Every day healthcare professionals see patients struggling with health problems that could have been prevented But how can healthcare organizations do more to help prevent illness and injury, when community factors play such a big role? We know healthy communities are a key to healthy lives. And we’ve already been involved in many efforts to create the conditions that support health. Luckily, there are now models that healthcare organizations can use to get involved in improving community-wide health. To address health disparities in a systematic way. An important one is C. C. H. H. Community-Centered Health Homes. This model helps health centers take on health problems on a large scale… Building on the treatment of illness and injury And referrals for patients to help with conditions that make illness worse. To community-wide health solutions to the greatest medical challenges our patients face. CCHH builds on treating the individual, Considers the underlying community factors, And works with the community to develop and implement solutions. The emphasis is on preventing illness and injury — instead of just responding once harm is done. Community-Centered Health Homes ease the burden on patients, energize the health care team, and empower healthcare professionals to help hundreds of patients, in addition to the ones on their panel. But how does CCHH work in practice? Well… Take for example Dr Lau. She works at the New Dawn Clinic in the city of Richmond Tim is one of the clinic’s patients. He’s 11, and has asthma. Despite receiving treatment, Tim was a repeat patient. And he wasn’t the only one. Asthma was a leading cause for patient visits at the community clinic. The cause? Community conditions out of the patients’ and clinicians’ control. Asthma attacks were being triggered by conditions inside patients’ homes, like mold, and conditions outside, like air pollution from large trucks driving through the neighborhood. Wanting to eliminate these community conditions, Dr. Lau set up a meeting with the head of the clinic and the community affairs liaison, Malcolm, to share what she had learned about her patients’ challenges. Then Dr Lau and Malcolm met with clinic staff, patients and their parents, and a local environmental justice group. The outcome? They decided to launch a campaign to move the trucking route away from the residential part of the community. They met with local policymakers and business leaders. And their efforts brought about change. the truck route was deviated away from the community. The trucking company partnered with local foundations to retrofit its trucks with clean technology, and the county funded new electric school buses to replace the diesel ones. Asthma attacks dropped. And community members can now come to the New Dawn Clinic about fixing another big problem — there’s no place for them to buy healthy food. It’s all part of the Community-Centered Health Homes model. For many of the community problems our patients are experiencing, The Community-Centered Health Homes model can be used to create change that impacts the entire community; Because everyone should have the opportunity to be safe and healthy. There are many actions healthcare organizations and practitioners can take.
Check out the CCHH checklist for more ideas… And use it to get your healthcare organization involved in promoting community health.