First Choice Health Centers is proud to announce it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation as well as for Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH) Certification. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care and meeting optional standards demonstrating a commitment to patient-centered care. PCMH Certification is a special add-on option for Joint Commission-accredited ambulatory health care organizations.

First Choice Health Centers underwent a rigorous, onsite survey. During the review, a team of Joint Commission surveyors with expertise in ambulatory health care, evaluated compliance with ambulatory care standards related to a variety of areas, including coordination of care, management of medications, and patient education and training.  FCHC was also evaluated on standards related to how effectively the primary care clinician and the interdisciplinary team work in partnership with patients to provide comprehensive, coordinated and patient-centered care.

In his announcement, to the more than 150 First Choice Health Center employees, CEO Eugene Market commended them stating “Passing the rigorous standards established by TJC is no easy task so I am proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved together.  As a member of our staff you now have the distinction of working in a Joint Commission Accredited Community Health Center which demonstrates the higher level of commitment that collectively we have made to ensure the health and well-being of our patients and community.”

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tess Kryspin adds “By attaining this honor we are making a pledge to our patients that they will receive high quality, patient centered care coordinated through their clinical providers to ensure they receive the necessary care when and where they need it, in a manner they can understand.”

“Ambulatory care organizations that pursue accreditation and PCMH Certification from The Joint Commission are demonstrating the highest commitment to the enhancement of staff education and quality primary care in the ambulatory setting” said Michael Kulczycki, executive director, Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation Program, The Joint Commission. “We commend First Choice Health Centers and its staff for achieving this pinnacle demonstrating a commitment to patient safety and quality. Your passion, dedication and tenacity can ultimately improve patient care. Thank you for your commitment and entrusting The Joint Commission to assist you.”

The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

First Choice Health Centers
Established in 1996, First Choice Health Centers provides primary medical, dental and behavioral health services including pediatrics, women’s health, optometry, podiatry, geriatrics, infectious disease, fitness center, nutrition, care coordination and substance abuse services to over 21,000 patients annually.  First Choice is the largest principal safety net provider on the east side of the Connecticut River with 15 locations and serving 57 schools in East Hartford, Manchester and Vernon.  Its services are critical to improving health outcomes and overall community health status.


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