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Improving Health Outcomes through Community Partnership

U.S. Department of Health and Health Services and White House Offices for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships meet with senior leaders from 29 different hospital systems from across the country to share best practices for engaging communities as partners in health.
HHS Improving Health Outcomes

Dora Barilla, Director of Community Health Development, Loma Linda University Medical Center, shares their health system’s vision of community health at February's Improving Health Outcomes convening at HHS. March 16, 2012.


At a mid-February convening at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Improving Health Outcomes through Faith-Based and Community Partnerships: Best Practices from Health Systems in the Field, senior leaders from 29 different hospital systems from across the country gathered to share best practices, experiences and emerging models for engaging communities as partners in health.

 This two-day event, following a first convening held September 20, was hosted by the HHS and White House Offices for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, with the support and cooperation of participating health systems. It was designed to tap the collective wisdom of innovators among health leaders addressing health disparities through community partnerships. 

Participants shared an extraordinary exchange of ideas and their understanding of the complexities involved in delivering excellent care while serving to meet the community needs that affect better health outcomes.  The agenda considered how to set the stage for strategic community assessment and asset mapping, and how those assessments and assets inform the investment of community benefit dollars.  Participants also discussed how strong metrics for tracking data and evaluation can further support the case for community partnerships improving health outcomes.

HHS Improving Health Outcomes

Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Senior VP for Community Health Education and Wellness and Chief Wellness Officer, Henry Ford Health System, presents their health system’s unique practices working with community partners to increase better health outcomes. March 16, 2012.


Here are just a few of the exciting things participants shared during the meeting:

The agenda and presentation materials can be found on the Methodist Healthcare Center for Excellence in Faith and Health’s website

New collaborations and conversations are already forming to advance the work of partnering with communities with a focus on health assets to reduce health disparities.  The value in sharing and adapting best practices was illustrated when folks from IU Health related how they were able to move forward with plans for a $5 million new health center after presenting data based on new asset mapping techniques gleaned from an earlier conversation.  The collaborative is “shifting the paradigm from return on investment to return on life,” according toDora Barilla, Director of the Loma Linda Community Health Development.

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Alexia Kelley is Director and Heidi Christensen is Associate Director for Community Engagement at the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.