CommWell Health Achieves First Milestone in Pursuit of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

award 2016

CommWell Health, a large Federally Qualified Health Center serving southeastern North Carolina was recognized for its continuous desire for performance excellence by Governor Pat McCrory at the North Carolina Hospital Associations 2016 Winter Meeting in Cary, N.C. This award marks a very important first step for CommWell Health as one of the first Community Health Center in the nation to actively pursue the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

CommWell Health achieved Milestone 1 in the North Carolina Performance Excellence program offered at North Carolina State University, Industry Expansion Solutions. The program is based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria; a model designed to create and sustain operational excellence. CommWell Health has begun integration of the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria into its international award-winning Eagle Excellence program, a corporate curriculum that delivers organizational transcendence in quality, culture, governance and finance.

“CommWell Health has continuously benchmarked itself externally and internally in its insatiable commitment to deliver the best care possible o the communities it serves”, said Johnson Tilghman, Chairman of the CommWell Health Board.

For 38 years, CommWell Health has provided primary medical, dental, behavioral health and specialty care to communities in southeastern North Carolina. As a Joint Commission accredited and certified Patient Centered Medical Home model, CommWell Health provides multidisciplinary care using a patient centric, holistic, team based approach to improve patient quality of care and outcomes. As an integrated care model, CommWell Health partners with their patients – to deliver high quality care that meets and exceeds state and national clinical benchmarks for excellence.

“Our excellence tomorrow is greater than our excellence today”, said Sondra Daggett, Chief of Quality. “The desire to pursue excellence arose naturally from the spirit of our learning and questioning environment that feeds itself.”

“Our definition of excellence represents a high reliability organization serving all people, and this conviction lies at the heart of CommWell Health’s mission”, said Pamela Tripp, Chief Executive Officer. This is a core value that resonates among all colleagues throughout the organization.” “At CommWell Health we have an Eagle Creed that reminds us that we are the gatekeepers of our destiny, and we encourage each other daily. CommWell Heath colleagues, in one unified voice, have affirmed their desire to rise above ‘average’ and to become the best personally and professionally,” said Tripp. “That has made all the difference in the quality of care delivered and the prospects for a bright future for CommWell Health.

As a milestone 1 achiever, CommWell Health has begun the process of applying the criteria and identifying areas of strength, opportunities, aspirations, and results to become the first Federally Qualified Health Center in the nation to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

CommWell Health is a not-for-profit community health center with 15 private practice locations in Bladen, Brunswick, Johnston, Pender, Sampson and Wayne County. CommWell Health offers primary medical, dental, behavioral health services, on-site pharmacy, lab, x-ray and a variety of health coaching, education services and specialty services. Your Community, Your Wellness, Your Health, Because All People Matter. Visit www.commwellhealth.org or call 1-877-WELL-ALL (1-877-935-5255) for more information about CommWell Health and the services offered and to make your appointment today!

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CommWell Health Awarded Five Pinnacle Awards and Two Prestigious Summit Awards at the Health Care Service Excellence 2016

hcsecaward 2016For outstanding service in quality health care, CommWell Health of Newton Grove/Spivey’s Corner is honored to be the recipient of five Pinnacle Awards and two highly prestigious Summit Awards, by the Health Care Service Excellence Summit Conference presented by Custom Learning Systems held in Phoenix, Arizona February 10th, 2016.

CommWell Health received five Pinnacle Awards in the following categories: Service Excellence Mentor – Andrea Morales; OASIS Team – Eagle Excellence Flight School; Service Excellence Program Director – Sue Villnave; Service Excellence Council – Eagle Excellence Council, and; Medical Clinic of Choice, CommWell Health of Newton Grove/Spivey’s Corner.   These Pinnacle Achiever’s represent individuals and organizations that excel and are role models of Service Excellence.   “Being nominated for Program Director of our initiative has given me great pride in the overall program that we have developed.  Though I was nominated for Director, this is a team effort and I thank the Core Team for their contribution to every workshop”, Sue Villnave, on being nominated Pinnacle Award Service Director.

These exceptional nominations for Pinnacle Awards earned CommWell Health two highly prestigious Summit Awards.  The Summit Award for Eagle Excellence Flight School, a two year program that enables professional and personal growth of CommWell Health colleagues and the Summit Award for CommWell Health of Newton Grove/Spivey’s Corner Medical Clinic of Choice for continuing to provide quality and compassionate care of the highest quality.  Rene Johnson, Accounts Payable, Eagle Excellence Mentor at CommWell Health, was asked how these nominations impacted her, “I am very proud to be a part of something that is changing our way of thinking and what we do at our health center that affects others”.  Allison Hargrove, RN, Senior Director of IT and Data Management believes this is a great accomplishment for CommWell Health because “It validates all the hard work of all the front desk staff, nursing, pharmacy, provider, facilities, medical records, billing, scheduling, and administration.   It is empowering!”

