriers is hiring staff who match the language and culture of Maple City’s patients. Three fourths of the staff (including both clinical and administrative staff) are bilingual and more than half are native Spanish speakers. Behavior change is an important factor in the success of many Maple City programs, and encouraging patients to take responsibility for “next steps” is key.
More than 13% of Maple City adult patients have a diagnosis of diabetes—the single most important risk factor identified for disparity reduction in 2020. Maple City has three tactics in place to improve their controlled diabetes measure, including:
- Diabetes Care Coordination
- Healthy Living Groups
- Medication Therapy Management
The PHP Foundation grant covers staff time to manage seven of the Healthy People 2020 measures (A program of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) and to specifically reduce diabetes health disparity. PHP is proud to honor Maple City Health Care Center as the PHP Board of Directors 2020 Foundation Grant Recipient.