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Ironton-Lawrence County CAO named Ohio’s first Primary Care Medical Home

The Ohio State Legislature’s Joint Commission named the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization’s health centers as the state’s first Gold Seal Primary Care Medical Home.

Sen. Joe Uecker (R-14) was in Ironton on Tuesday to present the certificate to the organization.

“I come from an area in Hamilton County where access to healthcare is not an issue,” he said. “When I began traveling around the district, it was kind of a culture shock for me to realize that in some places access to healthcare is not so readily available. It does nothing to expand the universe of healthcare if the people who are already patients aren’t taken care of. I congratulate you on this award.”

D.R. Gossett, executive director of CAO, told the crowd the best thing about this honor is the fact it was unsolicited.

“We are the first to receive this distinction in the State of Ohio,” he said. “We have a long history of bipartisan support for community health from our state government.”

Nancy Lewis, Director of health integration at CAO, praised the efforts of everyone involved.

“Getting this distinction from the joint commission is definitely a collaborative effort,” she said. “It is a model that can be used to transform healthcare.”

Dr. Sue Adams, CAO medical director, said many criteria have to be met to achieve a distinction from the joint commission.

“There is a long list of criteria, but one of the most important is that patients have to have easy access and be able to see their provider on the same day,” she said. “It’s all evidence-based protocol.”

Adams added that utilizing and accessing community resources is also very important as well as patients participating in plans to improve existing conditions, such as diabetes.

CAO has a staff of 80, seven locations and 15 providers.