Welcome to the The QI Chat Room podcast. This podcast is all about quality improvement, or QI, in healthcare. We’ll bring you speakers from our member health centers, outside health centers, county and federal agencies, healthcare plans, and more. Those speakers will discuss promising practices they’ve identified at health centers, the latest data on specific health topics, and engage in conversation with our live audience. We’ve been hosting these chat rooms since late 2018. In the fall of 2019 we made the transition to podcasts to reach a greater range of listeners, including our health centers’ providers and staff that cannot make regular meeting times. We hope you’ll join us, as we share the latest in quality improvement.

All episodes of the podcast are listed individually below and also available on popular streaming services. Resources and documents related to the episodes can be found in The QI Chat Room Dropbox Folder. Promising Practice documents can be found on our Promising Practices web page.

The QI Chat Room

If you have a topic you’d like to present or a topic you’d like to request, contact Kelly Bond. While the focus is on QI, topics can include anything related to your health center’s work. The schedule of topics for The QI Chat Room podcast can be found here.

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Episode 22: Expanding Food Access & Improving Nutrition Education Through a Food Pharmacy

This episode features Michaela Moss, a health educator from Marin City Health and Wellness Center (MCHW), who will talk about their food access and nutrition education initiatives. This is a unique episode, as it was recorded in March of 2020, just as the pandemic was starting to affect health centers. Many of the health center’s patient programs, including an in-person food pharmacy program, have been put on hold since the recording due to the pandemic.

Episode 21: The Power of Medically Tailored Meals

This episode features Cathryn Couch who is the founder and CEO of Ceres Community Project, a non-profit working to foster health by connecting people to one another and to a healthier food system. Ceres provides 150,000 organic medically tailored meals annually to primarily low-income people struggling because of a health challenge. Youth volunteers grow food and prepare the meals as part of a youth development, culinary and food system education program. Ceres has trained a dozen communities across the United States and in Denmark to replicate their model and the organization supports 8 Affiliate Programs.

Couch is the 2020 chair for the California Food is Medicine Coalition, a six-agency collaboration conducting the first statewide medically tailored meal pilot for MediCal members. Ceres is also one of four agencies currently conducting large-scale randomized control trial for medically tailored meals at Kaiser Permanente. Couch is as advisor to the Aspen Institute’s Food & Society initiative; contributed to the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2020 report Rest the Table, sits on the leadership team for Hearts of Sonoma County – a collaborative working to reduce heart attacks and strokes; and participates in Marin Food Policy Council, California Food & Farming Network, and the Food Lab at Google.

Couch previously gave a TEDx Talk in 2018 on nutritious meal delivery, which can be viewed here.

Episode 20: Patient-Centered Medical Home Transformation & Behavioral Health Integration

This episode features health center staff Michelle Hill and Avani Bedagkar. Michelle is the CQI Coordinator at Long Valley Health Center (LVHC) in Laytonville, CA. She was the Patient-Centered Medical Home (or PCMH) Project Lead when LVHC applied for certification in 2018 using the new 2017 Standards and Distinction programs. LVHC was the 1st Health Center in California to receive the Distinction for Behavioral Health Integration. Michelle will discuss the application and renewal process for the PCMH Distinction for Behavioral Health Integration. This distinction helps practices provide comprehensive whole-person care that acknowledges the behavioral health needs of the individual beyond the core requirements of NCQA PCMH Recognition.

Avani is the QI Manager at Marin Community Clinics (MCC) and joined in 2017. She is the PCMH Manager for both Annual reporting and Transformation and works with other team members to ensure timely project completion. Avani will talk about the annual reporting process of PCMH. MCC is still going through the transformation process, so will talk about the basic structure of how to provide evidence for the transformation process.

Episode 19: Continuous Glucose Monitoring for Patients with Diabetes

This episode features Julie Vlasis, “Compliance Officer and CQI Coordinator” for Sonoma Valley Community Health Center. In January of 2020, Sonoma Valley documented a promising practice titled “Continuous Glucose Monitoring for Uncontrolled Diabetic Patients”. While a lot has changed since January, Sonoma Valley has continued to expand its Continuous Glucose Monitoring (or CGM) project and are seeing significant results.

Episode 18: Childcare Resources

This episode is all about childcare. Childcare is an ever-present need for our workforce. Every county in California has a Resource and Referral (R & R) agency that serves as a hub for parents and childcare providers. They connect children and open spots, train providers, and manage financial assistance options that are available. This panel brings together the Executive Directors from the R & R agencies in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, and Solano counties to discuss concerns and potential solutions that they can help health centers to implement in both the short and long term.

