Quality Focus Leads to Superior Results: 2018 Inspire Finalist Spotlight

Ted Inman, PriMed CEO

PriMed is being celebrated as a finalist for the 2018 Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award.

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories include Diversity and Inclusion, Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement.

Named for a tireless proponent of patient safety and now in its 16th year, the Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award is given to the individual or team that has identified an opportunity to improve patient care and safety, and applied the PDSA principles of quality improvement to develop a successful intervention. 

PriMed Physicians, an independent medical group in Dayton, Ohio, believes that providing quality care and achieving superior results is possible when also responsibly reducing the cost of care. And since 2002, the group has been laser-focused on bringing these strategies to life.

With 15 offices and 52 physicians, PriMed provides family practice, internal medicine and pediatrics to 70,000 patients throughout the Miami Valley. By building lasting patient relationships, the team focuses on making a difference and finding the best ways to improve the patient experience.

To do this, PriMed has invested in training in Lean Six Sigma quality improvement methodologies that are focused on making sure processes consistently deliver the desired results. PriMed also invested in hiring the right staff who are dedicated to leading projects and process reengineering efforts to advance medical quality and reduce costs.

“The physicians and staff of PriMed huddle every morning to review information from the analytics department and from the patient care coordinators to be able to focus on the needs of the patients coming in that day,” said Ted Inman, PriMed CEO. “We have also developed decision support tools, with our management partner, MediSync, to help us provide consistent, evidence-based care for our chronically ill patients. This attention to detail really allows us to provide the best possible tailored care for each patient.”

Results Worth the Praise
PriMed’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, particularly when it comes to controlling the blood pressure of its patient population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named PriMed a 2014 Million Hearts Champion for blood pressure control rates, with 92 percent blood pressure control for all of its hypertension patients. According to CDC, the US average blood pressure control success rate is only 50 percent. In addition, the American Medical Group Association’s (AMGA) Measure Up Pressure Down program also recognized PriMed for leading the nation in blood pressure control efforts.

In 2018, PriMed was honored for its achievement in diabetes care by the AMGA and was named a Together 2 Goal Award winner. The team’s efforts to improve asthma outcomes with children was also recognized by the Academy of Pediatrics for the lowest rate of ER visits, the lowest rate of hospital admissions, the lowest kids’ days missed from school and the lowest parents’ days missed from work.

Reducing Costs by Improving Quality
PriMed had approximately 13,000 Medicaid patients in 2017. While focused on providing the best care for these patients, PriMed Physicians also worked hard to reduce costs. In fact, PriMed’s Medicaid carrier found that the group saved over $4.4 million against the expected medical cost for the year.

“We have developed decision support tools with MediSync to help us provide consistent, evidence-based care for our chronically ill patients. This attention to detail allows us to provide the best possible tailored care for each patient.”

Ted Inman

CEO, PriMed

The Physician group has also been involved in the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative since its inception. CPC fosters collaboration between public and private health care payers to strengthen primary care. Recent reporting on cost and utilization from The Health Collaborative identified PriMed as a leader in the Ohio/Northern Kentucky region, based on Medicare and commercial carrier data. PriMed was nine percent to 42 percent lower than benchmark in emergency department visits; in-patient bed days, discharges and costs; primary care costs; specialty costs and pharmacy costs. Results that prove PriMed’s focus is making an impact.

The Health Collaborative is proud to honor PriMed Physicians as a nominee for the 2018 Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award for its steadfast focus on providing quality care while also reducing the cost of care.

A Catalyst for a Culture of Health: 2018 Inspire Finalist Spotlight

The Center for Closing the Health Gap is being celebrated as a finalist for the 2018 Inspire Gen-H Award. 

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories include Diversity and Inclusion, Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement.

The Gen-H Award recognizes an individual, team, or organization that has demonstrated progress on the Gen-H goals of making Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky a healthier, more vibrant community by addressing the health-related social needs affecting our community. 

A few years ago, residents living near Taft Elementary in Mt. Auburn had a problem. They knew that they didn’t have many safe spaces to exercise in their neighborhood, even just to go for a walk around the block. How could they encourage young people to get outside and get some fresh air when the adults didn’t feel safe themselves?

It often takes a community working together to make positive changes happen, and sometimes it takes some type of catalyst to inspire and empower its residents to take action and bring the community forward. The Center for Closing the Health Gap is just such a catalyst for change among some of our region’s most vulnerable and unhealthy populations. Named finalists for the 2018 Inspire Gen-H Award, the Health Gap team is leading the effort to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in Greater Cincinnati through education, community outreach, and advocacy.

Small Changes that Produce Big Results
With support from the Health Gap, Mt. Auburn residents worked together to create a walking track at Taft Elementary that is open to all. The success of the project not only ensures a safe environment for physical activity in their neighborhood, but it also increased confidence within the community to create change in their own neighborhood and is allowing people to take control of their own health outcomes.

This is how the Health Gap’s mission of reducing racial and ethnic health disparities in Cincinnati is fulfilled: by connecting people with resources and building trust so that the community can begin to create their own changes. Their approach is to engage and empower African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Appalachians to live healthier lives by developing solutions through Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR).

The grassroots mobilization model works with people in their environment to build a culture of health and provides support to overcome various obstacles – whether mental, physical, emotional, or knowledge gaps – to improve physical health and overall self-efficacy of the greater Cincinnati community.

Renee Mahaffey Harris, Chief Operating Officer, believes this model has the greatest opportunity for impact because, “We strive to meet people where they are and involve them in the development of their health solutions. This health lifestyle intervention recruits community health champions to establish a sustainable culture of health one block at a time.”

An Opportunity for Impact
A variety of programs and strategies ladder up to this successful grassroots approach. One signature program, the Do Right! Block-by-Block Campaign model in Mount Auburn, is designed to improve diet and physical activity levels through instruction, experience, and observation opportunities, as well as empower residents to advocate for change in their physical environment that will support healthy behaviors.

“We strive to meet people where they are and involve them in the development of their health solutions.”

Renee Mahaffey Harris

Chief Operating Officer, The Center for Closing the Health Gap

Started in 2013, the five-year program is starting its fourth cohort in 2018. Through neighborhood-wide activities, over 1,000 Mt. Auburn residents are impacted annually by the intervention and the Block-by-Block initiative is looking to expand to other Cincinnati neighborhoods.

Partners include UC Health, UC College of Medicine, UC Neihoff Studio, The Christ Hospital Network, Interact for Health, TriHealth, and the City of Cincinnati. The Health Gap connects residents directly to these health organizations as well as social service and community organizations, which aids in reducing the socioeconomic barriers that prevent residents from receiving proper care such as income, access to health insurance, and knowing how to navigate the healthcare system. Hospitals provide health screenings for participants and aid the Health Gap in monitoring their progress. Intervention participants have reported improvement in A1C numbers, weight loss, higher motivation to eat healthy and exercise, and a greater sense of connection.

For more about the Center for Closing the Health Gap and the many ways it helps vulnerable populations realize that they have the tools, knowledge, and people that they need to overcome health barriers, please visit https://closingthehealthgap.org/about/.

Just like the walking track created by the residents of Mt. Auburn and Taft Elementary, they’re helping pave the way for healthier lifestyles and a healthier community.

Putting Data to Work for Patients: 2018 Inspire Finalist Spotlight

The Christ Hospital Health Network and Enli Health Intelligence are being celebrated as finalists for the 2018 Informatics Solutions Award.

 

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories include Diversity and Inclusion, Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement.  

The Informatics Solutions Award acknowledges the individual, team or organization streamlining processes and improving care through the innovative use of health information technology.

Making sure care teams are notified of all the ways and places an individual patient seeks care is no easy task. As one of the largest hospital systems in the Greater Cincinnati region, The Christ Hospital Health Network wanted to bring real-time hospital and emergency department (ED) discharge information into a patient’s electronic health record (EHR). This innovation would enable its care providers to see the incidents in the EHR immediately, at a glance, regardless of where the discharge took place.

Not only that, to take it the next logical step further The Christ Hospital team wanted to integrate this information into their existing cloud-based care management system, designed by Enli Health Intelligence, to provide care managers with timely follow up opportunities and insight into the best treatment plan for their patients.

