Hennepin County Medical Center has won a national award for its coordinated care center, a primary care clinic aimed at helping patients who face complex medical and personal issues.

The county won the 2013 Gage Award for Improving Population Health for its coordinated care center. The county's program came to be after a study showed that 3 percent of HCMC's patients represented 50 percent of the cost. After one year, the rate of emergency department visits dropped by 37 percent and inpatient stays by 25 percent.

The Coordinated Care Center provides walk-in access, follow-up and oversight by pharmacists and social workers.

"Our clinic staff are dedicated to providing the intensive, focused care our patients need to help them avoid hospitalization and emergency care. It's a team effort all around — and every patient is a part of the team," said Dr. Paul Johnson, medical director of the Coordinated Care Center, who accepted the award on behalf of HCMC.