Community Partner Spotlight

Center for Health Equity Transformation Inaugural Community Partner

MCHC and UK Research: MCHC has served as a community partner with the University of Kentucky’s community-based research organization, Faith Moves Mountains, since the inception in 2004. From pilot testing interventions to assisting with participant recruitment to “ground truthing” research ideas, MCHC has been a consistent and steadfast partner in enhancing research conduct. MCHC staff and health care providers have always been advocates for research to improve the health Appalachian populations. Most recently, MCHC has partnered with the Faith Moves Mointains team on a new five year long project,” Community to Clinic Navigation to Improve Diabetes Outcomes.” National Institutes of Health, R01 DK112136. For this project,  MCHC has played an active role in the recruitment of participant recruitment, Community Health Worker training, and clinical consultation. MCHC has encouraged project staff to participate in their Diabetic Task Force meetings and health fair events.

History: Founded in 1971, Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation (MCHC) had its humble beginning located in a trailer in rural Leslie County, Ky. In the 47 years since, MCHC has grown into one of the largest rural health centers not only in the Commonwealth, but also in the United States.  Today, MCHC serves more than 38,000 patients each year and employs more than 380 staff including over 60 providers.  MCHC operates 9 clinics in the counties of Letcher, Perry, Owsley, Harlan, and Bell as well as 15 school-based clinics in the Letcher, Owsley, Pineville Independent, and Jenkins Independent School Districts. 

Serving Appalachian Kentucky Communities: MCHC offers a wide array of services to its patients. MCHC services range include Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pulmonology, OB-GYN, Pediatrics, Podiatry, Dental, Optometry, Behavioral Health and Nutritional Health Services. Radiography and Laboratory services are also available as well as other ancillary services such as home medical.  In 1983, after seeing the need to minimize the effects of pulmonary impairment for coal miner’s pneumoconiosis and other pulmonary disorders, MCHC founded the Respiratory Clinics of Eastern Kentucky which became a charter member of the National Black Lung Coalition.

Launched in 2015, MCHC’s innovative Farmacy Program provides increased access to locally grown fruits and vegetables to qualifying patients.  Qualifying patients are pregnant or have incomes that are 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or below and have one of the following diagnoses: Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and/or obesity.  Patients can redeem at the local farmer’s market in Letcher County, Leatherwood, and Owsley County.

MCHC has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home for providing excellence in family oriented care. MCHC is dedicated to ensuring quality with every interaction. Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, MCHC operates as a non-profit corporation.

For more information about MCHC contact:  Chris Bates, Clinic Administrator