AccessHealth’s Healthcare Model: Convenient, Quality and Trustworthy Services

COVER STORY  |  By M.G. Angulo
Photos by Alisa Murray Photography –

Patient Delia Cuarenta with Son Duong, MD and Laura Villegas, RN, WHNP-BC.

With scores of people concerned about healthcare coverage, AccessHealth, a private nonprofit community health center, stands as a staple in the Fort Bend and Waller county communities, providing those in need with quality and affordable primary care services.

AccessHealth not only helps prevent the population of uninsured patients from falling through the cracks, it also offers an special integrated healthcare model that promises patients convenient, quality and trustworthy services.

Receiving Noteworthy Recognition

In March, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognized AccessHealth’s main clinic in Richmond for receiving its Patient-Centered Medical Home recertification. NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home standards accentuate the use of systematic, patient-centered and coordinated care that supports access, communication and patient involvement.

AccessHealth received the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Level 3 Status – the highest achievement level – for using evidence-based, patient-centered procedures that focus on exceptional care and long-term participative relationships. Research shows that healthcare centers operating under the model of Patient-Centered Medical home can lead to higher quality of care coupled with lower costs and improve both patient and provider experiences.

“Only six percent of healthcare providers achieve PCMH Level 3 Status,” said AccessHealth CEO Mike Dotson. “AccessHealth could not be prouder of the hard work and dedication of our reliable team to merit such a prestigious designation.”

AccessHealth’s Director of Family Practice, Dr. Son Duong, added, “Our patients have access to primary care, pediatrics, pharmacy, lab and mental health services conveniently in one location. As providers we are able to work as a team to treat patients holistically.”

An Integrated Model

What is key to AccessHealth’s success is its ability to provide a myriad of services at one location. Whether a patient needs dental, pediatric care, obstetrics and gynecology services or dietary and nutritional guidance, they need only to become an AccessHealth patient.

“We are a one-stop healthcare facility,” said Lacie Sumpter, AccessHealth’s Community Relations Specialist. “We want our patients to get all of their medical needs met in the same place. That is why our integrated healthcare model is vital, because we have the ability to provide several healthcare services under one roof.”

The extent of an integrated model surpasses a patient’s convenience, however. This model also creates a figurative net that can catch concerns, even those the patient may not be aware of.

For example, by procuring the dental services, a patient can be made aware of an undiagnosed concern of diabetes, and he or she would not have even have to leave the facility to schedule an appointment with a doctor to discuss treatment.  Through this model, all of a patient’s care providers have access to his or her records, which then allows them — be it the primary care physician, therapist or dentist — to remain updated on a patient’s diagnosis, treatment, laboratory results and prescriptions.

“There are just so many benefits to having your medical care all in the same place,” Sumpter said.

An Onsite Pharmacy

Lupe Hollingsworth, RPh.

Not only can patients be seen by board certified and experienced doctors, patients can also have laboratory work completed and retrieve their prescriptions all at one location, on the same day. The Richmond center features a Class A on-site pharmacy, and the Missouri City and Brookshire locations provide select pharmacy services.

“This is very convenient as some of our patients have transportation obstacles,” Sumpter said, noting that the Richmond location is on the Fort Bend Transit route. “But it also makes it easier for a patient to remain compliant with

treatment plans. The onsite pharmacy is key to successful treatment and care.”

“At AccessHealth, we partner with the providers to ensure total patient care in regards to their medication regimen,” said Director of Pharmacy, Lupe Hollingsworth. “Our patient experience involves prescription counseling as part of an effort to guarantee all patients are well-informed to make the best healthcare decisions.”

Addressing Mental Health

AccessHealth’s integrated model also helps identify, diagnose and treat mental health, especially since the facility has therapists stationed on site. The Mental Health Services are available at AccessHealth’s Richmond and Missouri City centers.

The facility offers not only counseling services to persons dealing with emotional difficulties, including depression, anxiety, relationship and family concerns and school behavior problems, the Mental Health team works closely with primary care providers to educate patients on how to handle troubling thoughts, feelings and actions in relation to their medical or emotional concerns.

“Studies are showing this a more successful way to address mental health,” said Chief Program Officer, Mary Collins. “It is easier to identify and diagnose mental health when a patient’s healthcare is integrated.”

Integrating Dental Care

Juan Martinez, DDS.

“Our community’s health is at the forefront of AccessHealth’s vision,” said Dental Director, Dr. Juan Martinez. “Making affordable dental care a reality for the community is an integral part of that vision.”

A person’s oral health is a mirror to their overall health. At AccessHealth, the focus on integrated health ensures interdepartmental communication between medical, dental, behavioral health and other departments to holistically improve the overall health and wellbeing.

Going Beyond Center Walls

Patient Maria Pineda with Son Duong, MD.

As it continues to become more and more integrated with each passing year, AccessHealth is also focused on the healthcare atmosphere outside of its centers.

“We are looking outside the walls of our clinic to identify ways that we can collaborate with community partners to make a change within the community and remove some of the barriers our residents face in regards to living healthier lives,” said Dotson.

AccessHealth is working with Fort Bend County Health and Human Services, in addition to other community partners, to address the prevalence of obesity, depression and anxiety rates in Richmond. “We are trying to identify areas where we can go upstream to prevent some of these health conditions,” said Dotson. “We are starting in the Richmond community and within our Richmond patient population.”

A Community Health Center for All

AccessHealth’s services are available to the uninsured, as well as the insured population. The center accepts private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program, more commonly known as CHIP. In addition to providing affordable care, AccessHealth can walk patients through the application process for Medicaid and CHIP. This is a valuable service to the community as the process can be overwhelming.

Sumpter noted that the combination of high-quality affordable healthcare, certified physicians and the integrated healthcare model that the center operates off of creates a trusting atmosphere at AccessHealth. “Anytime we receive testimonials, I almost always hear people say: ‘It feels like family.’ That speaks to the kind of care they receive and about how we truly care about the well-being of our patients. We strive to make sure all of our patient’s needs are met.”

For more information about AccessHealth or to schedule an appointment, call 281-342-4530 or visit