In Cincinnati, a Children’s Hospital That’s All About Health, Not Just Healthcare
Hamilton County, Ohio sprawls across 413 square miles, spanning neighborhoods like Indian Hill, where the median income tops $300,000 and mansions sell for $3 million, to inner-city communities of Cincinnati, where residents live in dilapidated apartments and the median income dips below the poverty level.
The difference in income between these neighborhoods doesn’t begin to describe the health disparities between them. This number does: Between 2009 and 2011, children from low-income areas like Evanston East and Walnut Hills were 88 times more likely to be admitted into the hospital for emergency treatment of asthma than were kids from Indian Hill. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital wants to address those health disparities.
Across the country, health providers and public health leaders are developing cutting-edge ways to address the underlying conditions that play a huge role in determining the health of a community and its residents. Starting today, we’ll be publishing Profiles in Innovation, a weekly series of interviews with health leaders who are pioneering new methods centered on capturing data, creating partnerships, transforming payment systems, and—most important of all—creating interventions that improve the health of whole populations, as well as individual patients.
Our first interview is with Robert Kahn, director of the Community Health Initiative at Cincinnati Children’s. He says his hospital has made a commitment to “be about health, not just healthcare.”
So the hospital has been gathering all kinds of data—on the home neighborhoods and apartment buildings of kids who come to the hospital for emergency asthma treatment, on the location of every kid treated for unintentional injury, on the different rates of disease and injury among kids from different neighborhoods. Armed with this information, the hospital works with community groups as partners to address and alter these conditions.
We know the Affordable Care Act is beginning to provide access to healthcare to millions of people who need it—a vital and much-needed change. But we also know that if we truly want to transform the health of our nation, we must embrace prevention and enable health providers in communities across the country to take the kinds of steps these innovators are taking. We call this concept Community-Centered Health Homes but whatever it’s called, it’s about making our communities healthier.
So please check out our series that begins today in Forbes and share it with your colleagues, friends and networks. We’ve created a hashtag for the occasion—#healthyinnovation—and we invite you to use it. Here’s a tweet you’re also welcome to share:
From @preventioninst: Profiles in Innovation: Health leaders focus on health not just healthcare #healthyinnovation onforb.es/1iOKOit