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The Healthy Communities Achievement Awards were developed to recognize clients who demonstrate exceptional leadership in using the HCI Platform in meaningful, creative, and innovative ways to advance community and population health initiatives, with one or more of the following results:

  • Fostered community engagement, collaboration, or developed creative partnerships
  • Developed a public health campaign to address community health needs
  • Evaluated programs in your community with measurable impact
  • Developed and/or implemented a strategy for community health improvement with measurable outcomes

Each of the submissions we received demonstrated the fantastic work being done by hospitals and community coalitions across the country to improve the health of their communities.

Healthy Communities Institute congratulates Children’s National Health System/District of Columbia Healthy Communities Collaborative and Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services as the winners of the 2014 Healthy Communities Achievement Awards.  Here are summaries of each of the winning programs:

Children's National Health System/DC Health Matters

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The DC Health Matters initiative provides the Washington, D.C. community with a centralized source of validated, actionable information in a format that the community helped define. Based on structured community feedback, Children’s National led the effort to redesign the DC Health Matters interface into an accessible, easily understood, and interactive web portal. The enthusiasm for and utilization of this portal is a clear indication that their efforts hit the mark!

The DC Health Matters portal houses their community health needs assessment (CHNA) and corresponding health improvement plan (CHIP) – in written and interactive formats. The CHNA relied heavily on data within DC Health Matters and was developed in tandem with several community stakeholders. The DC Health Matters portal is a ‘living’ initiative that will continue to evolve along with the changing community, environment, and healthcare system needs and resources.

The DC Health Matters initiative was a pivotal force in forming the DC Healthy Communities Collaborative (DCHCC). The DCHCC includes four local DC hospital and four community health centers who have joined forces to facilitate community health improvement: Children’s National Health System, Howard University Hospital, Providence Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Bread for the City, Community of Hope, Mary’s Center and Unity Health Care. They are very proud of the diversity that the collaborative represents which also echoes the diversity of the city. The collaborative partners symbolize the variances in their city by being able to represent all groups from the needs of the poor and underserved, culturally diverse populations, the elderly, and children. The DCHCC is the funding sponsor for the DC Health Matters portal. The DCHCC’s breadth of diversity enables DC Health Matters to resonate with a vast array of DC residents.

DCHCC had three overarching goals for their program

Goal 1.  To ensure that DC Health Matters reflected true community input, feedback, and voice. The DC Health Matters engaged community-based organizations (CBO’s) in designing the DC Health Matters portal. They held several forums and focus groups to determine what the CBOs needed and what tools would satisfy those needs. Through Children’s National’s leadership, a community-driven portal using the HCI Platform was designed to serve the CBO’s in their work to improve community health. The DC team worked with HCI to customize their portal to closely align with their community audiences.

Goal 2. To enable DC Health Matters to serve as a living community health needs assessment (CHNA) for the DC area. They collaborated with hospitals, clinics, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders to produce one comprehensive, data-driven DC city-wide CHNA based on data within DC Health Matters. To ensure that the portal was a robust resource for understanding community assets and needs, they have added 100+ additional local metrics to HCI’s standard offering. In addition, they posted an interactive CHNA to DC Health Matters that provides useful snapshots of information on priority areas by way of vibrant informatics that emphasize information provided in the written CHNA.

As a result of being awarded an AHRQ grant, they are identifying the information needs of parents of children with special health care needs to ascertain potential metrics that will better serve their needs; the DC Health Matters portal will serve as the key vehicle for health-related metrics dissemination.

Goal 3.  To ensure that DC Health Matters serves as a motivator and catalyst for lasting community health improvements in the DC area. Outreach efforts are key in positioning DC Health Matters as a catalyst for community health improvement. They continue to solicit community feedback on the portal and work with HCI in ensuring that the portal continues to evolve to meet community needs. As a specific example of the portal serving as a motivator for change: they received endorsement of the portal by Todd Park, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Park keynoted the DC Health Matters kickoff event. He commended DC Health Matters in addressing barriers to accessing community health data information and local resources. Having the acknowledgement from Mr. Park served as a motivator for CBOs to take note of the portal as vehicle to support local community health improvement.