CommWell Health has embarked on a journey of Eagle Excellence and will continue to achieve and redefine Service Excellence in Health Care. As Pam Tripp, CEO of CommWell Health stated “With your intentional mindset to make tomorrow’s excellence greater than today’s, you have combined your unique strengths in a team coordinated strategy that is so unique in health care and organizations in the world”.

The Health Care Service excellence Pinnacle and Summit Awards is a nation-wide recognition program that recognizes excellence in health care organizations. Pinnacle Achievers are eligible to receive the prestigious Summit Award.  These Summit Award nominees are individuals and organizations who demonstrate improvements and achievements in the quality of service to patients and customers, colleagues and the entire organization.  

CommWell Health is a not-for-profit community health center with 15 private practice locations in Bladen, Brunswick, Johnston, Pender, Sampson and Wayne County.  CommWell Health offers primary medical, dental, behavioral health services, on-site pharmacy, lab, x-ray, health coaching and health education services and specialty services.  Your Community, Your Wellness, Your Health, Because All People Matter.  Visit www.commwellhealth.org or call 1-877-WELL-ALL (1-877-935-5255) for more information about CommWell Health and the services offered and to make your appointment today!

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New Family Medicine Physicians Join the CommWell Health Family

CommWell Health is proud to announce the addition of Kevin Ray Pressley, M.D. and Rhonda Darlene Hill Pressley, M.D. to CommWell Health of Shallotte and CommWell Health of Bolivia/Supply.   

Dr. Kevin and Dr. Darlene Pressley will be providing primary care to patients of all ages.  Both physicians bring 45 plus years of family medicine experience to the CommWell Health family.

Dr. Darlene Pressley and Dr. Kevin Pressley received their Doctor of Medicine degree from Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC.  They both completed their family medicine residency at The Medical Center Hospital in Columbus, GA. Most recently, Drs. Pressley provided outpatient care in a family health center setting.

Dr. Kevin and Dr. Darlene are both Christians and active members of their church.  Dr. Kevin likes to sing and is a member of the choir.  He also plays the piano and has a love for technology, gadgets, antique cars and spending time with his children and first grandson. Dr. Rhonda likes to garden, read, sew, make pottery as well as spend time with family.

Dr. Kevin will begin accepting new patients at CommWell Health of Bolivia January 19th. Dr. Darlene will begin accepting new patients at CommWell Health of Shallotte January 19th.

For more information about CommWell Health of Shallotte and Bolivia and to make an appointment, please visit CommWell Health’s website at www.commwellhealth.org or call 1-877 WELL-ALL (1-877-935-5255).

CommWell Health is a not-for-profit community health center with 15 private practice locations in Bladen, Brunswick, Johnston, Pender and Sampson County.  CommWell Health offers primary medical, dental, behavioral health services, on-site pharmacy and a variety of health coaching and education services.  At CommWell Health, Healthy Homes = Healthy Patients = Healthy Patient Outcomes.  Visit www.commwellhealth.org for more information about CommWell Health and the services offered.

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SPNS NC-REACH Featured on Rural Health Information Hub

gardenNC-REACH: NC-Rurally Engaging and Assisting Clients who are HIV positive and Homeless


  • Need: Provision of medical care access and follow-up for rural North Carolina HIV patients with mental health, substance abuse, and unstable housing/homelessness challenges.
  • Intervention: Medical home staff model expanded to a care coordination program with a core Network Navigator and Continuum of Care Coordinator assisting with medical, behavioral health, and basic life needs.
  • Results: To date, the program has advanced three aspects of medical home patient care for this target population: provided further understanding of the spectrum of homelessness, including “hidden” homelessness; implemented outreach with creation of new community partnerships and a community housing coalition; and integrated medical care and behavioral health care for HIV.


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Join CommWell Health’s Patient Advisory Council

CommWell Health is pleased to announce that the organization is actively seeking participants for its new Patient Advisory Councils. CommWell Health’s vision for Patient Advisory Councils is a forum to hear the voice of the patient and their families to advance the mission of “compassionate delivery of quality medical, dental and behavioral health services for all.”

