Devonda Gomez Receives Champion of Practice Transformation Award

Join us in congratulating Devonda Gomez, Clinic Operations Director at Affinity Health Center, for receiving the 2019 South Carolina Primary Health Care Association’s Champion of Practice Transformation Award!

Devonda joined the Affinity team in 2013. She was hired to help the organization transition from an HIV service organization to a community health center.  Since Devonda joined Affinity in 2013, the number of patients served has increased from 550 to more than 5800.  Under Devonda’s leadership, the Affinity clinical team grew from one Nurse Practitioner and a part-time contracted Physician with three clinical support staff to three Nurse Practitioners, 2.5 Physicians, a part-time Certified Nurse Midwife, a full-time Dentist, a behavioral health team and 14 clinical support staff.

Devonda has been instrumental in transforming Affinity Health Center through redesign of the patient experience and creation of a patient-centered medical home. In 2015, Devonda led the initiative to seek recognition from the National Committee on Quality Assurance.  Affinity received Level 1 PCMH recognition that year. As a rapidly growing new health center, in 2016, Affinity engaged a consultant team to help us address long wait times for appointments, long cycle times, high no show rates, and low patient satisfaction.  This work was successful under Devonda’s leadership, resulting in reduction in wait time, cycle times, and no-show rates as well as increased access to care.  To ensure continuity of the practice transformation in 2016, Affinity developed a new policy outlining our Patient-Centered Care Principles. Devonda introduces all new employees to these principles and practices as a part of new employee orientation for all staff.

In 2017, Devonda again led the initiative to seek recognition from the National Committee on Quality Assurance, leading the way to Level 3 PCMH recognition for Affinity Health Center. In 2017, Devonda also led the initiative to expand access to preventive care services at Affinity by initiating partnerships with the Best Chance Network and the S.C. Colon Cancer Prevention Network as well as family planning services through partnership with the Choose Well initiative to expand access to long-acting reversible contraceptives. Devonda continues her commitment to being patient-centered in everything we do at Affinity.  She constantly asks her staff, “Is this best for the patient?” and she holds her team accountable for answering “Yes!”

In 2018, Affinity moved into a new facility (5 times larger than previous facility) and re-engaged with this same consultant team to modify clinical workflows and patient scheduling to ensure a positive patient experience in the new space. Once again, Devonda lead this initiative at Affinity, coaching her team and standing behind the process changes implemented without hesitation, always keeping the patient at the center of our work. Through this re-design, Affinity once again experienced a significant reduction in wait times, cycle times, and no-shows as well as an increase in access to care and patient satisfaction.  Affinity implemented new workflows necessary in a significantly larger space and worked to create a caring and warm environment, despite the significant size.

The last five years have not been without their struggles and challenges.  But through it all, Devonda has continued to smile and cheer our team on towards our vision of a healthy and vibrant community where all people have access to exceptional and comprehensive healthcare.