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Community Collaboration: A Hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Women’s Health Partnership

Tune in to learn more about the important work of FQHCs and hospitals in promoting equitable access to healthcare and building healthier communities.
Community Collaboration: A Hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Women’s Health Partnership
Featured Speaker:
Sharvette Slaughter, MD
Dr. Sharvette Jennings Slaughter is the Chief Medical Officer for Fetter Health Care Network.  She is a native of Charleston S.C. and has been a practicing physician in the Charleston area for the past 22 years.  Dr. Slaughter grew up on James Island and attended James Island High School. It was there that she explored her childhood passion for science. She pursued her desire to have a career in medicine by deciding to attend Duke University.  She earned her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a focus on childhood development.  Subsequently, she returned to Charleston where she received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1995. In 1998, Dr. Slaughter completed her pediatric Residency training at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta Ga. Dr. Slaughter has thoroughly enjoyed being a pediatrician in Charleston, where she has been able to care for and encourage children of all ages. In 2018, she became the Chief Medical Officer at Fetter Health Care Network, where she and her team continue to provide a medical home to vulnerable communities.
Community Collaboration: A Hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Women’s Health Partnership

 Prakash Chandran
Fetter Healthcare Network is a federally-qualified health center,
or FQHC, that works with local hospitals to promote equitable access to
healthcare and help build healthier communities.

Today we'll learn more about the important work of FQHCs from a
board certified pediatrician who has worked with Feder Health for over 20

 Joining us is Dr.
Sharvette Slaughter, Chief Medical Officer at Fetter Healthcare, partnered with
OB Hospitalist Group at Somerville Medical Center.

Host: This is the Obstetrics Podcast from OB Hospitalist
Group. I am your host, Prakash Chandran. So Dr. Slaughter, thank you so much
for joining us today. We truly appreciate your time. Could you start by telling
us a little bit about your background and your role at Fetter Healthcare Network?

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: Sure. I am a native of
Charleston, South Carolina. I attended Duke University and the Medical
University of South Carolina where I went to medical school and received my
training in residency at the Medical College of Georgia. I returned to
Charleston and started working in the capacity of being a pediatrician with a
private pediatric office at first, and then transitioning over to the health
center that I work at now, which is formally known as Franklin C. Fetter
Healthcare. But now, it's Fetter Healthcare Network. And I've been the Chief
Medical officer at this facility just for the past five years after working for
21 years at the health center.

Host: Wow, that is an impressive background. Can you
talk to us a little bit more about what a federally-qualified health center is
and how many locations does Fetter Healthcare have?

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: Well, we are considered a
community health center with oversight from a federal agency known as the HRSA,
Health and Resource Services Administration. And they help to monitor our
compliance and we serve everyone, you know, but particularly those communities
that are marginalized in underserved areas or just vulnerable populations. And
it's to provide quality and comprehensive care care that is given regardless of
anyone's ability to pay. So, that's our mission and we are mission-minded and
looking for individuals who have the same vision that we do.

Host: Yeah, absolutely. Aligning with people that are
mission-driven like you are totally makes sense. Can you talk to us more
broadly about the services that you provide at Fetter, including the OB-GYN

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: Yes. We provide services for
OB. First of all, I will mention that we are comprehensive, so we have family
medicine practices, pediatrics. We have clinical pharmacists, pharmacies, a
dental practice. And over the past several years, we also have the OB
physicians that works out of one of our practices providing care for those
individuals. And since last year, we were able to expand that to two of our
locations, one at our Somerville site and one at our downtown Charleston site.

Host: Yeah. And that leads me to my question around the
clinic partnership with OB Hospitalist Group at Somerville Medical Center. Can
you talk around what that has enabled for you?

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: The Hospitalist Group basically
allowed us to be able to expand. We have on staff just one OB at the time, one
OB physician who provided care for our patients here. A large portion of our
population who needed that service at the time, some of them were not
documented, some of them didn't know where to turn. And over the years, that
service has been expanding by word of mouth. People know that they can come
here as a safety net to get care so that they can have healthy babies. of
course, we serve all individuals who require services. But there was definitely
a niche for that. And with only one OB doctor, it's difficult to manage all of
that and care for them in the hospital, deliver these babies. So, that
physician came to us with a support group of his own, because he was a part of
the OBHG group. And so their, MOU was developed and we were able to have that
partnership where they would deliver our babies when he's on call. He would
deliver the babies and provide that in-house care. So, we were able to provide
continuity of care, prenatal care, and then the postnatal care.

Host: Yeah, that's incredible. I can imagine how
difficult it must have been for one OB to be servicing a community, especially
as you are growing in notoriety and in numbers. So, that leads me to wonder,
when you started partnering with OB Hospitalists, what was the onboarding
process like? And can you share any of the results that you started to see with
that collaboration?