Karen Smith, Vice President of Quality said, “Patient Advisory Councils are truly changing lives and improving care, and we are excited to begin forming these groups for our practice locations. By listening to our patients and applying their feedback to our services, we can make a premier patient experience even better.”

CommWell Health Patient Advisory Councils will provide patients and their families the opportunity to work with CommWell Health colleagues to identify opportunities for service improvement and enhance patient and family centered care. “The Patient Advisory Council,” says Smith, “is an example of our core value of teamwork. We work together as a team with the patient to provide high-quality health care”

The first Patient Advisory for CommWell Health has been established at its Newton Grove/Spivey’s Corner and will meet quarterly. Advisory Councils for each CommWell Health practice location will be established beginning in 2018. In addition to providing feedback council members will learn about current and upcoming services and processes, receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities, enjoy an evening meal and meet other community members and CommWell Health colleagues.

Patients of CommWell Health are encouraged to participate in these new Advisory Councils. Interested patients may contact Misti Phillips, Quality Transformation Specialist at 910-567-6011 extension 6011.

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Observing World AIDS Day

web1 AIDS 01World AIDS Day is a day dedicated to commemorating those who have passed on and to raise awareness about AIDS and the global spread of the HIV virus. It is recognized annually on December 1st. This year’s World AIDS Day campaign “My Health, My Right” focuses on the right to health and explores the challenges people around the world face in exercising their rights.

CommWell Health and the Sampson County HIV/AIDS Task Force observed World AIDS Day with a “Candlelight Vigil” at the Sampson County Court house on Friday, December 1 at 6 pm. Thomas McLaughlin, Positive Life Service Coordinator at CommWell Health and Chair of the HIV/AIDS Task Force hosted the event.

The campaign reminds people that the right to health is much more than access to quality health services and medicines, that it also depends on a range of adequate assurances including adequate sanitation and housing, healthy working conditions, a clean environment and access to justice. By attaining the right to health, people’s dreams and promises can be fulfilled.

“All people, regardless of their age, gender, where they live or who they love, have the right to health,” said McLaughlin. “The United Sates government leadership and commitment to address HIV/AIDS is a direct reflection of the goodwill, compassion and generosity of the American people.”

CommWell Health offers free and confidential HIV testing at all clinic locations. PrEP is also available at CommWell Health Newton Grove, CommWell Health McGee’s Crossroads and CommWell Health Bolivia/Supply. Fully integrated HIV services are available to insured and uninsured.

Currently, no effective cure for HIV exists, but HIV can be controlled with proper treatment and medical care. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly reduce the risk of viral transmission to others. New prevention technologies such as Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) are also expected to have a major impact on reducing HIV transmission. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, and not everyone who has HIV advances to this stage.

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CommWell Health Announces New Vice President and Chief Quality Officer

Karen SmithCommWell Health is pleased to announce Karen Smith, M.Ed. has been appointed as the new Vice President and Chief Quality Officer. In her new role, Ms. Smith will work collaboratively with the leadership team, quality department, medical records to develop a quality management strategy focused on optimizing healthcare outcomes through performance excellence.

Ms. Smith celebrates 30 years of service with CommWell Health and has served in various healthcare leadership roles throughout her career; starting in the WIC department as the WIC Director and part time chronic disease nutrition counseling and Allied Health Director overseeing the WIC, referrals, transportation, maternity care coordination, HIV testing, counseling and education to her most recent promotion. She earned her Master’s degree in Education from UNC-Greensboro and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from Western Carolina University

“I am excited to facilitate the organization’s quest for continuous improvement in work processes and clinical outcomes, with the ultimate goal of improved health and overall wellness of the patients we serve”, says Smith.

Ms. Smith currently resides in Clinton, NC with her husband Jeff and son. Her interest includes photography, gardening and scrapbooking.

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CommWell Health Announces New Vice President and Chief Behavioral Health Officer

Brandi BurchettCommWell Health is pleased to announce Brandi Burchett , LPCS, NCC, LCAS, CCS, ACS, CCTP, MAC has been appointed as the new Vice President and Chief Behavioral Health Officer.

Ms. Burchett joined CommWell Health in 2012 as the Outpatient Supervisor for Behavioral Health Services. Prior to joining the CommWell Health team, Ms. Burchett worked in a vast and diverse work force before landing in the field of Behavioral Health services with CommWell Health. Since joining CommWell Health, Ms. Burchett was named the 2016 Colleague of year and has played a significant role in the success of the Behavioral Health Department.