With so many health systems and independent providers treating many of the same patients, how could The Christ Hospital possibly wrangle all this data to appear when and how it’s needed? That’s where The Health Collaborative’s (THC’s) hb/notify service came to the rescue, with a little help from Enli Health.

Taking it a Step Further
Enli’s population health tool – a cloud-based Central Worklist (CWL) function that pulls data from the EHR and puts it into the assigned Care Mangers worklist – was implemented to enhance the existing Epic EHR system used by The Christ Hospital. It had been used for management of specific patient panels but never for proactive hospital discharge work.

The IT team worked with Enli Health engineers to take hb/notify that extra step further, customizing it to post ADT messaging directly into both the Epic EHR environment and the Enli care management tool. The integration architects designed a custom process to parse off information from text fields to allow the process to work.

Data now comes in through the hb/notify interface and is sent to the CWL application along with a reminder for the care manager assigned to that office. Enli worked with The Christ Hospital’s technical staff to build the inpatient and ED programs, allowing care managers to identify at a glance who they need to contact and where they were admitted. This allows the team to be organized and efficient, and ensures patients are not missed that may need extra attention. The Enli team worked diligently to help design a program that meets staff and patient needs, and supported The Christ Hospital team throughout the entire implementation.

“Now all of the alerts are delivered to my worklist…I feel like I am spoiled now and never want to go back to the old way. The new process gets me on the phone faster with patients, makes my morning go much smoother and I have less worry that someone will get missed.”

Paula Schuster RN

Care Manager, The Christ Hospital Health Network

Patients No Longer Fall Through the Cracks
Prior to the implementation of the two-pronged hb/notify system, The Christ Hospital’s providers and care managers would be required to conduct hours of research before they could call their first patient, and they were not able to get real-time information on discharges outside of their own health system. The new hb/notify system offers a comprehensive look at utilization and trends to help identify interventions for improvement.

“Before this system went live, I spent my mornings combing through multiple in-baskets, in search of patients who discharged from the hospital,” shared Paula Schuster RN, Care Manager at The Christ Hospital Health Network. “Now all of the alerts are delivered to my worklist. A BIG thank you for those who worked on the project. I feel like I am spoiled now and never want to go back to the old way. The new process gets me on the phone faster with patients, makes my morning go much smoother and I have less worry that someone will get missed.”

A Multi-Phase Approach
Phase 2 of the plan is to have the discrete data pulled into The Christ Hospital’s risk stratification algorithm which previously only included its own data. The algorithm functions automatically to flag patients in the EHR and triggers the care management software to add patients to care managers’ work lists. This will help them to connect with more patients and provide necessary services more quickly. Phase 2 is in progress now.

In phase 3, the use of the data will be further explored with The Christ Hospital’s inpatient quality department to look for opportunities to reduce readmissions and improve care.

Sandra Selman, Director of Ambulatory Quality and Care Management at The Christ Hospital described the shift in volume for care managers seen system-wide over the last year:

“When we look at the call volume for patients who were discharged from outside hospitals in Q3 17 compared to Q3 18 there is a tremendous increase. A total of 1,603 more patients with ED visits and 503 more inpatient discharges received a call from our care management team. Previously, we had a great handle on patients who left our own facility but information regarding other facilities was hit or miss. The project helped us close the gaps and gave us the opportunity to provide much needed, timely support to the most vulnerable patients.”

The Christ Hospital’s ability to innovate by designing and executing an efficient process to facilitate care delivery is what makes them a strong finalist for the 2018 Informatics Solutions Award.

Report From the Front Lines of the Opioid Battle: 2018 Inspire Finalist Spotlight

Nan Franks, CEO of Addiction Services Council, is being celebrated as a finalist for the 2018 Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award. 

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories include Diversity and Inclusion, Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement.

Named for a tireless proponent of patient safety and now in its 15th year, the Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award is given to the individual or team that has identified an opportunity to improve patient care and safety, and applied the PDSA principles of quality improvement to develop a successful intervention.

Addiction touches more than two-thirds of families in our region, but the Addiction Services Council is on a bold mission to change it. In fact, its vision is to build a community free of drug and alcohol abuse as well as eradicate the disease of addiction.

Not a small task to say the least.

However, through its focus on providing invaluable services such as crisis intervention, assessment and placement; workplace intervention; family and individual counseling and more, that’s exactly what Nan Franks, CEO of the Addiction Services Council, and her team are doing. One family at a time, its prevention services are reaching more than 30,000 people annually through school- and community-based education, summer policy advocacy and addiction education and evaluation programs.

The Front Door to a Crisis
As a cornerstone in our community, the Addiction Services Council under the leadership of Franks has been at the forefront of the opioid crisis. Franks identified the massive problem in our area long before the state of Ohio declared it an emergency. In fact, she not only identified it, but took action to eradicate it. In 2014, a partnership with the Addiction Services Council, local municipalities’ law enforcement and emergency medical systems, the Quick Response Team (QRT) was formed with the goal to intervene in the disease of addiction following an overdose.

“Prior to Nan’s efforts, overdose victims were often given Narcan to revive them and then sent on their way with a card offering resources,” said Joshua Johnson, Associate Director at Talbert House and Nan’s nominator for the award. “There was no personal connection afterward. Now there is a plan of action and dedicated resources to personally follow-up with them, walk them through recovery options and help set them on a different path.”

But none of it would have happened without Franks’ focus and determination.

The Dedication of One to Help Many
The idea began in Colerain Township before opioid addiction was considered a major crisis. When Franks was approached with the idea of modeling the process taken during a domestic violence instance — where a member of law enforcement always follows-up after a report — she knew the process just might work for opioid addicts too.

But there were roadblocks. A lack of funding made it seem as though it was an impossible task to get off the ground and there were no resources assigned to follow-up with all of the opioid addicts local authorities were coming into contact with on a daily basis. But Franks was determined to find a solution.

And she did.

In fact, she started following up with overdose victims herself. Visiting homes with law enforcement officials to complete assessments and provide options to these individuals. Once the model was proven, the QRT was born, and by the time it was announced that Ohio had a serious problem on its hands, Colerain Township was seeing a remarkable shift. While statewide opioid overdoses were on the rise, Colerain was experiencing a 30 percent decrease.

“Prior to Nan’s efforts…there was no personal connection [for overdose victims] afterward. Now there is a plan of action and dedicated resources to personally follow-up with them, walk them through recovery options and help set them on a different path.”

Joshua Johnson

Associate Director, Talbert House

Now a Model for Others’ Success

The QRT is now what sets Hamilton County apart and the program is being replicated in other areas. The Council is speaking about its experiences through forums and is bringing its successes to the forefront of the crisis in the hopes that many other communities with benefit from the model.

“Under Nan’s leadership, the Addiction Services Council and its important partnership with local resources was a critical step to fighting this horrible addiction,” emphasized Kevin Richardson, Development Director at Addiction Services Council. “Now, every individual who survives an overdose is given personal treatment options that will hopefully give them the guidance they need to face the addiction head on.”

The Health Collaborative is proud to honor Nan Franks as a nominee for the 2018 Richard M. Smith, MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award, for her vision and work to eradicate the disease of addition and the opioid crisis that has plagued our communities.

UC Health Sets Pace for Diversity, Inclusion Efforts: 2018 Inspire Finalist Spotlight

By Amy Crowley and Amanda Nageleisen

UC Health is being celebrated as a finalist for the 2018 Inspire Diversity and Inclusion Award

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories have included Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement.

NEW this year is the Diversity and Inclusion Award category, which acknowledges an individual or organization-level commitment to inclusiveness and advocacy for under-represented and minority populations – and for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences – in its overall policies, practices, and partnerships.

UC Health President & CEO Richard P. Lofgren, MD has made improving the physical and economic health of our community one of the organization’s core four strategies.  One way UC Health focuses on economic health is by intentionally supporting local and minority and/or women owned businesses.  Under Dr. Lofgren’s leadership, UC Health continues to develop a very strong supplier diversity program.

