This month we celebrate health center innovation. By innovation in healthcare we mean something bold and yet exceedingly human. As they expand into more communities and neighborhoods, health centers are using new and cutting edge ways to effectively manage population health and focus on problems that so often are the root of poor health and chronic disease: homelessness, lack of nutrition, stress, behavioral health, and much more. To tackle the complex health problems of people, health centers collectively understand they must reach beyond the walls of the exam room for a solution. It’s a safe bet that this is not the traditional approach in medicine, but health centers–despite their 50 plus years of delivering care–don’t always follow convention. As we wrote in a previous blog post, addressing the social determinants has always been a centerpiece of their mission, but now their community-based approach to target the social determinants of health signal a broader shift in healthcare delivery.
In Chicago, a health center started a food pantry because patients had little or no access to fresh, nutritious food. In Yakima, Washington, young women aging out of foster care have a roof over their head thanks to a health center. In Missouri, a health center launches a special program helping mothers struggling with postpartum depression.
You can read these stories and more on our newly launched NACHC story site. Each week through out the month of March we hope to bring you a new story about how a health center has made a difference as we celebrate health center innovation with the hashtag #CHCsInnovate.
If your health center is delivering value to the community in ways we should know about let us know and we’ll help you tell that story here and on social media.