On the surface, the Community Health Center of the Black Hills might seem just like any other ordinary medical clinic. But it actually sets itself apart from all the other average medical and dental clinics in the region by delivering a wide range of integrated services that go beyond the basic meat and potatoes of health care.
Last year, roughly 10,000 area residents were treated in the clinic for everything from a simple rash to chronic diabetes to depression to teeth cleanings and routine tooth extractions. Its doors are open to anyone who needs care, insured and uninsured alike. But the vast majority of their patients are the working poor, often uninsured, who might put off routine health care because of the cost. CHCBH provides care on a sliding scale for patients that qualify based on their income. And the staff at CHCBH are especially adept at recognizing the importance of all of the other social determinants of health that often go missed in other clinics.
“Our providers understand that our patients have lives outside of the clinic and that we can’t just treat their health with a 15-minute visit and some pills,” said Tim Trithart, CEO. “That’s why we take the extra steps. Are there transportation issues? Are there language barriers? What’s your housing status, your level of food security?”
This increased emphasis on “patient-centeredness” is tied with a unique one-stop approach to health care. Whether it’s dental care, counseling, access to medication assistance, or case management services, the clinic strives to help fill the gaps in need for its patients.
For well over a decade, CHCBH has teamed with KT Connections to ensure its IT systems continue to evolve. As CHCBH has grown, so has its partnership.
“We rely on KT to help us ensure our health information is safely maintained and that our technology works to meet our latest challenges,” said Trithart. “And given our tight budgets, we depend on KT to help us do it efficiently.”
CHCBH is an independent non-profit based in Rapid City, which is awarded a federal grant that designates it officially as a federally qualified health center—one of about 1,300 nationwide. It is the only community health center in the Black Hills—making it a vital primary care safety net. Its partnership with KT Connections allows it to focus on continuing its mission: ensuring that quality care is available to everyone—regardless of who they are.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.