Recognition Where It’s Due
UC Health has received community recognition and awards for its diversity and economic inclusion efforts. For example, in 2017 and 2018, the organization was honored by the South Central Ohio Healthcare Supplier Diversity Symposium in the Health System category.  In addition, UC Health was recognized by the Ohio-Kentucky Construction Summit as the 2017 award winner in the Developer/Owner category, and was selected as the 2018 winner in the Developer/Owner category at the annual Ohio-Kentucky Construction Summit in late October. Additionally, Bob Feldbauer, Vice President of Facilities, was recognized in 2017 in the Individual Champion category for his efforts around construction/facilities supplier inclusion and workforce diversity.

“Partnerships are an important part of UC Health’s journey to continuously improve supplier diversity,” Feldbauer emphasized. The organization works with Howard Elliott of Elliott Management Group, a well-known leader in supplier diversity and a recent inductee to the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber Black Business Hall of Fame.

Elliott hosts a monthly supplier diversity roundtable at UC Health’s corporate headquarters each month that is open to any MBE/WBE interested in doing work with UC Health or in the region. Howard works side by side with Rob Wiehe, UC Health’s Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Logistics, to maximize community connections and to bring best practices from the region and across the country.

UC Health’s current major construction project, the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, is tracking over 43% MBE/WBE inclusion to date, surpassing the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) goals of 31%.

“Partnerships are an important part of UC Health’s journey to continuously improve supplier diversity.”

Bob Feldbauer

Vice President of Facilities, UC Health

Also included in this project is a strong workforce inclusion program, tracking at 16.4% minority and 6.7% non-minority females to date against CBA goals of 12% and 3 % respectively.

Increased effort is being placed on inclusion and diversity spend in categories within professional services (outside of construction). The organization has already realized major improvements in this area and has hit initial progressive goals set by senior leadership.

Even with this early success and community recognition, UC Health continues to relentlessly pursue and renew its commitment to diversity and inclusion in all areas of the organization. The Health Collaborative congratulates the UC Health team for being a 2018 finalist in the Diversity & Inclusion category of the Inspire | Healthcare Awards!

Care Management Tools Improve Outcomes for Primary Care: 2018 Inspire Finalist Spotlight

by Shannan Schmitt

UC Health is being celebrated as a finalist for the 2018 Informatics Solutions Award

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories include Diversity and Inclusion, Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement. The Informatics Solutions Award acknowledges the individual, team or organization streamlining processes and improving care through the innovative use of health information technology. 

A few months ago, a legally blind patient was dependent upon her neighbors for help managing critical tasks related to monitoring her health. Unable to see the readings on her glucose and blood pressure monitors, she was at risk for serious health complications without ongoing assistance from others, which often proved difficult to sustain.

Assessments completed by care managers at UC Health changed the story for this patient, as well as countless others. Workflow tools built into the Epic electronic health record flagged the dangerous situation for the patient’s UC care manager. Collaborating with a nurse practitioner, a medical supply company, and a case manager from the patient’s insurance company, the UC care manager removed coverage barriers to secure a verbal blood glucose meter and blood pressure cuff — a simple fix that changed this patient’s life.

“We didn’t have an algorithm in place before to pull out those specific care gaps for patients,” says Ashley Jackson, IT Systems Analyst with UC Health’s Epic Ambulatory Team. “Now the care managers are able to easily identify care gaps.”

A Formula for Better Care
Known as Epic Healthy Planet, UC’s technology project was launched to facilitate care management services in the ambulatory setting. Initially part of UC Health’s participation in Medicare’s Comprehensive Primary Care Plus program (CPC+), it was extended to be made available to all primary care patients within the UC system, regardless of payer source.

“For our patients, the biggest benefit they see and feel is that there’s always a point of contact for them who can help them with questions… and who can help them navigate the health system.”

Kelly Abeln

Manager of Care Management

First, the new technology identifies within Epic those patients who need a little extra help from a care manager to navigate the healthcare system beyond PCP visits. A referral order was built in, as well, so primary care physicians can easily refer patients for care management, including detailed information about the types of services requested. The referral feature, alone, has delivered an 85 to 95 percent increase in the care management program’s patient count.

A risk-stratification scoring system helps care managers assess a patient’s potential for challenges such as medication non-compliance or hospital readmission. In identifying the gaps that cause those challenges, the system guides care managers toward interventions that can make a significant impact.

A referral to a dietician, for example, can facilitate diet and exercise changes to lower blood sugar down to the optimal range. Medication reconciliation services may uncover a patient’s confusion about when to take medications, so coaching in this area can ensure medication compliance and safety.

Care managers are able to easily manage their patient lists and track their outreach progress via a robust dashboard. In addition, various reporting tools keep the PCPs and the care management team apprised of patients’ care plans, risk scores, current interventions and other status details, so the caregivers all stay on the same page.

Improving Patient Outcomes
Advanced reporting capabilities also tell the story of the project’s success. The Healthy Planet tools reduced avoidable hospital admissions from 3.8 per 1,000 in October 2017 to 2.52 per 1,000 by March 2018. Potentially avoidable emergency department use during the same time period fell to 109.2 per 1,000 from 124.4 per 1,000.

Outreach efforts delivered meaningful results in preventative care, as well. Between April 2017 and April 2018, the screening mammography rate increased from 74 percent to 81 percent; the cervical cancer screening rate increased from 62 percent to 68 percent; and the number of diabetic patients with HbA1c over 9 percent decreased from 28 percent to 26 percent.

From a clinical perspective, connecting the primary care physicians and care managers has represented an extraordinary leap forward in quality of care.

“Clinically speaking, the greatest accomplishment has been putting together a tool that the care managers can use to communicate with the physician to make sure that we’re supporting the patient appropriately,” notes Kelly Abeln, Manager of Care Management at UC Health.

“For our patients,” Abeln adds, “the biggest benefit they see and that they feel is that there’s always a point of contact for them who can help them with questions about their health, disease process, medications, and who can help them navigate the health system here at UC Health or the broader health system in the Cincinnati area.”

Outgoing Christ Hospital President & CEO Helped Guide THC Strategy

Mike Keating, outgoing President & CEO of The Christ Hospital Health Network (TCHHN), has stepped down from The Health Collaborative’s (THC) board. The Board of Directors, Executive Team, and staff of THC wish to thank Keating for his partnership, leadership, guidance, and sound strategic thinking over the years.

Keating has left TCHHN to join a healthcare private equity firm based in New York. During his service to The Health Collaborative, he held an integral position on the Gen-H steering committee to stimulate collective impact on population health and address social determinants of health, and was instrumental in guiding the earliest priority-setting phases of the Gen-H work. Since its inception in 2014, his staunch support of Gen-H and its goals has been invaluable toward promoting community will to move the needle on health and build a sense that “we’re all in this together.”

“I am incredibly grateful for Mike’s support and coaching over the past several years, and for his commitment to the overall health of the region,” The Health Collaborative’s CEO Craig Brammer remarked. “He understands that health is not just the responsibility of the medical community but rather is a team effort involving leaders and institutions across Greater Cincinnati.”

Keating earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics at Denison University and his graduate degree in law from the University of Cincinnati. He was a member of the TCHHN board for 21 years total and served as the hospital system’s President and CEO since 2013. He has been active in the Greater Cincinnati community and involved with a variety of organizations including the Greater Cincinnati Foundation Board, Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, ArtsWave Cabinet, United Way, Greater Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame Laureate Selection Committee, Collective Impact for Health Steering Committee, and the Ohio Hospital Association Board.

Mike, we wish you all the best in your future endeavors and will always be grateful for your service and leadership toward making the Greater Cincinnati region “Healthy by Design.”

The Health Collaborative CEO Takes on Additional Role

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Shannan Schmitt
Director, Development & Communications
(513) 247-5253

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Craig Brammer, CEO of The Health Collaborative, will also serve as CEO of The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement

OCTOBER 25, 2018 – CINCINNATI, OHIO – The Health Collaborative’s CEO, Craig Brammer, will be adding a second CEO title to his resume. Craig has been appointed to lead The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) starting November 1 and will concurrently serve in both roles.

