208512 Collaboration and commitment: How a health provider is redefining community benefit

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Steven F. Bradley , Department of Government and Community Relations, Baystate Health, Springfield, MA
This abstract, and the work it anticipates, will present a new paradigm for community-oriented healthcare: the success of a hospital in a troubled city in expanding the concept of “care” from an occasional service to a steady and mutually supporting co-existence.

For 16 years, Baystate Health has collaborated with the greater Springfield Community Health Network Area #4 and other partners to carry health out of the hospital and into the homes and schools of Springfield. A major focus of this work allows people directly affected to play a leadership role in conceptualizing and promoting resources and capacity to effect real change. We will report on our retrospective and prospective work; a keystone of our presentation is an interdisciplinary and interoperational message about the values and practices that enable our success and sustain our rock-solid community relationships.

From an adolescent reproductive-health project--developed and honed in our neighborhood health centers, designated best practice by NIH, and producing educational videos used in six states—to the $500,000 in yearly funding support that keeps the City of Springfield operating, Baystate Health is working to understand, collaborate and evolve with, and empower its community to solve the problems that make it sick, in areas including but also extending well beyond physical health.

Never before has the importance of prevention—of bringing health proactively into the neighborhood and home—been better understood and better validated. We present an opportunity to see a research-based best practice in prevention efforts on a metropolitan scale.

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the ability of a hospital to positively influence public health in ways far broader and deeper than traditional patient-provider relationships. Describe the mutually enabling community relationships that lead to empowerment of a community's citizens and improve its health. Discuss how this kind of relationship supports preventive medicine and access to care.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As vice president of Government and Community Relations for Baystate Health, I am actively engaged in a broad range of efforts to improve the overall health of our community, including daily collaboration with community partners on issues of health, economic opportunity and the overall wellbeing of our city and its people.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.