To listen to an in-depth conversation on this topic, hit the play button below:
Fetter Healthcare Network is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides comprehensive health care services to underserved communities. Fetter collaborates with local hospitals to promote equitable access to healthcare and help build healthier communities.
Dr. Sharvette Slaughter, Chief Medical Officer at Fetter Healthcare joins The Obstetrics Podcast to talk about the important work of FQHCs and Ob Hospitalist Group’s (OBHG’s) partnership with Fetter Healthcare in South Carolina.
Fetter Healthcare has locations across four different counties in South Carolina: Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, and Colleton counties. Fetter offers comprehensive care including family medicine, pediatrics, pharmacies, a dental practice and OB/GYN care.
Read highlights below from the podcast episode with Dr. Slaughter:
“Ob Hospitalist Group basically allowed us to be able to expand (our obstetrics services). We had on staff just one OB at the time, one OB physician who provided care for our patients here. A large portion of our population who needed that service at the time, some of them were not documented, some of them didn’t know where to turn. And over the years, that service has been expanding by word of mouth. People know that they can come here as a safety net to get care so that they can have healthy babies. Of course, we serve all individuals who require services. But there was a niche for that. And with only one OB doctor, it was difficult to manage all of that and care for them in the hospital, deliver these babies. So, that physician came to us with a support group of his own, because he was a part of the OBHG group. And so, their MOU was developed, and we were able to have that partnership where they would deliver our babies (at Summerville Medical Center). They would deliver the babies and provide that in-house care. So, we were able to provide continuity of care, prenatal care, and then the postnatal care.
We are considered a community health center with oversight from a federal agency known as the HRSA, Health and Resource Services Administration. They help to monitor our compliance and we serve everyone, but particularly those communities that are marginalized in underserved areas or just vulnerable populations. And it’s to provide quality and comprehensive care – care that is given regardless of anyone’s ability to pay. So, that’s our mission and we are mission-minded and looking for individuals who have the same vision that we do.”
The OBHG partnership has allowed Fetter Healthcare to grow. Over the past year, they were able to deliver 568 babies. “As a part of all of this and what has grown from this experience is that we were able to bring on a new OB/GYN doc to come down to our downtown site. We have also partnered with medical school through Trident (Medical Center) in terms of having an OB residency program as well. So, we’ve been able to expand our workforce on this end and hopefully grow some additional OB/GYN providers that will continue to care for our families here in the agency over the years to come.”
Continuity of care provides benefits to patients, hospital and FQHC
“The continuity of care is so important, to be able to have someone that our doctor has a relationship with, to communicate with them, be a part of that group, share the information, get the information back to us so that we can report it, and continue to receive services, receive funding, resources for those patients, so that we can continue to provide wraparound services. As a result, we help these families who get, if they are eligible, Medicaid, and we now know that Medicaid can be provided for these families for up to a year after they deliver their babies. And just because of this relationship we were able to expand on our current OBHG agreement so that we can also deliver those babies at two additional hospitals around the Tri-County area for a total of three.
Over this past year, we have opened a practice on the campus of another practice that we have named a Women’s and Children’s Center. So if you can imagine, during the time that the woman is getting her care along the way, we’re making those introductions to our pediatric team. And there, again, you have that continuity of care now you have turned into a medical home to provide for your children, your family members, and next door, anyone can go to the site next door and that provides care for the entire family unit. So, that’s the other thing that has been able to grow out of this process. So, we’re producing healthy babies, healthy mothers and healthy communities.
We’d like to let everyone in the community know that Fetter Healthcare is here and we’re available and ready to help care for families. And we provide that overhaul, that wraparound care for our families. You don’t have to worry about not having resources, because we can assist with that. We have case managers on staff to assist patients with all sorts of barriers to care that they may have. We even have services that connect us with Lowcountry Street grocery and the food bank to provide meals for families. We have pharmacy that has 340B pricing for families that are eligible, so that they can get their medications. We even have sometimes access to free medications through Direct Relief for those individuals. It’s wraparound care, and we are right here, we’re in most neighborhoods. We’re across four different counties in SC, Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, and Colleton counties. So, there’s one near just about every community.”
Listen to the full podcast: “Community collaboration: A hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) women’s health partnership.”