NRHI is a national network of Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives (RHICs) and state partners from across the U.S. that work to transform healthcare and achieve high-quality, affordable care. The Health Collaborative, an NRHI member, is a high performing RHIC that is improving health and healthcare in our community, while also providing innovative solutions countrywide.

“The NRHI Board is thrilled that Craig has agreed to lead the organization into its next chapter,” said Marc Bennett, NRHI Board Chair and CEO of HealthInsight. “Craig’s perspective as a RHIC leader in Cincinnati, his previous experience working in federal government at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and his unique vision and leadership creativity will serve well the interests of NRHI and its members in communities across the nation.”

The important work underway by The Health Collaborative’s members and stakeholders across Greater Cincinnati is increasingly recognized as a national exemplar. Although Craig will be spending time in Portland, Maine and Washington, DC, his solid roots in Cincinnati and the strong commitment and relationships to achieving success in this region will not be compromised; The Health Collaborative’s mission of improving health and healthcare will only be strengthened by this joint role.

“Craig’s leadership in Greater Cincinnati has been instrumental in aligning our community around a clear agenda supported by a robust regional health improvement collaborative,” said Garren Colvin, President & CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Chair of The Health Collaborative Board of Directors. “Our interests are completely aligned with NRHI’s, where local leaders work together to improve health and healthcare in their own communities. I look forward to the local and national opportunities provided by Craig’s leadership of both organizations.”

Craig succeeds Ellen Gagnon, who has served as interim CEO of NRHI since April 2018. Ellen will remain on staff with NRHI in a senior leadership position as Executive Director, Healthcare Affordability. Together, along with NRHI’s staff and members, they will continue to work together to advance health, improve quality, and eliminate waste to make our healthcare system more affordable.

“I see this as an opportunity to elevate the great work happening in regions across the country while simultaneously being on the front lines of national trends and innovations that I can bring back to Greater Cincinnati,” said Craig Brammer, CEO, The Health Collaborative and the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.

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For more information, please contact:

The Health Collaborative
Shannan Schmitt
Development & Communications
SSchmitt@HealthCollab.org

NRHI
Kelsey Matheson
Senior Communications Coordinator
kmatheson@nrhi.org

About The Health Collaborative:
The Health Collaborative is a non-profit organization that strives to positively impact health status, experience, outcomes, and affordability by fostering a connected system of healthcare and community health through innovation, integration, and informatics in the greater Cincinnati region. For more information about The Health Collaborative, visit healthcollab.org.

About The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement:
The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) is a national organization representing more than 30 regional health improvement collaboratives (RHICs) and state-affiliated partners working to achieve better health, better care, and reduced costs through continuous improvement. NRHI and its member RHICs are non-profit organizations working directly with physicians, hospitals, employers, health plans, and patients. For more information, visit us on the web at www.nrhi.org.

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Health Champions Help Children Thrive: 2018 Inspire Finalist Spotlight

By Emily Kimball

The Avondale Children Thrive Health Champions are being celebrated as finalists for the 2018 Gen-H Award.

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories include Diversity and Inclusion, Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement.

The Gen-H Award recognizes an individual, team, or organization that has demonstrated progress on the Gen-H goals of making Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky a healthier, more vibrant community by addressing health-related social needs affecting our community. 

Some of the greatest health issues facing Cincinnati, and especially in the neighborhood of Avondale, are the community’s high rates of pre-term birth and infant mortality. Avondale Children Thrive (ACT) reflects a cross-sector collaboration to address the social determinants of children’s health, and specifically, on early interventions that address maternal and child health.

Enabling Children to Thrive
ACT’s primary focus is a variety of factors such as education, community engagement, safety, employment, and health. While seeking to create an environment in which Avondale children, aged zero to six, are enabled to thrive, the program launched an innovative “Health Champion” model.  The health champion model is drawn from, and for, the community and employs a door-to-door strategy — leveraging trust built by housing providers and neighbors.

Health Champions (HCs) are the engaged community members and mentors who build a rapport with families of young children. More specifically, HCs use interventions and strategies to increase access to prenatal care and affordable, healthy foods; promote breastfeeding; increase utilization of the school-based health center; promote early literacy among families, increase quality preschool enrollment, and to foster smoke-free environments among The Community Builders (TCB) families.

“The Avondale Health Champions are driving change in the community of Avondale. Each Health Champion comes with a unique set of skills, but they are not the skills that most of us share in a resume…

The skills used by the Health Champions represent an understanding of a community landscape and the lived experience that each brings to the table. They are creating a community and population health platform that speaks to neighbor-to-neighbor connections, trust, and a better understanding of what is most important to families as it relates to health and well-being.”

Anita Brentley

Community Engagement Consultant, James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence

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The entire Avondale Children Thrive initiative is co-led by the Health Champions and the engaged residents they are coaching to adopt healthy behaviors. Between February – August 2018, HCs met one-on-one with 39 residents and 67 children for coaching in the home. The target population is 81 families, so, at least half of the families have been reached since inception of this initiative. Between May 1st and July 31st, Health Champions collectively spent 67.25 hours at community support groups, such as the Reading Bears early literacy group.

Achievable Goals for Long-Term Outcomes
Health Champions are all safety equipment liaisons and trained Safe Sleep Ambassadors through programs with the partner organizations. As this work continues, they aim for long-term outcomes, including increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration, increasing enrollment at the South Avondale school-based health center, increasing preschool enrollment among children ages three-five, and increasing the percentage of parents reading to their children at least two times a week. They are well on their way to meeting their long-term goals. 25 parents have committed to reading to their children at least two times per week, as well as enrolled 74% of The Community Builders children in quality preschool.

In addition to the one-on-one neighbor model, Health Champions work to advocate for their community by addressing upstream health factors such as housing instability, institutionalized racism, and educating pregnant moms on patient rights. They engage in policy-level discussions as members of the Avondale Community Council and Creating Healthy Communities Coalition.

Jodi Cunningham, TCB/ACT Program Manager, summarizes, “Not only does this team work tirelessly for mothers and children living in The Community Builders apartments, but they are also using their voices for positive change in their neighborhood, city, and even nationally. They are doing something special here in Avondale, and we’re excited to see where this amazing work leads, in Avondale and beyond.”

The Avondale Children Thrive Health Champions are sponsored in part by the BUILD Health Challenge, and the team partners that support the HC’s are The Community Builders, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and the City of Cincinnati Health Department.

 

The Health Collaborative is proud to celebrate the work of the Avondale Children Thrive Health Champions – Nikita Anderson, Tina Brown, Jennifer Foster, Jeneya Lawrence, Ashan Moore, and Audrey Scott – finalists for the 2018 Inspire Gen-H Award!

Patient Centered Data Home White Paper

Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH) aims to place the patient at the center of care by making important health data available whenever and wherever care occurs. Our Product Manager Megan Scully recently produced a final report to the government on the outcomes of the PCDH Heartland Pilot project, in which The Health Collaborative’s (THC) Health Information Exchange services were connected with several other HIEs throughout the midwest. This means that a patient’s medical information can follow them wherever they might seek care, even outside their home state.

Click the cover image below to read the brief white paper – it’s easy to understand without a lot of technical jargon – and view our brief video explaining how PCDH works. Congratulations to the THC Integration team on this successful pilot project!

A Career Built in Service to Others: 2018 Inspire Finalist Spotlight

By Christa Hyson

Linda Smith Berry, Executive Director of TriHealth’s Good Samaritan Free Health Center, is being recognized as a finalist for the 2018 Inspire Gen-H Award. 

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. Award categories include Diversity and Inclusion, Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. The Gen-H Award recognizes an individual, team, or organization that has demonstrated progress on the Gen-H goals of making Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky a healthier, more vibrant community by addressing health-related social needs affecting our community. 