The DC Health Matters team reported the following achievements
  • Incorporation of feedback from beta-test evaluators resulting in an enhanced DC Health Matters web portal with robust content, navigation and functionality
  • Endorsement of DC Health Matters by Todd Par, the Chief Technology Officer for the United Staes
  • High utilization in nearly every state, as well as international usage
  • Development of a citywide CHNA and CHIP that relied heavily on data within the DC Health Matters portal
  • Presentations on DC Health Matters at local and national conferences, including a podium presentation at the American Public Health Association meeting
  • Development of DC Health Matters Advisory Board which will provide advice, feedback, and serve as a champion for DC Health Matters.
  • Media attention by a highly regarded DC news reporter-Ben Fischer-that resulted in an article in the Washington Business Journal
  • Publication of a peer-reviewed manuscript that describes the DC Health Matters initiative in the journal of healthcare for the poor and underserved
  • Acquisition of grant funding to support DC Health Matters from two government agencies: National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services

FMH logoFloyd County, Indiana, has a population of 75,000. They share the Ohio River with Louisville, Kentucky. According to the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), Floyd County has low levels of poverty as compared with the rest of the USA.  However, with their near proximity to the Tobacco Capital of the World, they rank 83rd out of 92 Indiana counties for tobacco users.  As a result, there are significant areas for improvement in all areas of lung health.  Additionally, rates of obesity are high (30% of their population is obese; 60% is overweight or obese). The high tobacco use coupled with the obesity problem has— not surprisingly—manifested itself in high incidence of heart disease.

After completing research of the assessment, the Floyd Memorial team chose to focus on heart disease, obesity, and cancer (lung, colon, breast) as priority areas. They implemented three community coalitions—Physical Activity, Nutrition, Tobacco—to tackle each priority. In the course of two years, the Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services community benefit platform has undergone a huge shift to align with these priorities. Previous community activities had relied solely on screenings and booths at local health fairs. But now they have a completed community health needs assessment, an action plan, focused priority areas, three engaged community coalitions, and a grant-giving program for those carrying out projects under their priority areas.

Additionally, they have developed key partnerships with local agencies and passionate citizens. Each coalition (Physical Activity, Improving Nutrition, and Tobacco Prevention & Cessation) has a structured campaign to promote health within the community. Floyd Memorial has been recognized by local news agencies and magazines and their Board of Trustees and the community have increased respect and greater awareness for how the hospital is making a proactive, positive difference in the health of their community.

Floyd Memorial’s laser-focused community and population health outreach

It was clear from the CHNA that the primary needs where they felt they could make the biggest impact were obesity, heart disease, and cancer (specifically lung, colon, and breast).  After seeing correlating indicators for each priority area, and completing focus group studies, they felt they could most effectively “move the needle” in their priority areas through widespread promotion of physical activity, improved nutrition, and tobacco prevention and cessation. To accomplish this, three Floyd County community coalitions were created.

They started out by inviting key community members to a forum—government leaders, business members, resource agency personnel, organizations, and concerned community citizens all attended. They described the process for going through the CHNA and gave an in-depth look at the data from the HCI Platform specific to Floyd County. The response from these agencies was overwhelming and positive. They were thrilled that this resource was available and that the hospital was taking the lead to make changes in the health of the community. Each participant filled out a survey indicating the area in which they desired to serve.  From those responses, membership was formed for each of the three community coalitions.

Their Year 1 goal was to form each coalition and solidify their partners. Each coalition was also given the goal of creating a community-wide campaign that would promote health in their designated area. Those goals were accomplished as officers within each coalition were determined (Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Website Coordinator). The Floyd Memorial Hospital Foundation donated money to fund the activities of each coalition. Each came up with mission statements, yearly goals, and specific indicators they wished to track to monitor and evaluate progress.

Developing partnerships have been key to Floyd Memorial’s success. Their initial “lunch and learn” meetings detailed the results of the CHNA and discussed the implementation plan. Since then, other organizations have requested to be a part of the difference they are actively making in the community. Collaborative relationships were developed with the local YMCA, health department, housing authority, senior adult resources, school system, local colleges & universities, Mayor’s office, park’s department, American Cancer Society, social workers, pharmacists, behavioral health nurse practitioners, local pediatricians’ offices, local businesses, insurance providers, wellness specialists, dietitians, local newspaper and fitness magazine editors, and the State Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Agency.

Developing action plans

The  three coalitions, along with a funding mechanism to bring in support from local groups, provided a framework for all activities:

1) A mini-grant program was created with funding from the Floyd Memorial Foundation. Local groups could apply for $1,000 grants to go towards projects they were implementing in the areas of physical activity, nutrition, and tobacco prevention and cessation.

