Building Trust in Health Systems to Eliminate Health Disparities

“Health systems play a vital role in enhancing the health of the communities they serve, including historically underserved populations with disparate health outcomes. Eliminating health disparities is a critical aspect of enhancing population health that requires collaborative input from multiple entities including health systems, government agencies, community organizations, and residents. A lack of clarity among contributing entities about the roles and responsibilities of health systems in addressing root causes of health disparities make the challenging goal of eliminating them even more so. This raises questions in communities served about the extent to which health systems are truly committed to advancing health. The resulting tension compounds the historic lack of trust between health systems and underserved communities and undermines collaborative work toward mutually beneficial outcomes of improved health. Health system leaders need to lead in addressing this tension by building and sustaining trust with and for their communities.”

In this editorial from Jama Network’s Trust in Healthcare, the authors suggest that in order to address complex social problems, health system leaders will need to build trustworthy and lasting relationships with community institutions. Read the full article here.

Read More

Social determinants of health - health care isn't just bugs and bacteria

Social determinants of health - health care isn't just bugs and bacteria

“Democrats and Republicans are coming together around a newly proposed, bipartisan legislation to help states and communities manage costs and improve outcomes for Medicaid recipients. Called the Social Determinants Accelerator Act, the bill was introduced on July 25 by Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash).

The bill received support from health-care industry groups like the American Hospital Association and Aligning for Health. It proposes planning grants and technical assistance for states and communities to address individual patient non-medical needs that are closely tied to health, like food security, housing stability, and employment. It also targets high-need Medicaid patients and improving the coordination of health and non-health services…”

While this is a good first step forward, ultimately, larger systematic problems like multi-generational poverty, institutional racism, and historic trauma will have to be addressed. To read the article in full, click here.

This article can be found in The Hill.

Read More

10 ways cities are tackling the global affordable housing crisis

10 ways cities are tackling the global affordable housing crisis

“Affordability is not just about the ability to buy or rent a home, but also about being able to afford to live in it. This definition of affordability goes beyond meeting expenses related to operations and maintenance, taking into consideration transport, infrastructure and services. If a home is economical enough to buy and maintain but located too far from work or school, it cannot be said to be affordable.”

This article explores innovative ways cities are addressing housing affordability. From land acquisitions, repurposing vacant properties, and financing, many cities are taking innovative approaches to address the issue. Read the full article here.

Read More

Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges With Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions

Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges With Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions

“Across the country, anchor institutions are beginning to understand and leverage the power of their economic assets to address social and economic disparities and revitalize local communities. Because of their commitment to place and their economic power, anchor institutions are uniquely positioned to stabilize local economies and begin to reverse the devastating effects of urban disinvestment. An increasing number of anchor institutions and partner organizations have joined to form place-based networks, or anchor collaboratives, to develop, implement, and support shared goals and initiatives that advance equitable and inclusive economic development strategies. The challenges our cities and communities face today are daunting. But when anchor institutions intentionally align their collective resources for stronger and more inclusive economies and healthier communities, they can make real change happen locally. The anchor mission work also helps these institutions to see themselves as threads of the social fabric of their community—and they begin to view their role as a part of the solution in bolder and broader ways. “

From Democracy Collaborative, comes Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges With Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions. This report highlights the work of Anchor Collaboratives across the country and their role in investing in place-based initiatives. Read the full report here.

Read More

Food Insecurity Becomes Focus for Population Health Programs

Food Insecurity Becomes Focus for Population Health Programs

“Healthcare providers, payers, and other industry partners are increasingly recognizing that tackling food insecurity is a major component of a successful population health management program…

As the healthcare industry starts to ramp up its data-driven capabilities overall health system costs, asserts a 2017 study from BMC Geriatrics and Population Health Management. Access to federal food assistance programs such as SNAP reduced the likelihood of hospitalization for seniors by 14 % and cut the likelihood of nursing home admission by 23 %, the study said.

Public and private payers have been taking the lead in this area.”

This article from Health IT Analytic’s Population Health News explores how health systems are providing access to healthy food options, addressing food insecurity, and incorporating diet “prescription” programs. Read the full article here.

Read More

Essential Communities

From America’s Essential Hospitals, comes Essential Communities. This site provides a resource for hospitals on the journey to community-integrated health care. Learn more about how this network of hospitals works to address social and economic factors that influence health, take a virtual tour of population health programs nationwide, and share what you’re working on!

From a resource library, to an interactive map of programs, and a roadmap for implementing community-integrated health care, visit this site to learn more.

Principles for Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities

Principles for Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities

From our partners at Build Healthy Places Network comes Principles for Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities: For work across sectors in low-income communities to improve health and well-being.“ These principles are derived from a thematic review of mission statements and principles from 35 organizations representing the community development, health, academic, government, finance, and philanthropic sectors. More than 200 respondents provided over 1,800 comments which helped refine the principles.”

Learn more about the principles here.

Read More

As Awareness Around the Importance of Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity Increases, State Legislation Follows Suit

From the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), comes this blog post titled “As Awareness Around the Importance of Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity Increases, State Legislation Follows Suit”. This post highlights bills across the country that have been introduced which explicitly mention the Social Determinants of Health or health-related social needs.

“An emerging trend across several of these bills is an awareness of the interplay between the social determinants of health and the creation of healthy and resilient communities…” Read the full post here.

Toolkit: Upstream Health Priorities for New Governors

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and the de Beaumont Foundation have developed a set of practical, real-world tools to help governors and their teams address their policy priorities by improving health. From infographics and evidence, to state strategies to improve health, to framing key messages for state leaders, this toolkit provides a number of great resources and examples.

Counting a Diverse Nation: Disaggregating Data on Race and Ethnicity to Advance a Culture of Health

Counting a Diverse Nation: Disaggregating Data on Race and Ethnicity to Advance a Culture of Health

"Racial and ethnic health disparities and inequities can only be eliminated if high-quality information is available by which to track immediate problems and the underlying social determinants of health. Such information can guide the design and application of culturally specific approaches to medicine and public health. Often, health outcomes are disaggregated only by broad racial and ethnic categories such as White, Black, or Hispanic. However, the great, and growing, diversity of the American population means that people’s actual experiences are much more specific.

The U.S. has numerous compelling reasons to build and maintain a much more robust practice of disaggregating data below the level of major racial groups and to link these data to the factors that influence health. Improving how we create, understand, and handle disaggregated data about race and ethnicity is central to the pursuit of health equity and a deeper appreciation of American society overall..."

Read the full report from Policy Link.

Read More