Dr. Battaglia, DC, DACBR is helping lead the chiropractic charge at Affinia Healthcare.
Two years ago, Logan’s leadership made a commitment to expand the University’s role in the community to educate both students and patients.
Today, that commitment is realized in
the form of a partnership with Affinia
Healthcare, the third federally qualified
health center in St. Louis to team up with
Logan for chiropractic care.
Affinia Healthcare joins Myrtle Hilliard
Davis Comprehensive Health Centers
(MHDCHC) and Family Care Health Centers
(FCHC), which have also taken steps to incorporate chiropractic care into their
service offerings to patients, many of whom
lack access to pain therapies outside of their
primary care provider and medications.
Together, Logan and these institutions
are collaborating to help close the gap in
accessibility and provide chiropractic care for
all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
Melissa Tepe, MD, MPH, chief medical
officer for Affinia Healthcare, paints a
picture of what a typical patient faces: pain
intertwined with medical, mental health and
substance abuse issues; little or no access to
care; and living at or below the poverty line.
A few years ago, medication was one
of the only tools in the community health center’s toolbox for acute and chronic
pain, especially for the uninsured. Then,
there was a shift, and leadership began
to talk differently about pain care.
“We revised our treatment agreement
with patients, set up communication
strategies within our electronic medical
records and educated staff regarding
strategies on how to safely care for
patients in chronic pain and utilizing
narcotics,” Dr. Tepe said. “These
strategies helped, but providers at the
time still felt uncomfortable caring
for patients in chronic pain and using opioids as a main treatment
It wasn’t until fall 2016 that Affinia Healthcare began an earnest
discussion around the development of chronic pain teams. These
teams, comprised of a physician, pharmacist, behavioral health
specialist and a nurse, started a process that allowed each specialty to
interact with the patient and develop a comprehensive pain treatment
plan and approach. Dr. Tepe—having awareness of Logan’s previous
collaborations with MHDCHC and FCHC—contacted Logan.
Dr. Tepe said it was apparent that collaborating with Logan would
be a critical key to reaching patients struggling with chronic pain.
It didn’t take long to develop a partnership. “With that, we had
rooms and a site available, and we simply kept moving through each
logistical piece step by step,” she noted.
Just three months in, the program is exceeding Affinia Healthcare’s
expectations. Chiropractic care has already increased from three
half days to five full days a week with appointments filled weeks in