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Patient-centered care helps Central Point woman recover in mind and body
Shawna Shoffner
Photos by CareOregon
Being a patient-centered primary care home means that the care is focused on the patient. For Shawna Shoffner, it means getting the physical, mental and emotional health care she needs to get better.
Shawna Shoffner and J.

Feb. 7, 2013, (Central Point) — Shawna Shoffner knows that being in a patient-centered primary care home has saved her life.

Shawna's son, Van, was killed four years ago in a car accident when he was 19 years old. Shoffner soldiered on. She felt she had to. She was a business owner and single mother with two other sons that needed her: a 21-year-old with special needs and a 15-year-old. "I worked. I drove my kids everywhere they needed. I was fearless – before the accident," says Shoffner, 52, of Central Point. She was referring to the accident that took her son's life.

Then it all caught up with her when Marcus, her teenaged son, was also in a car accident eight months after his brother's death.

"The care at La Clinica is amazing. They really care. I know I am on the right path for a better quality of life."  ~ Shawna Shoffner

"I had been in denial for a year and a half. Marcus' accident brought everything up. I couldn't work. I had extreme anxiety and fear. It was the devastation in all areas of essential needs for living. I really needed help," she said.

She found that help at La Clinica in Central Point, which is an official Patient-Centered Primary Care Home. These specially recognized clinics meet higher state standards through the Oregon Health Authority.

To receive this recognition, clinics must offer a team-based approach to care focused on keeping people healthy. At its heart, this model of care fosters strong relationships with patients and their families to better treat the whole person. Providers reduce costs and improve care by catching problems earlier; focusing on prevention and wellness, and integrating behavioral health care. Shoffner, who has been unable to work, is an Oregon Health Plan member through Jackson Care Connect, a coordinated care organization.

Shoffner was suffering from depression and severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over the death of her son. She also was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a long-term, chronic illness causing body-wide pain. Her health care team got her into grief counseling, group therapy and a pain management group. Being in a patient-centered primary care home means that the care is focused first on whatever the patient needs.

"I have PTSD. I am living it daily. I go over and over that that day that Van died. It's relentless. But I have tools they have taught me that I use to get me through these things. I have words I say to myself to help ground me. I know I can call La Clinica if I need help. La Clinica's doctors and the counselors have saved me so many times and in so many areas of my life," Shoffner says.

Her goal – and she knows she is on her way because of the help she gets through La Clinica – is to achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance in her life.

"The care at La Clinica is amazing. They really care," says Shoffner. "I know I am on the right path for a better quality of life."

To find out if there is a patient-centered primary care home near you, or to learn more about the recognition program please visit www.PrimaryCareHome.oregon.gov.