A Commitment to Quality – and Community Savings Linda Smith Berry, Executive Director of The Good Samaritan Free Health Center, has built a career in service to others. Her commitment to providing quality care to those that are unable to afford care, or do not qualify for federal assistance is what keeps her going. “What inspires me about healthcare is the ability to keep people healthy until they can get back on their feet,” says Linda. The Good Samaritan Free Health Center (GSFHC) is the only free health center in Hamilton County and provides care to the uninsured, non-Medicaid/Medicare-eligible adults who have an income less than 200% of the poverty level. It is also the largest urban free health center in Ohio. The Free Health Center provides comprehensive primary care, including mental health, nutrition, dentistry, pharmacy, and optometry. The value of the GSFHC to the community is substantial, to say the least: the estimated donated value of their prevention and management services over time (since 2012 and including YTD FY2019) is a whopping $14,732,000! In that time, more than 61,000 patient visits and nearly 45,000 volunteer hours have been documented. The result of providing a holistic, patient-centered approach has been a radical reduction in the number of emergency department (ED) visits for its patients, with an estimated economic impact of up to $534,000 over just eight months in 2018.

No More No-Shows Through Linda’s commitment to the GSFHC, patient no-show rates have decreased and innovative new programming to improve patient outcomes has been established. Patients treat the GSFHC better than most patients treat their own private office. Year to date, the no-show rate at the GSFHC is 8.7%. The national no-show rate of private, primary care offices averages to 12%. When the GSFHC opened in 2011, five patients were seen in the first month. Now the average is 1,000 appointments per month. Services had been provided two days each week but the demand has gotten so great, the GSFHC is now open six days a week and two evenings each month.

The TriFecta Project
Last year, the GSFHC began a new venture: The TriFecta project. The TriFecta project focuses on health education of patients with chronic diseases. Patients receive three sets of three, half-hour appointments: one with a nutritionist, one with a social worker and one with a pharmacist, who target specific aspects of educating the patient about their chronic disease. The program began with diabetic patients, specifically those with high A1C levels which indicate poorly-managed diabetes.

Since January 2017, results have shown a dramatic drop in A1C values, with an estimated savings of $8,000 to the healthcare system per percentage point of decrease of A1C. 47% of patients in the TriFecta project reported decreased psycho-social barriers to their health. 26% reported an increase in prioritizing time for their health. 94% of patients reported an increase in feeling they lead a purposeful and meaningful life. 94% reported improvement in their social relationships. 94% reported improvement in optimism about their future.

“What inspires me about healthcare is the ability to keep people healthy until they can get back on their feet.”

Linda Smith Berry

Executive Director, Good Samaritan Free Health Center

The Empower Program In 2018, GSFHC developed The Empower Program. The Empower Program aims to improve population health and empower individuals through integration of clinical care and resource navigation. The Empower program is designed to treat the patient in a different way. The foundation for the design of the visit are to create an engaged patient capable of owning and navigating their healthcare needs. The belief of the team at the GSFHC is that a more engaged patient is likely to achieve more positive patient outcomes. A simultaneous team-based care model is introduced in the initial visit. This initial visit team consists of a physician, health coach and/or community health worker. Initial assessment includes the patient’s perception of engagement, physical assessment, and other needs to assist the patient in meeting health goals. Addressing some of these barriers will be part of the patient empowerment. These include the social determinants of health impacting the patient such as transportation, food access and/ or safety concerns based on neighborhood assessment. The vision of the program focuses on patient engagement and teaching patients to see themselves in control of their health.

The benefit of programs such as the The TriFecta Project and the Empower Program is a more engaged patient capable of making effective decisions about their health and better health outcomes for the population served. The Health Collaborative is proud to honor Linda Smith Berry, Executive Director of The Good Samaritan Free Health Center, as a finalist for the 2018 Inspire | Healthcare Award in Gen-H population health.

A Fast Track for Successful Nursing Careers: 2018 Inspire Finalist Spotlight

By Amy Crowley

Pat Davis-Hagens, Market President & CEO – Central Market and Chief Nursing Officer of Mercy Health – Cincinnati is being celebrated as a finalist for the 2018 Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award.

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories include Diversity and Inclusion, Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement.

Named for a tireless proponent of patient safety and now in its 15th year, the Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award is given to the individual or team that has identified an opportunity to improve patient care and safety, and applied the PDSA principles of quality improvement to develop a successful intervention.

Mercy Health was faced with a particularly difficult challenge, not unlike most hospitals nationwide are currently experiencing: recruiting and retaining top-quality nurses. However, as experienced nurses began retiring at a rapid rate and not enough nursing graduates were available to take over, Pat Davis-Hagens, Market President & CEO – Central Market and Chief Nursing Officer of Mercy Health – Cincinnati, wasn’t about to sit on the sidelines to watch the struggle.

The challenge she faced was immense. In 2015, Mercy Health experienced a critical shortage of nearly 600 nurses and a staggeringly high turnover rate of recent grads within their first year of employment. However, through the efforts of Davis-Hagens and a team she led to change this, Mercy Health’s nursing recruitment and retention strategy was radically improved.

Accelerating Career Paths
Typically, nurses must wait one to three years out of school before they can choose a specialty area. Mercy Health set out to change this through a year-long paid nurse residency program open to new graduates and nurses with less than six months of acute care experience. Featuring four tracks — medical surgical/telemetry/orthopedics, critical care, emergency department and operating room — the new program allows nurses to enter specialty areas immediately after graduation.

“It was important to us to offer graduating nurses the chance to continue their education and transition into the workforce quickly,” said Davis-Hagens. “We’re so proud this program because it allows them to fast track their careers by growing their skills and confidence quickly.”

Through the program, a group (typically three to four) of newly graduated nurses are partnered with an experienced nurse mentor to help graduates transition quickly into the acute care setting. The development of this support system is crucial to inexperienced graduates who now meet with their mentors monthly to discuss professional development, organizational and interpersonal skills and take part in self-reflection exercises.

“We’ve now set the standard for what is expected and what it means to be a high-quality Mercy Health nurse which directly affects how our patients are cared for.”

Pat Davis-Hagens

Market President & CEO - Central Market and Chief Nursing Officer , Mercy Health - Cincinnati

Results Worth the Efforts
Through simulation training and a focus on closed-loop communication, quality nursing care and patient safety, the program has produced phenomenal results to date.

There are now 545 nurses going through the residency program. Prior to the launch, Mercy Health’s turnover rate of new grads was 37 percent within their first year, which was in line with the national average of 38 percent. Today, the turnover rate stands at just nine percent annually and its nurse vacancy rate is at an at all-time low of 3.4 percent, a true testament to the program’s effectiveness in recruiting and transitioning nurses effectively.

The program also saves Mercy Health a considerable amount of money each year. Even with the investment in the year-long program, since launch, Mercy Health has realized a cost savings of $9 million. Savings includes a decrease in agency nurse spend and orientation and training costs, as well as an increase in workforce stability and consistent, high-quality patient care. In addition, highly engaged nurses stay on the job, driving down labor costs.

Numbers That Go Way Beyond Retention
By focusing on continuing education and standardizing nursing orientation, the Mercy Health patient experience has also benefited positively from the program. “Providing a standardized evidence-based competency orientation to all of our newly hired nurses allows us to improve patient outcomes,” said Davis-Hagens. “We’ve now set the standard for what is expected and what it means to be a high-quality Mercy Health nurse which directly affects how our patients are cared for.”

As a result, regional Mercy Health nurses had a direct impact on the patient experience resulting in:

  • 14 percent improvement in overall satisfaction
  • 50 percent improvement in hospital C-diff infections
  • 78 percent improvement in total joint surgical site infections
  • 55 percent improvement in ICU CAUTI rate
  • 100 percent improvement in ICU CLABSI rate
  • 86 percent improvement in colon surgical site infections

Under Davis-Hagens’s leadership, nursing has outperformed the national average for engagement in relationship to nurse autonomy, leadership access, inter-professional relationships, teamwork and collaboration and professional development. Mercy Health’s program has become a model for how to drive strong recruitment, retention and engagement.

The Health Collaborative is proud to honor Pat Davis-Hagens as a nominee for the 2018 Richard M. Smith MD Leadership in Quality Improvement Award, for playing a key role in improving nurse recruitment and retention, driving strong nurse engagement, and making a positive impact on the quality of patient care in our region.

