Community Benefit

May 2016 Community Benefit Update

We would like to share the following community benefit news and resources with you.

Draft Principles for Addressing the Social Determinants of Health

Celebrate Community Health Week

Bon Secours Community Works Ex-Offender Program

JAMA Articles on Social Determinants of Health

RWJF Releases Issue Brief on Why Healthy Communities Matter to Businesses

Community Engagement Matters Now More Than Ever

New PHF Article on Hospital and Health Department Collaboration

Webinar on "Pay for Success" Investments

Webinar: Health and Well-Being for All "Meeting-in-a-Box"

Upcoming CHA Events

Community Benefit in the News


Draft Principles for Addressing the Social Determinants of Health
As the role of hospitals in addressing the determinants of health is debated in policy circles, CHA felt it was important to start clarifying some of the issues and principles that should inform these discussions. In April 2016 CHA held a call with its "What Counts Task Force," a group of community benefit professionals who provide guidance on reporting questions, to discuss principles and considerations that should guide hospitals' efforts to address the social determinants of health. CHA plans to work with its Community Benefit Committee over the next several months to further refine these principles and to provide recommendations to policymakers.

Celebrate Community Health Week
The Association for Community Health Improvement's Community Health Improvement Week (June 5-11) recognizes community health professionals, organizations and coalitions for their work to improve the health of the communities they serve. Visit the ACHI website for ways your organization can raise awareness and increase understanding of the vital role of community health improvement efforts, particularly those focused on the social determinants of health.

CHA will celebrate the week with daily social media updates on community benefit resources and the community health improvement work of CHA members.

Bon Secours Community Works' Ex-Offender Program
Bon Secours Community Works' program for ex-offenders was recently featured in the Baltimore Sun. The 12-week program, which includes both men's and women's groups, helps ex-offenders navigate reintegration into society. After completing the program participants get a year of follow-up through a Bon Secours career development program. The follow up addresses health issues such as mental health and substance abuse as well as help with housing assistance, credit repair, child care, tax preparation and expungement assistance.

An affiliate of Bon Secours Hospital, the Community Works program addresses the social issues, such as poverty, lack of housing and unemployment, which are as important to a person's well-being and health as the physical ailments that lead to hospitalizations.

JAMA Articles on Social Determinants of Health
Three recent articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) examine the social determinants of health. The first, "Tackling the Social Determinants of Health: Small Steps on a Long Journey," urges policymakers to test their assumptions around expected cost savings, accountability and adequate funding as they undertake efforts to address the social determinants of health.

The second article, "The Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States, 2001-2014," presents a study that examined more than 1.4 billion tax and Social Security Administration records to assess the relationship between income and mortality. The study found that low-income American's life expectancy varies greatly depending on their location. "The strong association between geographic variation in life expectancy and health behaviors suggests that policy interventions should focus on changing health behaviors among low-income individuals. Tax policies and other local public policies may play a role in inducing such changes."

The third article, "The Good Life: Working Together to Promote Opportunity and Improve Population Health and Well-Being," discusses some limitations in the conclusions drawn from the above study on income and life expectancy, specifically noting that health behaviors, while important to health outcomes, are strongly influenced by the social determinants of health. The authors point out that a broader goal of having "a good life," one that "involves productive work, emotional and spiritual well-being, supportive social relationships, and a clean and safe environment," can bring help bridge the efforts of various sectors (health, housing, education, safety) to address the determinants of health.

RWJF Releases Issue Brief on Why Healthy Communities Matter to Businesses
A new brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and County Health Rankings and Roadmap highlights why businesses should care about the health of their communities, outlines ways employers can get involved with community health improvement and offers local examples of success.

Research points to a link between an unhealthy workforce and unhealthy communities. Even when an employer implements health-promoting strategies at the worksite, if employees then go home to unhealthy neighborhoods, the workplace progress is compromised. Businesses and communities should work together to find ways to collaborate on investments in education, job training and wellness programs.

Community Engagement Matters Now More Than Ever
The spring 2016 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review features an article on the importance of grassroots engagement in achieving effective and long-lasting social change. The article, "Community Engagement Matters (Now More Than Ever)," discusses why data-driven and evidence-based practices, while presenting new opportunities for public and social sector leaders to increase impact while reducing inefficiency, should not be rolled out in a top-down manner. Instead, these leaders should design and implement programs in ways that engage community members directly in the work of social change.

New PHF Article on Hospital and Health Department Collaboration
Assumptions and mistrust can prevent hospitals and health departments from boldly and effectively collaborating to address community health problems. This article from the Public Health Foundation (PHF) sheds light on the myths that can stall progress, and challenges that healthcare and public health organizations have to moving forward.

Webinar on "Pay for Success" Investments
The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation is offering a free webinar on "pay for success" (PFS) investments aimed at improving children's health.

The webinar will be held on June 6 at 1 p.m. ET. Visit the NIHCM website for more information and to register.

Webinar: Health and Well-Being for All "Meeting-in-a-Box"
The shift to a value-based health care system is reshaping the training and development needs of today's health professionals. The CDC's Health and Well-Being for All "Meeting-in-a-Box" is an innovative and compelling way to explore the social determinants of health with health and health care professionals at all stages of professional development.

To learn more, register for the CDC webinar on one of the following dates:

June 15, 2-3 p.m. ET: Register Now

June 21, 3-4 p.m. ET: Register Now

The CDC is limiting the number of participants, so RSVP as soon as possible.

Upcoming CHA Events
Registration is now open for the following CHA programs. Use the links below for more information and to register.

Community Benefit 101 – Oct. 4-5 in St. Louis

Preparing for the Ethics of Population Health: Our Moral Tradition Considered Anew – Oct. 25 at noon ET (webinar)

Community Benefit in the News
Recent articles from Catholic Health World and Health Progress featuring community benefit news and programs from the across the ministry