Spectrum Health Services

"They're easy to work with..."

Spectrum Health Services is one of over 1,000 community health center organizations that were established with funds authorized by legislation enacted during the Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty initiative in the late 60’s. More commonly known as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), health centers deliver medical and dental services to underserved and low-income neighborhoods. One of two sites operated by Spectrum Health Services, the Haddington Health Center delivers care out of a complex of several offices in a strip mall in the heart of West Philadelphia. Spectrum provides primary care, health education and health-related social services to more than 12,000 patients who make over 32,000 visits per year. In addition to medical treatment, care focuses on wellness and prevention counseling, and management of chronic diseases. The Broad Street Health Center site provides comparable services to the residents in North Philadelphia.

As CEO Phyllis B. Cater prepares to break ground on a new $14 million facility that will dramatically expand the health services offered to the community, she reflects on the financial services that Your Part-Time Controller has provided that have helped get her organization positioned for this next phase in its growth.

Cater met YPTC President and Founder Eric Fraint through a mutual friend several years ago when Spectrum was in-between finance directors. “I liked him immediately,” she recalls. Over the years, several YPTC associates have been assigned to Spectrum with numerous responsibilities. When the center converted to an electronic bookkeeping system, YPTC helped set it up. When the center’s staff person responsible for accounts payable left, YPTC personnel helped close that gap. “We got a lot more than just a payables person,” Cater recalls.

“I’ve enjoyed our relationship, the quality of Your Part-Time Controller’s work, and the people they’ve sent us. I’ve felt comfortable with them, and they’ve fit nicely into our organization. They’re smart, easy to work with, and they’ve enhanced the learning of our staff. They’ve taught our folks a lot. I’d recommend them to anyone – and I do!”

Cater is appreciative of the level of professionalism that YPTC staff contribute. “This is my fourth community health center,” she recalls. “I learned early on that if a nonprofit is going to meet its financial obligations, like payroll, it has to be run like a business. I missed a payroll only once in my career and I vowed that it would never happen again. Good accounting isn’t an option – it’s a necessity.”

Spectrum’s accounting systems have become increasingly more complex and “onerous” as the organization has grown, with federal fees and contracts, Medicare/Medicaid, and private insurance providing the bulk of the center’s revenues. The new building will cause the organization to expand its finances further, with a capital campaign, foundation grants and a new donor base supplementing its income sources.

“With tax-paid dollars come a lot of scrutiny and a lot of strings. YPTC has helped us to develop our accounting and information management systems, and systems are what help you build your efficiency,” she says.

“What I like is that Your Part-Time Controller not only brings professional expertise to the table, but they’re also willing to share and develop that expertise with our staff. That, to me, is value-added.”

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