What is the Healthy Neighborhoods approach and why is it aligned with healthcare transformation?
Despite steadfast efforts from Delaware’s community-based agencies, public health programs, advocacy groups and healthcare systems, we are currently ranked as the 31st healthiest state in the nation. To help move us boldly to the top 5, the Delaware Center for Health Innovation (DCHI) has been guiding a pioneering effort by stakeholders across the state to transform healthcare and how we approach health.
Change is underway now to help doctors and the future healthcare workforce focus on care for their entire panel of patients, not just those who come to them for a particular need. This practice transformation involves team-based coordinated care, expanded access, outreach to patients about prevention, coordinating behavioral health care for patients in need, and advancing payment model reform so that providers get reimbursed for keeping patients well rather than for treating illness or injury alone.
Healthcare transformation is also encouraging hospitals and healthcare systems to rethink their role in community health and move “upstream” by addressing social determinants of health, including nonmedical factors that ultimately affect health, such as housing and food security. The Healthy Neighborhoods approach recognizes that health begins long before a doctor’s office visit- starting in places where we live, work, learn, play, and pray – and therefore so must our approach to health.
DCHI’s Healthy Neighborhoods initiative aims to bridge the gap between Delaware healthcare systems and community efforts to improve conditions, health and well-being. We believe that aligning these efforts and integrating them in a more structured and strategic way will strengthen the collective impact we can all have on our communities. Toward this end, DCHI convenes healthcare leaders, community members, state and local systems (i.e. public health, transportation, housing, social services), community-based organizations, faith communities, coalitions, and advocacy groups in order to learn new ways to work with each other, better understand how activities in each of our sectors impact health, build/strengthen relationships, embrace a common agenda and start to work collectively to help make our state one of the healthiest in the nation. Since each community has a unique landscape of health and the factors that impact it, DCHI is convening Healthy Neighborhood councils and task forces across the state to ensure that each community is at the heart of the effort and that all solutions are locally-tailored to those who are most impacted and include the healthcare systems that serve them.
Key Considerations for your Organization:
Get involved in a Healthy Neighborhood near you!
There are currently 3 Healthy Neighborhood Councils – one in each county- who each have multiple Task Forces working on key health initiatives. Contact the Healthy Neighborhood Coordinator in your area to get connected and learn more – All are welcome!
WILMINGTON/CLAYMONT HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOOD- contact Matthew Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOVER/SMYRNA HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOOD- contact Paulette Hussey, email@example.com
SUSSEX COUNTY HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOOD (operated by the Sussex County Health Coalition)- contact Cheryl Doucette, firstname.lastname@example.org