The Alliance for Health Equity committees and workgroups have been busy in 2018. Here’s a recap of some recent activity.
The Steering Committee recently expanded to include representatives from all member hospitals, and the full committee met for its quarterly in-person meeting in July. (See the list of members on the leadership page of the Alliance for Health Equity website.) The steering committee is pleased to welcome new members from AMITA Health, Ingalls Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, Norwegian American Hospital, Palos Health, and UI Health!
The Policy Committee tracked 20+ community health bills in the Illinois General Assembly this year. The committee worked collaboratively to coordinate hospital advocacy for Tobacco 21, and most recently sent a letter to Governor Rauner encouraging him to sign the bill that is now on his desk.
Mental Health and Substance Use Committee
The Mental Health and Substance Use Committee hosted a webinar on “Training and Integration of the Peer Workforce in Chicago and Suburban Cook County” on August 16th. The webinar included speakers from the Illinois Department of Human Services, Enlace Chicago, and Georgia’s Whole Health Action Model. The speakers highlighted effective models and strategies for incorporating peer providers, community health workers, certified recovery support specialists, and peer support specialists into various health and healthcare settings. View a recording of the webinar here.
Food Access+Food Security Workgroup
The Food Access+Food Security Workgroup has created a framework and timeline to guide their focus. Three colleagues have stepped up to lead the workgroup: Christopher Nolan from Rush, Lindsey Arenberg from Lurie Children’s Hospital, and Emily Daniels from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The workgroup is working with Dr. Angela Odoms-Young and PhD student Sabira Taher on a landscape scan questionnaire, which will be distributed in Fall 2018 in conjunction with the CHNA. The landscape scan will be focused on healthcare and food access partnerships, and the results will give us a better collective picture of existing healthcare and food partnerships, refine pillars to guide the work (draft pillars: food security screening and referrals, food access and affordability, economic development and procurement, and food waste/food surplus), identify barriers and opportunities, and identify collective metrics that can be used to measure impact and evaluate the work. Click here to see the draft framework and timeline. The February 2018 webinar highlighting a number of local innovative partnerships is on the webinars page.
Housing and Health Workgroup
The Housing Workgroup meets every-other-month to share progress on a number of hospital and housing partnerships underway in Chicago and Suburban Cook County. Hospitals are working on Better Health Through Housing partnerships to connect homeless individuals to permanent supportive housing and services; healthy homes initiatives related to asthma, environmental triggers, and community health workers; medical respite for programs; and other housing stability and housing quality programs. The Housing and Health Workgroup has also been actively engaged in the development of the Flexible Housing Pool for Chicago/Cook County.
Community Safety Workgroup
The Community Safety Workgroup hosted an information exchange on August 8th in Chicago to learn from colleagues from Milwaukee and Atlanta who are piloting the Cardiff Model for Violence Prevention. Clinical and public health colleagues from Milwaukee and Atlanta shared their experiences implementing the Cardiff Model and helped answer feasibility questions. Representatives from 13 Chicago and Cook County hospitals attended the information exchange session. The Cardiff Model seeks to reduce violence through research, new uses of data and collaborations between medicine, criminal justice, and communities. A small group of healthcare and public health partners are meeting to discuss the next action steps to follow-up on the information exchange and explore how the Cardiff model could be adapted and implemented in Chicago.
Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)/Data Committee
The 2018/2019 Community Health Needs Assessment is in full swing. The CHNA Committee met August 7th to discuss the progress of the 2018/2019 assessment. Over spring and summer, IPHI staff met with hospital and health department partners to finalize the timeline for the 2019 CHNA. Currently, Health department partners, Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) are compiling and analyzing secondary data for the 2018/2019 assessment. IPHI staff is working with hospitals and community partners to conduct focus groups to get primary data on residents’ input on areas that need the most strategic development. And, a community input survey is coming soon.