“Cooking for the Family” Team: Inspire 2018 Finalist Spotlight

By Amy Goetz

The “Cooking for the Family” team at St. Francis Seraph Ministries is being celebrated as a finalist for the 2018 Gen-H Award

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories include Diversity and Inclusion, Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement. The Gen-H Award recognizes an individual, team, or organization that has demonstrated progress on the Gen-H goals of making Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky a healthier, more vibrant community by addressing health-related social needs affecting our community. 

For some, cooking a simple, healthy meal can be anything but simple. Perhaps access to fresh, high-quality food is limited in their area. Maybe they haven’t been exposed to proper cooking techniques or are unfamiliar with the many delicious ways to use healthy ingredients. Or, it’s possible they just don’t own a kitchen knife or other essential equipment. For some, creating simple, nutritious family meals each day… can simply be out of reach.

Removing Barriers to Healthy Choices
Recognizing the knowledge gaps and numerous other barriers families face in healthy meal preparation, St. Francis Seraph Ministries teamed up with FarmChef to create “Cooking for the Family,” a five-week culinary program where participants learn eight basic cooking skills and techniques, utilizing fresh and healthy ingredients, to build their knowledge and confidence to cook more at home. The healthy meals learned in class can feed a family of four for under $10.

The aim of Cooking for the Family is to generationally prevent and decrease diabetes, obesity, and chronic health problems related to diet. The year-round program runs every two months in new locations as well as their kitchen at the St. Anthony Center in Over the Rhine.

After each class the participants, volunteers, and staff get an opportunity to eat together family-style. They reflect on what was learned and how the previous class’s meal was received at home, hear about different people’s challenges and lifestyles, and build community through their peaceful and nourishing interactions.

“It’s a new beginning for me because I love to cook. Attending these classes gave me a better outlook on how to take care of your food and self. I would love to share my experience with others,” shared one recent Cooking for the Family student.

At the end of their experience, participants use their new skills to create a meal together with their children and guests. If participants attend four out of

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the five classes they receive a cooking kit – chef knife, cutting board, knife sharpener, cast iron skillet, reusable shopping bag, and Produce Perks card – to empower them to keep cooking at home. Each year, a graduation potluck is held for the more than 390 graduates since the program’s inception in 2015, to stay connected and eat together.

Collaborating for a Healthier Community
The program’s collaborative approach includes healthcare providers as well as community partners to make sure they reach as many people in the Over-the-Rhine and Greater Cincinnati as possible.

Partners include: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Cincinnati Public Schools (Roberts Paideia Academy, Dater Montessori, Academy of World Languages, Rothenberg Elementary Rooftop Garden), Healthy Harvest Mobile Market, Produce Perks, Findlay Kitchen, Bethel Baptist Church, First Step Home, Santa Maria Community Services, Good Samaritan Free Health Clinic, Community Matters, CCTST (Center of Clinical and Translational Science and Training), and many more.

The initiative also encourages volunteering, directly provides jobs for participants who complete the program, and refers other candidates to Cincinnati Cooks and Midwest Culinary Institute.

Cooking up Results
All the following findings are based on written participant surveys completed during October 2016 – May 2017:

  • 98% of respondents said they would like to take another session of Cooking for the Family.
  • 80.6% of respondents increased their cooking technique knowledge and ingredient identification.
  • 78.7% increased their confidence to teach kids how to cook
  • 80.6% increased their willingness to try new foods

Said one student of the class, “I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of your program. It was very interesting, very helpful, life changing as far as [becoming more] willing to give different foods a try. Learning how to cook smarter, better, and how to spend less. [A] wonderful experience.”

A Mission to Serve the Underserved: Inspire 2018 Finalist Spotlight

By Amy Crowley

Dr. C. Keith Melvin and Dr. Kent Robinson of Mercy Health – Avondale Internal Medicine are being celebrated as finalists for the 2018 Inspire Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Each year, The Health Collaborative recognizes the healthcare heroes in our community at the Inspire | Healthcare Gala and Awards Celebration. This year’s sold-out event is being held on November 8 at The Center downtown. Award categories have included Gen-H (population health), Informatics Solutions (health information technology), and Leadership in Quality Improvement. NEW this year is the Diversity and Inclusion Award category, which acknowledges an individual or organization-level commitment to inclusiveness and advocacy for under-represented and minority populations – and for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences – in its overall policies, practices, and partnerships. 

To say that Dr. C. Keith Melvin and Dr. Kent Robinson have made it their mission to serve the underserved is an understatement. As primary care physicians at the Mercy Health – Avondale Internal Medicine office, both understand the need to address disparities in the health of the African American community. Their work not only tackles this need inside their individual practices but also outside in the community where they can reach more people and make a bigger impact.

Dr. Robinson Brings Healthcare to the Community
Since 2012, Dr. Robinson has annually hosted a Day of Wellness, a community health fair focusing on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals in the community. Often using his own resources to make this event a success, he brings together experts who can teach people the principles of good living so they can take control of their well-being, share what they learn with family and friends and overall give them the opportunity to improve their chances of living a long and healthy life. Each year, hundreds of community members gather for the event at Mercy Health’s home office in Bond Hill for valuable information and advice on various diseases, free health screenings, adult and youth workshops, health cooking demonstrations and even dance, Tai Chi, Zumba, and other workshops to get people moving.

Through the screenings provided onsite, Dr. Robinson and his volunteers have been able to diagnose diabetes, high blood pressure and other illnesses that these individuals were unaware they were battling. Through his dedication and the efforts of all of his volunteers, the Day of Wellness event has provided much needed access to medical support that these individuals otherwise would likely have not received. To date, Dr. Robinson’s event has touched more than 1,500 people over the last six years.

“We are more than work colleagues, we’re family. We both strive to help our community in any way possible and we are honored with this nomination because it feels as though our work has not gone unrecognized.”

Drs. Melvin and Robinson

Dr. Melvin Raises Awareness for Cancer Prevention
As cancer survivors, Dr. Melvin and his wife were once patients themselves. This unique level of understanding and compassion has turned Dr. Melvin into a vocal advocate for educating the community on the importance of cancer screenings that can detect cancer in its earliest, most treatable form. Ten years ago, Dr. Melvin and his friend, Bill Mabrey, a renowned local DJ and event planner, set out to raise awareness of this horrible disease. What started as an intimate celebration with a small group of friends who are also cancer survivors, has grown into the annual Black and White Cancer Survivors Gala, attracting nearly 1,000 attendees. The black-tie event held in late October/early November, focuses on prevention and makes it easy for guests to receive care by inviting them to write down which screenings they may need — a mammogram, colonoscopy, etc. Following the event, a Mercy Health professional then follows up with guests to schedule a screening.

Following the success of the gala, Dr. Melvin added another event this year to help spread the message even further. In June, the Walk in Wellness and Awareness event was held in partnership with the Cincinnati Health Department’s Men’s Health Initiative and the Beta Iota chapter, an unincorporated association of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the first international fraternal organization founded on the campus of a historically black college. The event, which took place at Mercy Health’s Bond Hill location, included a 5k walk, nutrition class, health expo, health screenings and line dancing — all focused on providing access to health and wellness information and screenings that might not otherwise reach this community.

A Powerhouse Duo
As if their individual efforts weren’t quite enough for these two dedicated physicians, they decided to team up to serve as clinical sponsors of the Man Up! health expo. For the third year, this free event has targeted African American men and featured a dinner, health screenings and celebrity guest appearances by athletes and others who can speak to their health challenges.

The event focuses on getting men to step up and be their own health advocates. More than 600 men attend Man Up! for tests and screenings related to blood pressure, body fat, diabetes, cholesterol, vision/glaucoma as well as prostate, colon and lung cancer.

“Kent and Keith consistently put out a hand to move each person they interact with forward to improve lives. Their work is inspiring and each of them, though different in their drivers, genuinely care about people and use their own strengths in medicine to care for as many people as they possibly can,” said Courtney Seitz, Chief Operations Officer, Mercy Health Physicians – Cincinnati.

Through these events and more, Dr. Melvin’s and Dr. Robinson’s efforts are invaluable in bridging the health gap in our communities and the Health Collaborative is proud to honor these two finalists for the 2018 Inspire Healthcare Award in Diversity and Inclusion.

