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Prevention Institute

Prevention Institute alert: November 4, 2014

APHA Panel Highlights Healthcare Partnerships for Community Prevention

Across the country, innovators in health are building bridges between clinical service delivery and efforts to change the community conditions where health is shaped in the first place. At this year’s annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, Prevention Institute’s Leslie Mikkelsen will moderate a panel of four health leaders who are at the forefront of practices for integrating clinical care with quality community prevention.

Advances in Innovation: Health leaders pursue new strategies to keep their communities healthy(3267.0), Monday, Nov. 17, 12:30 pm to 2 pm at Morial Convention Center in Room 224.  Sponsored by the Medical Care Section. 

Shom Dasgupta, director of social medicine and health equity at St. John’s Well Child and Family Centers in Los Angeles, will discuss some of the pioneering ways St. John’s is working to improve conditions in the communities it serves including efforts to achieve improvements in substandard housing, to build community gardens and to create a wellness trust that can invest in improving community health.

"We feel very strongly that health is a fundamental human right. It's more than health care. Health also relates to whether fresh fruit and vegetables are available and affordable in your neighborhood, whether there are safe places for kids to play and adults to get exercise. We think our role is not just to treat patients but to make our communities healthier and safer."

Robert Kahn, director of the Community Health Initiative at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, will describe efforts to reduce emergency room visits by partnering in efforts to improve housing conditions in surrounding communities.  

“We’ve decided we have to be about health, not just healthcare. And that means we need to understand where the highest levels of need are and who in the community can join us as partners.”

Monica Lowell, vice president of UMass Memorial Health Care Inc. in Worcester will explain how the hospital is using their community benefits investments to support upstream community health and resilience efforts, including funding youth advocacy engagement around tobacco policy.

“If we are not working to improve access to food, if we are not working to address gangs, if we are not supporting parents to exert their right to get their landlords to fix leaks and eliminate mold, hospitals will be revolving doors – people will keep coming back to the emergency room.” 

Nick Macchione, director of the Health and Human Services Agency of San Diego County, will discuss the county’s creation of a 10-year effort called Live well San Diego to improve community conditions, reduce chronic disease and improve population health by marshalling all county resources to support healthy communities. 

"We realized we couldn’t do it alone. If we’re going to really make an impact, we need all corners of the county and all industries, the faith community, business community and schools. When we presented the Live Well San Diego plan to the Board of Supervisors, it was on behalf of the entire county and became the plan for all 52 departments, including parks and recreation, county housing, public safety, etc."

Thank you to The Kresge Foundation for helping to support this session.

Community Centered Health Homes

Community Centered Health Homes: Bridging the Gap Between Health Services and Community Prevention outlines an approach for upstream integration between community based efforts and clinical services. Download here.

Closing the Loop

Prevention measures that restrict tobacco consumption or require the use of seat beats or car seats saves lives—and money. But that money rarely gets used to fund new prevention efforts. In a paper published by the Institute of Medicine, PI’s Larry Cohen and The California Endowment’s Anthony Iton argue that we need to “close the loop” by ensuring that we invest and reinvent in prevention. 

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