Being trusted partners in improving the health of the communities we serve. Validating community engagement as a vital part of the hospital’s mission and vision.
Community health professionals consider the health risks to community residents based on at least three things:
- A community health needs assessment
- The socio-economic barriers of a given neighborhood
- The demand for care as evidence by utilization
In addition to treating community members’ immediate presenting illnesses, the root causes of a community’s health problems – including the socio-economic barriers of poverty, unemployment, lack of education, cultural and linguistic isolation and housing – also need to be addressed.
With an increasing focus on a more planned, proactive approach to charity care aimed
Understanding patients as place-based gives us a toehold into understanding many factors and circumstances that complicate their medical conditions. Perhaps more importantly, place helps us begin to identify assets, stakeholders, and potential partners that we can engage, and join with, to help address those issues that lie beyond the scope and expertise contained within the walls or professional arenas of tax-exempt hospitals.
The extension of team-based patient-centered care into the community to link marginalized and lower income residents to support systems, medical and non-medical, has been shown to be a powerful intervention for those with chronic disease. This requires the engagement and mobilization of community “assets” that can produce power results.