Eloiza Domingo-Snyder to Address 2018 Inspire | Healthcare Gala

MEDIA CONTACT:
Shannan Schmitt
Director of Communications
(513) 307-0328

September 28, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Domingo-Snyder to Address 2018 Inspire | Healthcare Gala at The Center

Healthcare Diversity & Inclusion Expert Will Serve as Keynote at Region’s Premier Health & Healthcare Awards Celebration

CINCINNATI – The Health Collaborative (THC) has confirmed its highly-anticipated keynote speaker for the 2018 Inspire | Healthcare Gala & Awards Celebration, scheduled for November 8 at The Center in downtown Cincinnati. Eloiza Domingo-Snyder, who recently served as the Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion and the Deputy Chief Diversity Officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine, is a globally-recognized leader in diversity and inclusion.

Domingo-Snyder has a long track record of leadership roles in higher education, law enforcement, and healthcare, and focuses on ensuring the effectiveness of diversity efforts at large organizations.

While an undergraduate, she helped found the Indiana University Asian Culture Center, the first center in the Midwest dedicated to the academic, social and cultural life of Asian and Asian-American students, faculty and staff.

Domingo-Snyder has worked with many prominent companies, universities, government organizations, and health systems, including Procter & Gamble, Macy’s, and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. She was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World by the Filipina Women’s Network, received the 2017 Senior Executive award from the National Association of Healthcare Executives, was named Ally of the Year by Miami University’s Office of GLBTQ, was featured on the Maryland Daily Record’s Very Important Professionals Success by 40 list, and was recognized with a Women Worth Watching award from Profiles in Diversity Journal.

The theme for this year’s Inspire | Healthcare event is “Healthy by Design” and Domingo-Snyder’s focus will be “Beyond Bias: Inclusive Healthcare by Design.” A dynamic speaker, she has given keynotes and presentations around the country. Her work is centered on helping large organizations move nimbly to address pressing diversity concerns for their employees, clients, and stakeholders, from countering implicit bias and increasing health equity to changing organizational structure and building mentoring programs.

To RSVP for the Inspire event and learn more about its speakers, sponsors, and more, please visit http://healthcollab.org.

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About Inspire | Healthcare:
Inspire | Healthcare is the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region’s premier annual healthcare event and awards celebration. The awards seek to recognize innovations by individuals, teams, and/or organizations in the areas of informatics, quality improvement, population health, and diversity & inclusion. Other awards given annually include the Inspire Champion Award and the Hoxworth Blood Drive Awards, with separate nomination and judging processes. For more information about Inspire | Healthcare, visit healthcollab.org/inspire.

 About The Health Collaborative:
The Health Collaborative is a Cincinnati-based nonprofit leading data-driven improvement initiatives that result in healthier people, better care, and lower costs. Serving Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana, THC works with those who provide care, pay for care, and receive care, to find mutual solutions to healthcare’s most challenging problems. For more information about The Health Collaborative, visit healthcollab.org.

THC’s Keith Hepp Re-Elected To 2018 SHIEC Board of Directors

MEDIA CONTACT:
Shannan Schmitt
Director of Communications
(513) 307-0328

September 26, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Health Collaborative’s Keith Hepp Re-Elected to 2018 SHIEC Board of Directors

CFO and SVP of Business Development is a Founding Member of the HIE Collaborative

Keith Hepp

CINCINNATI – The Health Collaborative (THC) is proud to announce the re-election of Keith Hepp, its CFO and SVP of Business Development, to the SHIEC Board of Directors. SHIEC, or the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative, is a collaborative representing health information exchanges (HIEs) nationwide. The organization represents 70+ HIEs which collectively cover more than 200 million people across the U.S., well over half of the American population.

2018 board election results were recently announced during the organization’s August business meeting in Atlanta. One new board member: Dan Chavez, Executive Director, San Diego Health Connect, and three returning members: Keith Hepp; Teresa Rivera, President, UHIN; and Dick Thompson, CEO and Executive Director, Quality Health Network, were recognized.

“Keith has been one of the leaders of SHIEC from day one,” Thompson commented. “His experience, leadership, and sense of humor have been and will continue to be invaluable! We appreciate his service to our collective collaboration.”

SHIEC Board Chair Dan Porreca, Executive Director of HEALTHeLINK HIE in Western New York State, remarked of Keith’s service:

“We are very fortunate to have had, and to continue to have Keith on the board. Keith has served as an officer in the role of treasurer and has consistently provided leadership and passion in promoting and advancing HIE nationally and providing guidance to the SHIEC organization from an operational perspective.”

Hepp helped to found SHIEC in 2014 – 17 years after the 1997 inception of HealthBridge, the Greater Cincinnati region’s original HIE prior to its 2015 merger with THC and the Greater Cincinnati Health Council.

As a national expert on nonprofit sustainability and a member of THC’s executive team, he has been tapped to lead business development and finance for the organization. He has also worked as a consultant to many other HIEs around the country, providing them with financial advice, calculation of return on investment (ROI), and business case recommendations.

“It’s an honor to be selected by my peers to continue serving on the SHIEC Board,” Hepp shared. “SHIEC has made incredible progress on connecting health information exchanges across the country in a short period of time. I’m delighted to continue my service to such a nationally important organization.”

Hepp has spoken widely on health information technology (HIT) and data exchange for a variety of national events throughout his career in healthcare informatics. He was recently named as a finalist for Cincinnati’s CFO of the Year award. He received a B.A./B.S. in Accounting from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For the full roster of the 2018-2019 SHIEC Board of Directors, please visit https://strategichie.com/about/board-members/. For general information about SHIEC, please visit https://strategichie.com/.

 

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About The Health Collaborative:
The Health Collaborative is a non-profit organization that strives to positively impact health status, experience, outcomes, and affordability by fostering a connected system of healthcare and community health through innovation, integration, and informatics in the greater Cincinnati region. For more information about The Health Collaborative, visit healthcollab.org.

New Member Joins The Health Collaborative Board

MEDIA CONTACT:
Christa Hyson
Sr. Manager, External Relations
(513) 247-5254

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Member Joins Award-Winning Health Collaborative Board

Election of Barbara A. Turner, CRCP, Vice Chairman & Chief Administrative Officer, Ohio National Financial Services, as a Member of The Health Collaborative Board of Directors

CINCINNATI – Barbara A. Turner, CRCP, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer, Ohio National Financial Services, is the newest Member elected to The Health Collaborative Board of Directors. She was elected in late August and her term begins on October 1, 2018.

Barbara A. Turner, CRCP

Ms. Turner is a dedicated leader with a passion for community well-being. She currently sits on the Boards of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; American Red Cross Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region; The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation; and Go Red for Women, in addition to a deep community involvement ranging from the United Way Tocqueville Society to the ArtsWave Women’s Leadership Roundtable.

Last month, Ms. Turner, was promoted to become Vice Chairman, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Ohio National Financial Services (ONFS). As such, she continues to be responsible for oversight and management of strategic investments in information technology systems as well as underwriting, claims and all administration.

Ms. Turner had been one of four members of the Office of the CEO of ONFS. The Office of the CEO was created in January 2017 for leadership succession planning and is responsible for providing ongoing strategic leadership and agility in guiding the organization to ensure its long-term goals are met. In January 2016, Ms. Turner was named Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. As CAO, she is responsible for an operating budget of approximately $111 million and oversees 60% of Ohio National’s employees. She was the Annuities Strategic Business Unit Leader prior to becoming the CAO.

Previously, Ms. Turner had served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The O.N. Equity Sales Company (“ONESCO”), Ohio National’s retail broker-dealer. She had worked for Reynolds DeWitt Securities as Trading, Operations and Systems Manager and at Provident Bank as a Trust, Fed Funds and Repo Trader before beginning her career with ONFS in 1997.

Ms. Turner is also the recipient of the 2003 YWCA of Cincinnati Rising Star; 2006 YWCA of Cincinnati Career Women of Achievement; and 2009 Top 50 Women in Wealth Management in the country (Wealth Manager Magazine).

The Health Collaborative is energized to have Ms. Turner’s over 37 years of financial services experience provide a unique and valuable perspective on The Health Collaborative Board of Directors.