A summary of this episode can be found here: 2020-9-4 RCHC Child Care Resources Panel Summary.

Episode 17: Patient Portals

This episode features Jennifer Inden, RCHC’s Health Information Technology Project Manager. She is joined by three health center representatives who will explore the different facets of realizing a successful Patient Portal.

A Patient Portal is a secure website or app which patients can access certain health records, review lab results, and send messages to their care team. For years it has been acknowledged that the use of health information technologies and online resources has great potential to boost care quality and increase patient engagement in their care. Despite the advantages to both patients and providers, the adoption of patient portal use can be slow on both sides. The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency has shown once again how important it is to have a way for patients and providers to communicate with each other during non or limited business hours.

This discussion includes Jane Brown, Operations Manager at Humboldt Independent Practice Association, Heidi Garzo, EMR Training Specialist at Petaluma and Rohnert Park Health Centers, and Summer Penn, Director of Information Technology at West County Health Centers.

Episode 16: COVID-19 Series – RCHC’s Response

This episode is the sixth in our series of COVID-19 focused sessions. The goal of these sessions is to share information with health centers that can help make this challenging time a little bit easier. This will be our last COVID focused session and features RCHC’s CEO Dr. Karen Milman who will talk about RCHC’s response to COVID-19.

Dr. Milman has focused her career on improving systems to address the health of both individuals and the community. She is passionate about promoting health equity. Dr. Milman has over ten years of experience working in governmental public health, coordinating health improvement coalitions, and overseeing programs in chronic disease prevention, communicable disease control, environmental health, and emergency preparedness. She came to the Redwood Community Health Coalition from the California Department of Public Health, where she has been serving as a Public Health Medical Officer in the Emergency Preparedness Office. Prior to that, she was the Sonoma County Health Officer. Dr. Milman earned her medical degree from the University of Maryland and completed residency as well as obtained her Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She is board certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

Episode 15: COVID-19 Series – COADs, VOADs, & Food Resources

This episode is the fifth in our series of COVID-19 focused sessions. The goal of these sessions is to share information with health centers that can help make this challenging time a little bit easier. Today we’re joined by four guests representing COADs and VOADs of Marin, Napa, and Sonoma Counties to talk about the work they’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic specifically around food resources.

Episode 14: COVID-19 Series – Health Center Homeless Response

This episode is the fourth in our series of COVID-19 focused sessions. The goal of these sessions is to share information with health centers that can help make this challenging time a little bit easier. Today we’re joined by three health centers in Sonoma County and one in Marin County to talk about the homeless response during COVID. Each of our four guests will talk about their unique perspective on homeless outreach, programs, and policies at the health center, county, and state level.

Episode 13: COVID-19 Series – What Matters Most to You? Part II

This episode is the third in our series of COVID-19 focused sessions. The goal of these sessions is to share information with health centers that can help make this challenging time a little bit easier. Today we have a continuation of our last episode “What Matters Most to You?” with Dr. Ellen Barnett. She is a recently retired family doctor who practiced for 20 years at the Integrative Medical Clinic in Santa Rosa and was on the faculty of the Sutter Family Medicine Residency from 1987 to 2016. She developed the Imagine You project as part of her work in the nonprofit Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation. Imagine You offers tools for self care that we can use for our own wellbeing and as we work with our patients and clients. In response to several recent disasters in Northern California, such as the wildfires, and now COVID-19, the Imagine You project offers trainings to organizations working with the most vulnerable in our communities. Our last episode introduced the “What Matters Most to You” tool, and focused on how to use the tool for self care. This episode will continue that conversation, going more in depth on the tool. Dr. Barnett will also share ways for health centers to use the tool in a healthcare setting with patients.



This project is funded by the California Improvement Network, which is a project of the California Health Care Foundation and is administered by the Healthforce Center at UCSF.

Project Timeline

August 2019 – October 2019


Project Partners:

  • Alexander Valley Healthcare
  • Alliance Medical Center
  • Anderson Valley Health Center
  • Coastal Health Alliance
  • CommuniCare Health Centers
  • Jewish Community Free Clinic
  • Long Valley Health Center
  • Marin City Health and Wellness
  • Marin Community Clinics
  • Northern California Center for Well-Being
  • OLE Health
  • Petaluma Health Center
  • Ritter Center
  • Santa Rosa Community Health
  • Sonoma County Indian Health Project
  • Sonoma Valley Community Health Centers
  • St. Joseph Mobile Health Clinic
  • West County Health Centers
  • Western Sierra Medical Clinic
  • Winters Healthcare Foundation


For more information, please contact Kelly Bond.