Temple Health has earned highest honors in the 2023 Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) Achievement Awards. Each year, HAP honors hospitals and health systems across the state for their innovative approaches to enhance health, advance health equity, partner with their communities, and improve the quality and delivery of care.
Temple Health’s entry—Social Determinants of Health: A Comprehensive Health System Approach to Screening and Response—received HAP’s distinguished 2023 Living the Vision Award, which is presented to one recipient each year to celebrate innovation and bold interventions that transform the patient experience, address overall health, and improve value. The winner of this award is selected from the entire pool of entries across all Achievement Award categories and size divisions.
Under the direction of Steve Carson, MHA, BSN, RN, Senior Vice President of Population Health; and Nina O’Connor, MD, FAAHPM, Chief Medical Officer, Temple Center for Population Health, Temple Health has implemented a multidimensional program to screen and respond effectively to social determinants of health—such as inadequate healthcare access, financial instability, poor housing conditions, domestic violence, and food insecurity. Patients are screened for these social and economic disparities so that the most effective care strategies can be delivered to address them.
In the program, Community Health Workers connect patients to community resources and support. Partnerships with community organizations, payors, and philanthropic groups develop effective responses to key social determinants. Examples include a thriving food pantry to address food insecurity, temporary housing for homeless individuals, a legal aid program and social services to address financial instability, crisis counseling and transitional housing for victims of domestic violence, and free rides to medical appointments for those with transportation challenges.
A Multi-Visit Patient (MVP) Clinic integrates clinical care with social resources for patients with complex needs and frequent hospitalizations. A new “ED Navigator” role connects patients to resources prior to discharge from the emergency department. A mobile health van, community events, and web-based platform effectively extend services beyond Temple’s facilities.
The program simultaneously builds robust community partnerships and improves health outcomes. Temple Health’s campuses recently demonstrated a 12% reduction in admission rates for diabetes, asthma/COPD, and heart failure among Black and Hispanic Medicaid patients. Temple’s MVP clinic patients average 32% fewer hospitalizations, 9% fewer ED visits, and 35% more outpatient visits in the year following referral to the clinic.
“We congratulate Steve Carson, Dr. Nina O’Connor and the entire Temple Center for Population Health team for earning this award – and for their ongoing extraordinary work to advance the health of our patients and our community,” said Michael A. Young, MHA, FACHE, President & CEO of Temple Health. “The HAP award calls it ‘Living the Vision of a Healthy Pennsylvania,’ which is a fitting complement to Temple Health’s value-based care strategy of combining world-class academic medicine with wide-ranging and innovative services that address social determinants of health.”
Additional information about the awards program and detailed descriptions of the winning projects are available online.