George Miller: Eliminating the Barriers to Care

President and CEO of CommUnityCare Health Centers, George N. Miller began working for CommUnityCare in August 2013. Miller discusses how CommUnityCare began, takeaways from working as CEO at CommUnityCare and being a Komen grantee.

By: George N. Miller, Jr. M.S.H.A

Geroge Miller

Photo of George Miller

CommUnityCare is truly a mission driven organization. The only reason we are here is to put the patients we are privileged to serve first, because they are the center and core of what we do. In many cases we are the only door our patients can come to and receive the high quality care we provide. This is a unique opportunity, and I am honored to be a part of it.

Our vision is to improve the health of the community by increasing access to the best care possible, and our mission is to work with the community as peers with open eyes and a responsive attitude to provide the right care, at the right time, at the right place.

CommUnityCare began initially under a Community Health Center system through the city of Austin in the 1970s. In 1992, the clinic system earned “Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike” status through the federal government, and then in 2009, the Community Health Center system became a private, non-profit corporation named CommUnityCare. Today, CommUnityCare is a full-fledged Federally Qualified Health Center that provides services at 24 locations throughout Travis County. In 2015, our health centers provide over 321,000 medical and dental patient appointments. This number represents more than 88,000 individual patients. We provide comprehensive services to including family practice, internal medicine,  pediatrics, specialty care, women services, high risk OB services, HIV/AIDS, dental services, behavior health, pharmacy services, mobile teams, street medicine, dietitian  services, nutrition services, social services, case managers, nurse triage, and specialist services.  To provide a continuum of care that meets the needs of our clients, CommUnityCare partners with many private, public, and nonprofit organizations such as: Austin-Travis County Integral Care (ATCIC), Seton, The UT Dell Medical School, and the Community Care Collaborative.

The majority of funding comes from Central Health and the Federal Bureau of Primary Health Care. Public and private grants also support the work of CommUnityCare. In 2010, CommUnityCare was accredited by The Joint Commission, which recognizes quality healthcare institutions around the world, and in 2014, three of our health center locations received PCMH (Patient Centered Medical Home) recognition.  Our team is in the process of having all of our locations recognized.

Over the years, our team cared for women who desperately needed breast health services, but we also saw that these women struggled with numerous barriers, such as lack of transportation or lack of healthcare coverage, limiting access to screening mammograms and diagnostic services that we did not provide onsite.  So, in 2013, CommUnityCare set the goal of providing screening mammograms onsite at our North Central Health Center to help eliminate these barriers to care.  Our team then applied for Komen Austin funding to help support this initiative that continues today.

The power of CommUnityCare’s partnership with Komen Austin is not only reflected in each patient whom we serve, but in the collective peace of mind that we can provide to our patients through onsite screening mammograms supported by Komen Austin.  This year alone, we have already leveraged Komen Austin funding to provide screening mammograms to 750 women who have no healthcare coverage.

In addition, Miller loves the Dallas Cowboys and Ohio State Football. He loves golfing and spending time with his three children- Brianna, Grace, and Trey. His faith is also very important to him.

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