Brevard Health Alliance (BHA) is the only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Brevard County, Florida. With 100 health care providers, they served more than sixty thousand low-income patients in the last year alone. It’s a much-needed service in their area – three out of four of their patients fall at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Guideline.
Aiming to be their patients’ medical home, BHA offers a full battery of services ranging from family medicine and behavioral health to pediatrics and dental care. They even have some specialty providers, like an endocrinologist. And thanks to their partnership with MAVEN Project, that specialist can focus on the most complicated endocrinology cases while other providers consult with volunteers from MAVEN Project on other patient care.
“Most of my role revolves around diabetes management,” shared Kim Torres, a nurse practitioner at Brevard Health Alliance. “MAVEN Project enables me to work at the limits of my license and deliver care that patients didn’t previously have access to. Their volunteers don’t just provide short answers – they help to educate me and help me understand each specialty. They’ve given me a toolbox of resources.”
BHA provides care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Their sliding scale services have benefitted patients throughout the county for nearly two decades.
Christy Powell, another nurse practitioner at BHA, uses her background in cardiology to hold a monthly clinic for patients who are uninsured and facing cardiac issues. She uses MAVEN Project often to influence their care.
“It was intimidating at first because the volunteers at MAVEN Project have such impressive backgrounds,” she said. “But they never make me feel like I’m asking foolish questions. They’re so kind and willing to teach me. Having their help opens endless possibilities so we can give the best care possible. Then, when we do need to refer someone to a local specialist, we know they really need it because we’ve triaged the patient thoroughly.”
Nurse practitioner Mindy Strickland works primarily with BHA’s adult patients. In addition to medical consults, she has a MAVEN Project mentor who guides her on clinical issues like time management, professional development, patient interaction and more.
“Guidance from my mentor has really helped build my confidence,” she said. “It’s a wonderful program that reminds me I have a great support system for when I have questions. At the end of each mentor session, we usually discuss one or two complex cases that I would like further guidance on. These collaborative discussions challenge me to expand my critical thinking. This not only benefits our current patients, but also improves the care of future patients who may have similar conditions. I am very grateful for how MAVEN Project has helped me grow as a provider.”
Torres has also taken advantage of MAVEN Project’s mentoring program. She notes that it helped her to develop BHA’s diabetes management program, thanks to the mentor’s previous experience with similar initiatives. “My mentor wanted me to succeed and helped me greatly. Not only did she provide so much knowledge, she also connected me with critical contacts for supplies. MAVEN Project has something for everyone, both novice and more experienced providers. It has been life changing for our patient population – I want to shout it from the rooftops!”