Arc Health

Arc Health and Pit River Health Service: Milestones and Future Endeavors

Apr 19, 2022 | Healthcare, Rural Health

At Arc Health we believe that everyone deserves the highest quality of care. Our goal is to partner with rural underserved, and tribal health clinics to provide outstanding staff and tools necessary to offer excellent healthcare services. Ultimately, Arc Health’s long-term mission is to “work ourselves out of a job.” In December 2018, Arc Health entered into a partnership with our first tribal health clinic, Pit River Health Service (PRHS). PRHS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) ambulatory health clinic first established in 1979 serving primarily the surrounding American Indian/ Alaska Native population in rural Northern California. Since its inception, Arc Health has continued to help the rural clinic with staffing needs, quality improvement programs, and other program initiatives. The successes at PRHS demonstrate the milestones Arc Health works towards when working with other partner facilities. Our goal is to create long-lasting change through implementing programs beyond the ordinary temporary staffing agency responsibilities.  

Supported staffing needs   

Once contracted with PRHS in late 2018, Arc Health began employing clinicians in March 2019. Arc Health has staffed a total of 11 healthcare practitioners (eight physicians, one physician assistant, one nurse practitioner, and one registered nurse) over a nearly three-year-long effort to improve access to high-quality healthcare in rural Northern California. Arc Health also hired an interim Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to fill a vital role that had been open for over six months. This leadership role at health clinics is crucial for the operations of the clinic, supervision of medical staff, applying for state/federal grants, and overseeing quality improvement projects. In September 2021, Dr. Navneet Bhullar took the role of Interim CMO until a permanent CMO will be onboarded at PRHS. In spring 2021, Arc Health also staffed new providers at PRHS to continue fighting the COVID-19 surges and combating barriers to equitable healthcare access in the surrounding community.   

“They vet their Locum’s well and therefore they fit in with the organization’s mission and staff well.” – Pit River Health Service CEO

Arc Health clinicians in Burney, CA where PRHS is located. 

Helped develop quality improvement programs  

Outside of providing temporary healthcare staffing, Arc Health also leads quality improvement programs in many of the clinics we work with. For example, at PRHS, Arc Health staff participated in the development of a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) opioid treatment program. This program has enabled the clinic to offer life-changing medications for community members suffering from opiate use disorder. Secondly, PRHS has secured four federal grants while Arc Health providers have been acting CMO. One grant was dedicated to pre-natal newborn care. The increased funding streams have enabled the clinic to improve care in several departments and continue to grow the current QI initiatives in place. 

Implemented health initiatives in addition to day-to-day care  

Arc Health clinicians helped implement PRHS’s first mobile clinic set that began operations in the summer of 2021. The mobile clinic traveled most recently to the areas of Shasta County where PRHS patients resided and brought COVID vaccines and testing capabilities to their doorsteps. Moreover, Arc Health clinicians have continuously worked alongside PRHS staff throughout the pandemic and went above and beyond their job descriptions to develop COVID-19 surge protocols to alleviate the sudden increase in daily patient load and COVID-19 cases. This was all accomplished in addition to the daily clinical responsibilities of each healthcare provider. 

Moving forward  

As Arc Health continues to grow as a public benefit company, we will continue to support the work of our partner facilities. Pit River Health Service has been an established Arc Health partner since its inception, and we will continue to work to improve both PRHS’s staffing and non-staffing needs in the future. Pit River leaders note that locums companies need to be aware of social and work environment dynamics when working in underserved communities. Understanding the clinic’s patient dynamic from a cultural standpoint, patient flow, department policy, and expectations on staffing support are key facets of providing excellent care to rural clinics. PRHS is continuing to grow as an efficient and crucial rural health service, providing high-quality healthcare every step of the way.

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