LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 5, 2017) — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Catholic Health Initiatives’ Mission & Ministry Fund have awarded $1,124,240 in grant funding to the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, part of KentuckyOne Health, to help develop an innovative model for addressing barriers created by social determinants of health, to build and sustain healthy communities.
A check presentation was held today at Saint Joseph Hospital to announce the grant, which will run through the end of December 2019.
Social determinants of health – the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age – contribute in a significant way to inequities in health status. Understanding and addressing the barriers is essential to providing equitable, effective and high-quality health care.
The grant is part of CHI’s “Total Health Roadmap” initiative. The funding will be used to identify and address the social and environmental issues that affect well-being and health equity by including screening for basic human needs in three primary care physician practices in Berea and London. In addition, three Community Health Workers will be hired, one for each practice, to assist patients identified as having unmet basic human needs. The Community Health Workers will connect patients with the proper community resources for assistance with housing, food security, childcare, behavioral health and transportation.
In addition, the grant will also help fund the development of new services to close gaps in resources that will be determined in collaboration with other community agencies. As an “anchor organization”, KentuckyOne Health will build broad-based community coalitions and establishing and reinforcing ties with existing community partner organizations. This new care model is eventually expected to expand across Kentucky as well as in communities served by CHI across 17 states.
“Too often, patients don’t receive needed medical help, or fail to follow-up on their medical care, due to health-related social needs and barriers,” said Leslie Buddeke Smart, president, Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation. “If we can implement the necessary tools that will help eliminate obstacles and direct patients to the proper community resources, it will help improve the overall health of our communities.”
Practices selected to participate in this program include KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates in Berea, KentuckyOne Health Pediatric Associates in London, and KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates (5th Street location) in London.
“This new approach to care will serve as a tremendous asset to patients,” said Bruce Tassin, president, Saint Joseph Hospital. “This funding will help eliminate factors that contribute to health disparities in communities, and our patients will ultimately benefit from this.”
This grant is part of a larger $5 million project, funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and CHI’s Mission and Ministry Fund. Similar programs are being implemented in Colorado and Iowa.