Issue 35 | Social Innovations Toward Building a Culture of Health

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Dear Reader,

“Health and human serving system leaders are discarding the old ways of doing business in favor of new approaches that are innovative, efficient, effective, and responsive to the needs and demands of a dynamic and rapidly changing society. We are shifting from a reactive and crisis-oriented services delivery model to one that focuses “upstream” and better enables all of us to live to our full potential and to more effectively identify and address root causes when we do encounter roadblocks along the way.”1 Ultimately, regional health and human services agencies, collectively, are shaping a new ecosystem across sectors and systems that will align services, integrate data systems, leverage technologies, and create system transformation. This edition and symposium titled: SOCIAL INNOVATIONS TOWARD BUILDING A CULTURE OF HEALTH, in partnership with Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) and the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium, hopes to raise awareness and serve as a call to action using health data to drive innovation.  

We hope you enjoy reading this edition that presents Pennsylvania, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia’s County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and Household Health Data and Reports on Adults without Health Care; General Health Indicators, Cigarette Smoking, Female Breast Health and Adult Physical Activity. In addition to data, this edition provides recommended and potential solutions from Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Health Professionals and informs us on how we can collectively work together toward implementing these solutions. 

As background, The County Health Rankings (CHR), a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI), compares counties within each state on more than 30 factors that impact health, including such social determinants such as education, jobs, housing, exercise, commuting times, and more. The rankings raise awareness about the many factors that influence health and how the quality of health varies from place to place. The CHDB’s Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) Household Health Survey provides timely information on more than 13,000 residents -- children and adults -- living in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. The Household Health Survey is one of the longest running regional health surveys of its kind in the country, conducted in 1983, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, in addition it will be conducted again in 2018! The Household Health Survey has expanded beyond the SEPA region to collect information about the health and well-being of adults in Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill Counties, Center County, Mercer County, NJ, and across the state of Delaware to provide information about the health and well-being of children. The survey targets key information about health status, personal health behaviors, and access to and utilization of area health services. These data are available at the regional and county levels, but also at much smaller geographies, including clusters of ZIP codes or clusters of census tracts that represent neighborhoods or service areas.

We hope that this edition will provide invaluable insight into understanding “how” to use regional health data to inspire a cooperative response to addressing the most pressing needs at a local or region.

Yours in Innovation,

Nicholas Torres, Co-Founder
Tine Hansen-Turton, Co-Founder 

1 American Public Health and Human Services Association, November 2016.