Our desire to improve community well-being grew out of not only our mission at Adventist Health–to live God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope–but also by the sheer need we see across our system of 23 hospitals. Overwhelmingly, we see diseases of despair including suicide, substance abuse, mental health and chronic illnesses plaguing the communities in which we have a significant presence in. We want to break these cycles.
This is no walk in the park. By and large, public health professionals tend to treat the symptoms–the immediate things we see, like homelessness–and not the cause, when the truth is the biggest band aid couldn’t begin to heal the brokenness we see. That’s why we’ve focused our work around addressing behavior and the systems keeping the most vulnerable people in cycles of poverty and high utilization.
In an effort to heal these communities, we have strategically invested in our communities by partnering with national leaders in community well-being. We believe the power of community transformation lies in the hands of the community. That means we’re not coming to community leaders as a white knight. We are partnering with and empowering the change-makers that are already present in the community to develop community well-being systems that work.
Our solution for transformation is to create a repeatable, sustainable model of well-being that measurably impacts the well-being of people, well-being of places and equity.
Success is measured by the Well-Being In the Nation (WIN) index, which shows connections between social conditions, health, community, and well-being.
- Well-being of People: Well-Being of People is both how people feel about their lives and how long they are likely to live. Health, security, prosperity, sense of connection, and purpose all play a role in well-being.
- Well-being of Places: Well-Being of Places is about whether a community is flourishing and the people within it have the vital conditions needed to thrive.
- Equity: Equity is about just and fair inclusion into a society in which all have a fair chance to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
Cross-sector collaboration for vulnerable populations reduces utilization and strengthens community partnerships
Published in the Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, Vol. 18, March 2020