Ms. Burchett earned her Master’s degree from Webster University and holds a Bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University. She is currently working on her PhD from Capella University for Advanced Studies in Human Behavior. Ms. Burchett is currently on the Eastpointe Provider Council, and a member of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina and the American Counseling Association.

Ms. Burchett hopes that her recent coursework in research methods for her doctoral program will enhance the behavioral health departments qualitative and quantitative data reposting on outcome measures. “I am very excited to be entering into this new role and tackling the new responsibilities. I believe that I will bring a different perspective to the behavioral health department due to my varying personal and professional experiences”, says Burchett.

Ms. Burchett currently resides in Seven Springs, NC with her family and takes pleasure in considering herself a lifetime learner. She enjoys learning, singing, acting and teaching.

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$1M Mobile Dental Clinic to Bring Care to JCPS Students

1MDental care is rolling out to students in Johnston County Public Schools via a million dollar mobile dental care unit through CommWell Health’s Kids in School Health Initiative and Partnership (KINSHIP).

The Community Mobile Dental Clinic Program KINSHIP was officially opened at Four Oaks Elementary on Oct. 25. The mobile clinic will provide JCPS students access to dental care at their school.

“KINSHIP was developed six years ago as a vision to bring mobile dental care to schools for children who would otherwise be challenged to go to the dentist,” said Chief Executive Officer for CommWell Health Pamela Tripp.

Dental services will include primary oral health services, such as dental examinations, cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, dental hygiene instructions, restorations, extractions, and stainless steel crowns. Referrals will be made for advanced dental care at one of CommWell Health’s dental practice locations or another dental specialist as determined appropriate by the treating dentist.

The mobile dentist office is currently slated to visit students at Four Oaks Elementary, Four Oaks Middle, Meadow School, Polenta Elementary, Selma Elementary, Smithfield-Selma High, South Johnston High, and West Smithfield Elementary. CommWell Health representatives said care could eventually be provided at all schools, but they want to be sure to address those with the largest need first.

“It’s a dentist office on wheels. Most anything they can do at a brick and mortar dentist, they can do right here,” said Johnston County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Renfrow. “We’re glad we’re part of this collaborative effort.”

CommWell Health purchased the million dollar mobile clinic with the assistance of a $500,000 grant, according to Tripp.

“This will benefit Johnston County students because students may not always have an opportunity to receive dental care,” said Tripp. “Children can’t learn if they’re hurting. We’re so happy that we’ll be accessible to the children and hopefully help them get more A’s in school,” said Tripp.

Tripp added that CommWell Health plans to assess the demand for services in Johnston County Public Schools, and they will provide a report card to the Board of Education on the data and the number of students who are impacted by the mobile care unit.

“A lot of the times people put off going to the dentist because they’re so busy and preoccupied. This will minimize distraction, so it doesn’t impede student learning, and we’re partnering with families as well,” said Renfrow. “Any time we can help our parents put our students in a position to be successful, it’s our responsibility to do it. We made that happen today.”


VIDEO: $1M mobile dental clinic to bring care to JCPS students

Four Oaks Elementary third grader Amelia Vann (right) has her teeth checked by Jawanna Murphy (left) during a tour of the CommWell Health dental mobile unit.

Four Oaks Elementary students (from left) Katie Stanley, Victoria Doremus, Beth Stanley, and Carla Florido sit in the waiting area of the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit. Sitting with the students is CommWell Health representative Cheryl Stanley (right).

The CommWell Health dental mobile unit visits Four Oaks Elementary on Oct. 25.

Sarah Florido (right) poses with her mother Paloma Florido (left) for a dental exam during a tour of the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit.

Standing together at the opening of the CommWell Health dental mobile unit (from left) are Johnston County Board of Education Chairman Mike Wooten, Chief Executive Officer for CommWell Health Pamela Tripp, Four Oaks Elementary Principal Kathy Parrish, and JCPS Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow.

Joining hands to cut the ribbon for the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit (from left) are Four Oaks Elementary Principal Kathy Parrish, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow, and Chief Executive Officer for CommWell Health Pamela Tripp. Standing with them to the far left is Johnston County Board of Education Chairman Mike Wooten.

A crowd of Four Oaks Elementary students and staff, along with several JCPS administrators and CommWell Health representatives, gather for the ribbon cutting of the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit.

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CommWell Health

1-877-935-5255 | Contact Us

3331 Easy Street Dunn, NC 28366

Joint Commission’s Gold Seal Certification NCQA HRSA FTCA DEEMED

CommWell Health Has Earned the Joint
Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and Primary
Care Medical Home Certification
(Certified Patient-Centered Medical Home)