Academic journal article Journal of Healthcare Management

PRACTITIONER APPLICATION: Moving Upstream in U.S. Hospital Care toward Investments in Population Health

Academic journal article Journal of Healthcare Management

PRACTITIONER APPLICATION: Moving Upstream in U.S. Hospital Care toward Investments in Population Health

Article excerpt

Mount Carmel Health System, a Columbus, Ohio-based regional health ministry of Trinity Health, fits this study's description of health systems most likely to be involved in upstream activities. The parent system's People-Centered Care 2020 initiative-a strategic framework that defines mission, vision, and values-positions all Trinity systems with a singular, common focus: providing the best in health and healing for their communities.

The commitment to population health and positive impact on the socioeconomic determinants of health outside the hospital walls is pervasive; it's woven into nearly every initiative and innovation that Mount Carmel invests in and develops. The system has many of the organizational characteristics shared by health systems involved in upstream activities, as defined in Begun and Potthoffs research, including

* executive-level involvement;

* faith-based, mission-driven purpose;

* not-for-profit tax status;

* system-level coordination;

* teaching affiliation; and

* urban presence.

Mount Carmel has a rich, 130-year history of serving vulnerable populations. The Mission and Outreach division, working with public and voluntary health organizations, social service programs, and private collaborators, is constantly evolving and redefining service integration and interdisciplinary participation for community health improvement. Outreach service offerings are prioritized according to Mount Carmel's Community Needs Assessment/HealthMap developed with the system's collaborators. Outreach data collection and analysis include measuring impact on six social determinants of health, as defined by the community's health map. The central Ohio social determinants of health are insurance status, housing, food, employment, education, and transportation.

One of the most significant Mount Carmel upstream investments is operationalized in the system's Healthy Living Center, located on the urban campus of Mount Carmel West. Multicultural programming and services at the Healthy Living Center focus on decreasing the high rates of obesity, infant mortality, smoking, and chronic disease in central Ohio. …

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