Healthy Habits, Healthy Families with WIC

wicMore families than ever are finding it hard to put healthy food on their dinner tables. For young children, a lack of good nutrition can put them at risk for health problems and problems in school. North Carolina’s WIC program helps low-income families meet the nutritional needs of pregnant and post-partum women, infants and children up to age five.

“While adding more fruits and vegetables to these families’ diets is an important part of our program, participants get more than food from WIC,” Kristen Christie, CommWell Heath’s Director of WIC said. “WIC offers families nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, supplemental foods, and even healthcare referrals.”

The CommWell Health WIC Program currently serves an average of 1,162 participants each month. Studies show that children who participate in WIC are more likely to receive regular preventive health services and are better immunized than children who did not participate in WIC.

Breastfeeding promotion and support is an important part of the WIC Program. All CommWell Health WIC locations have trained staff ready to assist moms in making informed decisions about how they feed their babies. WIC also teaches moms the basics of breastfeeding. WIC participants receive helpful one-on-one counseling with a CommWell Health breastfeeding counselor.

Better educated moms mean healthier babies. Medicaid beneficiaries who participated in WIC had lower infant mortality rates than Medicaid beneficiaries who did not participate in WIC. WIC participation also decreases the incidence of low birth weight and pre-term births.

“WIC is so much more than people realize,” said (Ennit Romero, Peer Breastfeeding Counselor). “The nutrition education and healthy foods that WIC provides really give children a healthy start in life, which is so important.”
The WIC Program is available at CommWell Health Newton Grove/Spivey’s Corner, McGee’s Crossroads and Salemburg, North Carolina.

For more information about WIC or to make an appointment please call 910-567-5662 or visit www.commwellhealth.org. You may also visit the WIC Web site at www.nutritionnc.com. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

CommWell Health CEO Receives Community Health Leadership Award

hl awardThe North Carolina Community Health Center Association recognized Pamela Tripp, CEO as a winner of the Robert J. Greczyn Jr. Community Health Leadership Award during the association’s Primary Care Conference in Winston-Salem, June 9, 2017. The Robert J. Greczyn, Jr. Community Health Center Leadership Award was established by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation in partnership with the North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) to honor Bob Greczyn, CEO Emeritus of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and former Chairman of the BCBSNC Foundation. It is given annually to recognize a community health center professional excelling in service to his or her fellow North Carolinians in the field of public health and primary care that grants a prize of $25,000.

“Ms. Tripp has been instrumental in securing safety net support and developing a comprehensive, coordinated system of high quality integrated primary care for residents of southeastern North Carolina communities,” says Ben Money, President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Community Health Center Association. Under her leadership, CommWell Health developed the Kids in School Health Care Initiative and Partnership (KINSHIP) offering dental care to public school students in grades K-12. CommWell Health received dual re-accreditation in ambulatory care and behavioral health and re-certification as a Patient Centered Medical Home. CommWell Health successfully achieved Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home certification from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. During Ms. Tripp’s tenure as CEO, CommWell Health has received 50 state and national awards for innovation, service excellence and best practices in integrated, multidisciplinary primary care.

Since Ms. Tripp became CEO, CommWell has added three primary medical, dental, behavioral health, HIV/AIDS access points in Johnston County, a behavioral health crisis walk-in center in Sampson County, two primary medical, dental and behavioral health practices in Brunswick County, and a transitional living facility in Wayne County.

Ms. Tripp, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer, refers to herself as the Chief Encouragement Officer is a visionary for healthcare excellence in North Carolina and in the nation. Ms. Tripp is the author of her book The Culture Cure: Transforming the Modern Healthcare System, 2016. Her Mastermind guide to her book will be released in the late summer. Ms. Tripp has dedicated over 25 years of her healthcare career to developing and testing a blueprint for health care leaders to drive organizational excellence and foster colleague personal and professional development. Under Ms. Tripp’s leadership, CommWell Health was the first community health center in the nation (2016) to receive Gov. McCrory’s Milestone One Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. This year, CommWell Health was awarded the Most Outstanding Rural Health Organization by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) for excellence in areas of culture, quality, finance and governance as a safety net for the multiple southeast counties served by medical, dental, behavioral health and HIV/AIDS services.

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!

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!

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

CommWell Health

1-877-935-5255 | Contact Us

6114 U.S. Hwy 301 S, Four Oaks, NC 27524

This link leads to the machine-readable files that are made available in response to the federal Transparency in Coverage Rule and includes negotiated service rates and out-of-network allowed amounts between health plans and healthcare providers. The machine-readable files are formatted to allow researchers, regulators, and application developers to more easily access and analyze data.

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)