2) The Physical Activity Coalition partnered with the local Greenway to offer a 5K run, Family 1-miler and Family Fitness Day. This will be an annual event where the community is exposed to many forms of physical activity.

The Physical Activity Coalition also sponsored an ongoing, local campaign called “Give Me 10.” This campaign encourages the community to exercise at least 10 minutes every day. They purchased educational brochures, DVDs, and pedometers to give to area businesses and after-school programs. Members from the coalition are going into these places to teach about and promote the message of Give Me 10.

In addition, the team is creating a resource of sample 10-minute videos. These videos will be recorded in various settings (work-place, in the kitchen, in the carpool line, in preschool centers, etc.) to encourage everyone to increase physical activity in their day.

The team is also considering a community-wide video contest where others can submit videos of how they have creatively incorporated 10 minutes of exercise into their day.

3) The Improving Nutrition Coalition has a mission to increase awareness, education, and consumption of fruits and vegetables in Floyd County. Their first big project was to fund the 1,000 Tomato Plant Project in 2013.

The Nutrition Coalition also sponsored the “5 A Day” campaign, encouraging community members to eat at least five fruits and vegetables daily. One aspect of this campaign is the “5 A Day Fun Fact.” Monthly, a specially-designed graphic highlighting interesting information about a selected fruit or vegetable is sent to over 65 groups to include in their website, social media posts, or newsletter.

The group is working with the State of Indiana and local farmer’s markets to implement at least one SNAP-accepted farmer’s market in the community.

4) The Tobacco Coalition has funded a local college campus health website called “Student Health 101.” In addition to other state of the art health topics covered each month, an article is included with tobacco prevention/cessation messaging.

The Coalition is also working closely with the State Quit Line, and just successfully implemented an integration with the hospital EMR. All inpatients who desire free help to quit are automatically referred to the Quit Line for additional cessation resources.

The Tobacco Coalition is in the process of strategic planning to expand the local public ordinance for the use of tobacco. In addition, they have created a grant program for local businesses to offer the Cooper Clayton smoking cessation program for free at their location. Their goal is to see at least 10 local businesses implement this program around the county.

The Floyd Memorial team reported the following achievements

The Floyd Memorial team was extremely pleased to have met their initial goals and objectives to develop partnerships and initiate work in their three coalitions. Each coalition has gone above and beyond with enthusiasm for making a difference.  Some specific results they have seen include:

1. Through a mini-grant program they initiated in conjunction with the launch of their coalitions, they were able to reach a broader base with activities in each specific priority area by supporting those who are on the front lines.  Mini-grants were funded to increase physical activity in after-school programs, provide scholarships for extra-curricular elementary track clubs, conduct cooking classes in the local youth shelter,  offer “My Plate” meals for all Head Start children, provide running shoes for women at the crisis pregnancy center, plus many other programs.

2. A Family Fitness Day from the Physical Activity Coalition impacted more than 250 people. Also, 3 after-school programs have started to use the coalition’s 10-minute sample videos in their transition program. A local factory owner agreed to give the employees 10 minutes of production time (separate from their breaks!) to exercise.  They are seeing great health benefits among their employees!

3. Nutrition Coalition’s Tomato Plant Project partnered with a local horticulture school and purchased 1,000 locally grown tomato plants to distribute in multiple sites throughout the community. Each plant was given away free with an accompanying card containing two simple tomato-based recipes and instructions for caring for the plant. This community project helped encourage eating home-grown vegetables and was well received by the community.

4. The Tobacco Coalition’s interactive online magazine for local college students, Student Health 101, is growing.  Students are entering comments that detail their increased education about the need to quit smoking or their awareness that e-cigarettes are just as harmful as regular cigarettes. It is currently read by approximately 20% of their student body. The Tobacco Coalition is also partnering with the hospital to offer scholarships for their lung cancer screening program. They are working with the Lung Health Navigator, who was hired based on the lung health indicators in Floyd Memorial’s CHNA. The community benefit office at the hospital has also started distributing screening kits to reduce late-stage colon cancer diagnoses. They are planning a community-wide colon cancer prevention seminar later in 2014 as a result of the high, local incidence rate for colon cancer.

Four additional programs were cited at the awards ceremony for their exceptional contributions in their communities: The Healthy Orange Florida Collaboration (Healthy Measures for East Central Florida), Health Council of South Florida (Miami Matters), St. Vincent Health (St. Vincent Health) and The Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County (Healthy Carroll).

See the News Release