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.

Housing for health: Nationwide Children's Hospital presents a case study for treating a neighborhood as a patient

Housing for health: Nationwide Children's Hospital presents a case study for treating a neighborhood as a patient

"Neighborhood effect syndrome, characterized by symptoms of extreme poverty including blight, housing insecurity, racial segregation, trauma, violence, poorly performing schools, low social cohesion and support and environmental toxins, has debilitating consequences on child health. Health care providers frequently encounter challenges to caring for children from affected neighborhoods, and these children often experience poorer outcomes compared to peers in unaffected neighborhoods. Historically, institutions have been largely ineffective in changing these outcomes with one-child-at-a-time tactics. 

In a novel approach to improving outcomes for these children, Nationwide Children's leaders with community partners decided to address neighborhood effect syndrome as a target for pediatric health care - treating the neighborhood as a patient. In 2008, Nationwide Children's began collaborating with residents, government entities and social services agencies to develop the Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families (HNHF) initiative..."

Read the full press release at EurekAlert and check out the Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families resource on Nationwide Children's site.

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If health care is a small part of health, how does a safety net hospital adapt?

"At one of the busiest public hospitals in the nation, doctors have learned that to heal a patient on the inside, they must understand the patient’s world outside the exam room.

What kind of neighborhood do you live in? Are you buying healthy food? How are you getting to work? The questions are meant to uncover the root causes of what bring men and women into the Adult East Primary Care Clinic at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, just east of downtown L.A. Once that screening takes place and a doctor understands how a patient's health is impacted by homelesses, lack of nutrious food or trauma, a team of providers is ready to help. Nurses, social workers, community advocates, nutritionists, mental health specialists, medical students, and volunteers are ready to link a patient to, say, food stamps or psychological care, said Dr. Jagruti Shukla, director of primary care at LAC+USC..."

Susan Abram | July 25, 2018

This piece appears in the Center for Health Journalism Fellowships Blog


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Can a Community Hospital Stick To Its Mission When It Goes For Profit

Can a Community Hospital Stick To Its Mission When It Goes For Profit

"After 130 years as a nonprofit with deep roots in the community, Mission Health announced in March that it was seeking to be bought by HCA Healthcare, the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain. HCA owns 178 hospitals in 20 states and the United Kingdom. 

The pending sale reflects a controversial national trend in the U.S. as hospitals consolidate at an accelerating pace and the cost of health care continues to rise. Proponents of hospital mergers say the change can help struggling nonprofit hospitals "thrive," with an infusion of cash to invest in updated technology and top clinical staff. But research shows the price of care, especially for low-income patients, usually rises when a hospital joins a for-profit corporation..."

To read the full article, click here.

Steven Findlay | July 19, 2018

This piece appears in Shots: Health News from NPR

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What Montefiore's 300% ROI from social determinants investments means for the future of hospitals

What Montefiore's 300% ROI from social determinants investments means for the future of hospitals

"Montefiore Health System in the Bronx has tackled the social determinants of health by investing in housing, a move that has cut down on emergency room visits and unnecessary hospitalizations for an annual 300 percent return on investment.

Investing in the social determinants of health is becoming more commonplace even as hospitals and physicians ask whether it is their place to step outside of traditional care to not only look at, but try to fix, other reasons that keep patients from getting better."

Susan Morse | July 05, 2018

This piece appears in Healthcare Finance

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California Hospital Association - Resources on Economic Stability/Community Partnerships

California Hospital Association - Resources on Economic Stability/Community Partnerships

Recognizing the connection between people’s finances (income, cost of living and socioeconomic status) and their health, California’s hospitals have developed innovative community-based programs and activities that address key issues such as poverty, food insecurity, housing instability and homelessness, vocational training, and employment and income.

This piece appears on California Hospital Association’s Promoting Healthy Communities page.

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Hospitals address social determinants of health through community cooperation and partnerships

Hospitals address social determinants of health through community cooperation and partnerships

Health systems and community stakeholders around the country are choosing collaborations to address the social factors that have created great health disparities between low-income and more-affluent neighborhoods. See pilots and lessons learned in this piece from Modern Healthcare on how health systems are reinvesting back into the community.

Steven Ross Johnson | June 2, 2018

This piece appears in the Care Delivery section of Modern Healthcare

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