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: So, I'll put this out there. I
mean, over the past year we were able to deliver 568 babies, which is, you
know, that's pretty impressive, right, for providers. So, as a part of all of
this and what has grown from this experience is that we were able to bring on a
new OB-GYN doc to come down to our downtown site. We have also partnered with
medical school through Trident in terms of having a OB residency program as
well. So, we've been able to expand our workforce on this end and hopefully
grow some additional OB-GYN providers that will continue to care for our
families here in the agency over the years to come.

Host: Yeah. I love that. I mean, it sounds like such a
boon for the community. Is there anything else that you'd like to share just
around how the clinic-hospital relationship benefits patients?

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: It's just the continuity of
care is so important, to be able to have someone that our doctor has a
relationship with, to communicate with them, be a part of that group, share the
information, get the information back to us so that we can report it, and
continue to receive services, receive funding, resources for those patients, so
that we can continue to provide wraparound services. As a result, we help these
families who get, if they are eligible, Medicaid, and we now know that Medicaid
can be provided for these families for up to a year after they deliver their
babies. And just as a result of this relationship. We were able to expand on
our current OBHG agreement so that we can also deliver those babies at two
additional hospitals around the Tri-County area for a total of three.

Host: Yeah, that is just so cool. And another thing that
I imagine that through this, that Fetter Healthcare has had a broader impact on
the community with regards to maternal health. Is this something that you can
speak to?

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: Sure. We monitor quality and
there are things that we report, data that we report and track the numbers of
babies; as I mentioned, 500 plus. Although the one thing that we are very proud
of is that despite the fact that a lot of our families who find themselves in
circumstances beyond their control, in some cases, they access prenatal care
later than we would like. You know, one of our quality measures is to access
care within the first trimester. That doesn't always happen. But despite that,
we have been able to have very good quality numbers. One of those benchmarks is
the number of low-birth-weight babies or premature babies. And that's very low
compared to the national average. So, that's one of the things that we're proud

And the other nice thing is that we, over this past year, have
opened a practice on the campus of another practice that we have named a
Women's and Children's Center. So if you can imagine, during the time that the
woman is getting her care along the way, we're making those introductions to
our pediatric team. And so, there, again, you have that continuity of care now
you have turned into a medical home to provide for your children, your family
members, and next door, anyone can go to the site next door and that provides
care for the entire family unit. So, that's the other thing that has been able
to grow out of this process. So, we're producing healthy babies, healthy
mothers and healthy communities.

Host: I mean, it is such an important and formidable
time in a woman's life when she is going through the pregnancy and also
afterwards. And a community resource like the one we're talking about is just
critical, not only for providing the physical support, but also the mental and
emotional support, right?

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: Absolutely. Absolutely. We are
able to provide behavioral health services for women who have struggled with
postpartum depression or any behavioral health or mental health concern. We
even have several providers on staff who are able to provide services for
mothers to find themselves in a way of opioid addiction, to be able to provide
a medication-assisted therapy for those individuals, so that even they can have
a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Host: So, Dr. Slaughter, just as we start to close here,
you know, it's very clear that you and your team are very mission-driven and
you've been able to help a lot of people in the community with the work that
you've been doing. If there's one thing that you would like to leave with our
listeners, what might that be?

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: Well, we'd just like to let
everyone in the community know that Fetter Healthcare is here and we're
available and ready to help care for families. And we provide that overhaul,
that wraparound care for our families. And you don't have to worry about not
having resources, because we can assist with that. We have case managers on
staff to assist patients with all sorts of barriers to care that they may have.
We even have services that connect us with Lowcountry Street grocery and the
food bank to provide meals for families. We have pharmacy that has 340B pricing
for families that are eligible, so that they can get their medications. We even
have sometimes access to free medications through Direct Relief for those
individuals. It's wraparound care, and we are right here, we're in most
neighborhoods. We're across four different counties, Charleston, Berkeley,
Dorchester, and Colleton counties. So, there's one near just about every

Host: Well, Dr. Slaughter, I think that is the perfect
place to end. Thank you for all the work that you do and for your time today.

Dr. Sharvette Slaughter: Thank you. Thank you.

Host: That was Dr. Sharvette Slaughter, Chief Medical
Officer at Fetter Healthcare, partnered with OB Hospitalist Group at Somerville
Medical Center. To learn more, you can visit If you found
this podcast to be helpful, please share it on your social channels and be sure
to check out the entire podcast library for topics of interest to you. Thanks
for checking out this episode of the Obstetrics Podcast from OB Hospitalist
Group. I'm your host, Prakash Chandran. Until next time, stay well.