La Clinica is Oregon’s first healthcare organization to earn recognition at a national level for its dedication to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for patients from diverse backgrounds.
The health equity accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance specifies that La Clinica meets its health equity standards in six areas. These include understanding and catering to diverse backgrounds, respecting different genders and sexual orientations, providing language services, being culturally responsive, and addressing disparities in access to care.
The NCQA accreditation provides a framework to uncover and reduce avoidable and unjust health disparities.
“La Clinica’s commitment to equity is unwavering, and receiving this accreditation reinforces our core values. We believe no one should be left behind when it comes to healthcare access,” said Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director Bryon Lambert, who collected and documented evidence of how La Clinica meets the NCQA standards. “Unless we help staff become aware of structural health inequities, the gap will continue to widen, and patients will not receive the care they deserve when all other factors are equal.”
Securing the NCQA health equity accreditation is a remarkable achievement, said Jennifer Lind, chief executive officer at Jackson Care Connect, which manages Oregon Health Plan patients in Jackson County.
“Jackson Care Connect applauds La Clinica for receiving this accreditation by one of the most respected quality organizations in the country,” she said. “This is a testament to La Clinica’s commitment to providing culturally appropriate and affordable health care while improving equity by closing care gaps. This ensures that everyone in our community, regardless of their background or circumstances, has access to care.”
NCQA recognized La Clinica for using in-house interpreters and translators instead of external language services. The accreditation also acknowledged the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through practices such as transparent salary ranges in job postings, a staff EDI council, and collecting and using staff demographic data to shape recruiting, retention, and pay decisions.
The accreditation lasts for three years and will require annual work to maintain it.
“I want the community and patients to know that we went through this rigorous process on their behalf to support our diverse community,” Bryon said. “Although La Clinica received the accreditation, our patients and community reap the real benefits of this work.”
NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality across the nation. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of healthcare organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care.
Contact: Bryon Lambert, equity, diversity, inclusion director, office: 541-512-3923, email@example.com; Julie Wurth, communications officer, office: 541-512-3153, cell: 541-840-6513, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About La Clinica
La Clinica offers wellness-focused medical, dental, mental health, and substance use disorder care at 28 sites: six primary health centers, an Acute Care Clinic, East Medford Dental Clinic, La Clinica at OHRA Center, and 19 school-based centers. Although its mission focuses on providing access to low-income people, La Clinica is open to everyone. La Clinica was founded in 1989 to serve the primary and preventive care needs of migrant and seasonal farm workers in Jackson County. In 2001, in response to an increasing need for affordable primary health, La Clinica expanded its scope to serve every member of the community. All services are offered regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, and on a sliding-scale basis for people who are uninsured and have a low income.