Population Health is Not a New Concept

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , June 26, 2013

Good Samaritan Hospital
Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, IN, is another NOVA winner and its Community Health Services preventive health outreach program offers free health screenings for a 10-county areas.


Sandra Ruppel Hatton

"We wanted to make sure that instead of just expecting people to come on the hospital campus to receive preventative health screenings or education as part of the discharge planning process that we actually took the screenings and the information to the communities we serve," says Sandra Ruppel Hatton, director of Marketing and Community Health at Good Samaritan.

"Since we are a very rural area we wanted to make sure we took it to the areas that were farther away from a healthcare facility where it might be difficult for them to get to a healthcare screenings, or healthcare period."

AHA noted that Good Samaritan nurses "work within the community to provide health-related education and screenings ranging from blood pressure checks to lipid profiles. Collaborative partners provide the space necessary to see patients and include senior and community centers, Goodwill and Salvation Army facilities, housing authorities, churches, farmers markets, parks departments, YMCA and other not–for–profit sites.

Screening results are shared with the individual and their physicians and appropriate follow?up and treatment referrals are arranged. The program has provided more than 220,000 free screening over 10 years." The program has also gone into Knox County schools to teach its "Fit Kids" obesity and nutrition classes for third, fifth, seventh and ninth graders.  

Ruppel Hatton says CHS could not truly be called a community health program if it didn't actively go out into the community it serves to understand what care people need and how best to delivery that care.

"We have said that that is our role as a hospital. We have taken that stance for years—that we should set the standard for healthcare and be the leader in healthcare and set the standard on lifestyle," she says. "We could not perform these services if we didn't collaborate with the community centers, libraries, farmers markets, farm preview shows, Ag Days—those events that people come to in rural communities."

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