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About The Health Collaborative:

The Health Collaborative is a non-profit organization that strives to positively impact health status, experience, outcomes, and affordability by fostering a connected system of healthcare and community health through innovation, integration, and informatics in the greater Cincinnati region. For more information about The Health Collaborative, visit healthcollab.org.

Finalists Announced for 2018 Inspire | Healthcare Awards

MEDIA CONTACT:
Shannan Schmitt
Director of Communications
(513) 307-0328

September 10, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Health Collaborative Announces 2018 Inspire | Healthcare Finalists

18 Inspire Finalists Chosen Across Four Award Categories for their Innovative Work in Lowering Costs, Improving Care, and Empowering Healthier People

CINCINNATI – The Health Collaborative (THC) named 18 finalists from a pool of 40 robust nominations for the upcoming Inspire | Healthcare Awards Celebration and Dinner, planned for November 8 at The Center in downtown Cincinnati. Finalists were chosen for their innovations in improving health and healthcare in four areas including: population health; health information technology; safety and quality improvement; and – new this year – diversity and inclusion.

The 2018 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists are as follows:

The Diversity & Inclusion Award

  • Mark C. Clement, President and CEO – TriHealth 2020 Commitment to Diversity
  • Keith Melvin, MD and Kent Robinson, MD of Mercy Health – Avondale Internal Medicine
  • PriMed Wright Dunbar Family Practice and PriMed Wright Dunbar Pediatrics
  • TriHealth Inclusive Community Project
  • UC Health

The Gen-H Award

  • Avondale Children Thrive Health Champions
  • The Center for Closing the Health Gap
  • “Cooking for the Family” Team, St. Francis Seraph Ministries
  • Mercy Health Addiction Treatment Collaborative
  • Linda Smith-Berry, Executive Director, Good Samaritan Free Health Center

The Informatics Solutions Award

  • The Christ Hospital Health Network Care Management Team and Enli Health Intelligence
  • The Good Samaritan Free Health Center
  • Mercy Health Opioid Reduction Program
  • UC Health Clinical Improvement Program

The Richard M. Smith Leadership in Quality Improvement Award

  • Christian Village Communities (The Christian Village at Mason and The Christian Village at Mt. Healthy)
  • Pat Davis-Hagens, CNO and Central Market President and CEO, Mercy Health Nurse Residency Program
  • Nan Franks, CEO, Addiction Services Council
  • PriMed Physicians

Winners will be announced on November 8, 2018 at the Inspire | Healthcare Awards Ceremony and Gala, being held at The Center, 115 Fifth Street in downtown Cincinnati. A new feature of Inspire this year: attendees will be asked to vote for their favorite “Healthy by Design” work of art, a student competition held in partnership with the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Studios.

The event will begin with a networking reception at 5:00pm, followed by the program at 6:15 during which keynote speaker Eloiza Domingo-Snyder will discuss “Inclusive Healthcare by Design.” Eloiza leads Alzani Consulting Solutions, LLC where she helps organizations with their diversity and inclusion efforts. She was recently the Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Deputy Chief Diversity Officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine. For more information and to RSVP for the gala, visit healthcollab.org/inspire.

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About Inspire | Healthcare:
Inspire | Healthcare is the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region’s premier annual healthcare event and awards celebration. The awards seek to recognize innovations by individuals, teams, and/or organizations in the areas of informatics, quality improvement, population health, and diversity & inclusion. Other awards given annually include the Inspire Champion Award and the Hoxworth Blood Drive Awards, with separate nomination and judging processes. For more information about Inspire | Healthcare, visit healthcollab.org/inspire.

 About The Health Collaborative:
The Health Collaborative is a Cincinnati-based nonprofit leading data-driven improvement initiatives that result in healthier people, better care, and lower costs. Serving Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana, THC works with those who provide care, pay for care, and receive care, to find mutual solutions to healthcare’s most challenging problems. For more information about The Health Collaborative, visit healthcollab.org.

The Value of Collaborative Work Can Sometimes Be Measured in Millions

 

Working with The Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), The Health Collaborative’s (THC) Energy Advocacy Group has recently intervened in several rate cases that Duke Energy had filed with the Ohio Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

Following a series of hearings and negotiations, Duke Energy has signed a stipulation that addresses a number of special rider charges that Duke had proposed in addition to an increase in base distribution rates.

THC’s Energy Advocacy Group worked with OHA and its partners to negotiate a reduction of the Back Up Delivery Point Rider charges for hospitals receiving secondary feed service, as well as a number of other charges. Based on OHA’s estimates, that results in a savings for eligible member health systems of around 20% the first year, 28% the second year, and 43% the third year compared to what Duke originally proposed. Additional hearings were requested over the summer and the PUCO will likely make a final decision by the end of the year.

The total value of these savings is difficult to calculate across multiple systems with numerous facilities, but to call them significant would an understatement. As one example, the Manager of Engineering & Maintenance at TriHealth, Rich Hertlein, told us: “My ‘back of the envelope’ calculation showed that the intervention probably saved TriHealth about half a million dollars!” Hertlein went on to describe the nature of TriHealth’s energy savings in more detail:

“TriHealth has participated in utility rate intervention cases through both The Health Collaborative and OHA for many years and have always felt that the small cost was well worth the chance to sit at the settlement table with other interested parties.

In almost every case we have received benefits far in excess of the cost of participation, generally in the form of a reduction in the amount of increase the utility requested. In this recent case, however, we were delighted to find out that Duke agreed to an actual reduction in fees that were already in effect. This allowed us to calculate a precise savings to the organization of $410,349 over a three-year period, a huge win for TriHealth.”

The Health Collaborative and its Energy Advocacy Group thank OHA for filing and orchestrating the intervention on behalf of members in Southwest Ohio, and the Collaborative thanks members for being willing to work together on important issues such as these rate cases.

Staff Spotlight: Christa Hyson MPH, Senior Manager External Affairs

Welcome, Christa Hyson MPH!

Our new Senior Manager External Affairs comes to us from the Cincinnati Health Department, where she served as Health Communication Specialist and Clerk to the Board of Health.

“I’m eager to work with hospitals, government agencies, and civic groups to improve health and build resiliency across the region,” says Christa.

Q: Hey there, Christa! Give us an overview of your role at THC in three sentences or less.
A: Disaster Preparedness Public Information Officer, point person for media relations, and communications lead for Gen-H.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: I love the versatility of public health – it’s something different and fulfilling every day.

Q: What’s your favorite stress-relieving activity outside of the office, and why?
A: I LOVE to make soap! Part science, part art – no limits. I love giving homemade gifts.

Q: What are you most proud of, personally or professionally?
A: This.

Q: If you had a catch phrase, what would it be?
A: Get sh*t done. Sorry Mom.

Q: What TV sitcom would best describe your life?
A: Parks & Recreation. My goal is to be the Leslie Knope of Public Health.

Q: What book are you currently (or most recently) reading?
A: I just finished The Guineveres by Sarah Domet. It’s a fun read.

Q: Yin-yang question: Puppies… or kittens? 
A: This is Sophie’s Choice. I can’t do it. I love them all.

Q: What TV sitcom would best describe your life?

A: Parks & Recreation. My goal is to be the Leslie Knope of Public Health.

Q: What’s the oddest job you ever had (besides this one)?
A: I worked at a marina in high school. It was an awesome job to work on boats and be on the water… however… not the most fun when I had to empty out the toilets.

Q: Have you ever met a celebrity? If yes, who was it? Were they nice?
A: Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Twice! Once in Atlanta, Georgia and once in Monterosso al Mare, Italy. They were very kind. Super sad to report that they did not remember me.

Q: What really grinds your gears?
A: People that text and drive.

Q: What song would you sing on American Idol?
A: If I could do it justice… “Purple Rain.” But I would never embarrass Prince like that…

Q: If you could be in a movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play?
A: I’ve always admired Emma Thompson. If I could pull off the character that she plays in Wit (Professor Vivian Bearing), I’d have a shelf of academy awards.

Ready for a Purple Rain duet? Reach out to Christa at chyson@healthcollab.org!