The Community Health Leadership Award is given annually to health care organizations that serve their community’s health needs in innovative and lasting ways. We want to recognize organizations that are not just serving patients, but are investing in solutions that improve the health of their entire community.
This award will be given by the Hospital Governing Boards Committee at the WSHA Annual Meeting on October 14. We are profiling all of the nominees in the weeks leading up to the Annual Meeting. These are great programs, and we’re excited to share their stories!
John Hughes Student Health Center, Sunnyside Community Hospital & Clinics
Sunnyside Community Hospital & Clinics partnered with Sunnyside School District to create a student health center on the Sunnyside High School campus that expands access to quality care for the rural student population and decreases school absenteeism related to injury and illness.
The John Hughes Student Health Center provides care for a full range of health conditions, including minor emergencies and illnesses as well as sports physicals and immunizations. It has three exam rooms, staffed by two nurse practitioners and a medical assistant. Students can access care at the center without an appointment and regardless to their ability to pay.
The center was recently awarded a HRSA tele-health grant to reduce wait times between doctors and patients. Click here to read more.
Peer Bridgers Program, Navos and Harborview Medical Center
Navos and Harborview Medical Center established the Peer Bridgers program in 2013 to help patients in inpatient psychiatric units make a successful transition to the community after being discharged. The program focuses on serving adults who are uninsured or disengaged from their current mental health plan and at high risk of re-hospitalization.
Program staff are peer specialists who have “lived experience” with mental health and substance use challenges and are currently advanced in their recovery. They connect with participants during hospitalization and help them on their road to recovery after discharge. Activities include driving participants to pick up medications, accompanying them to appointments and assisting with barriers to successful community living.
The program serves around 50 people a month. Nearly half of participants are ethnic minorities and about half are homeless. The program has significantly reduced participants’ hospital use and increased engagement in community-based mental health and other services. Click here to read more.
Cardiopulmonary Services, Sunnyside Community Hospital & Clinics
Through a community health needs assessment, Sunnyside Community Hospital recognized there was a need to increase the level of cardiac services available to the community while dramatically reducing potential transport time in a cardiac emergency. The hospital’s service area, which is a culturally diverse region of more than 80,000 people, is considered rural and medically underserved.
The hospital upgraded its suite of cardiac services, including adding 24-hour cardiac catheterization. The hospital also met the state’s other requirements for designation as a Level 1 Cardiac facility, including a designated cardiac response team led by a cardiologist, emergency nursing staff trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and 24/7 interventional and diagnostic services.
The initiative has provided a new high-level service based on community need and resulted in decreased transport times for EMS patients in cardiac distress. It is expected to dramatically improve health outcomes for emergency cardiac patients. Click here to read more.