Healthify Blog

3 Strategies for Taking a Community-Centered Approach to Care Coordination

At Healthify, we believe that health is a human right, and that health disparities are largely influenced by socioeconomic factors such as access to housing, food, education, and employment. These factors are commonly known as the social determinants of health.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Community Resources Coordinate Care Health Department community-centered

Fostering a Community Connection for Homeless Children

“Love, belonging and connection are the universal sources of true well-being.” -Unknown

 Being homeless is a traumatic experience, but for children it is especially detrimental. During a child’s crucial years of development, losing everything—their home, routines, privacy, friends, and pets—creates a toxic stress that has a lasting impact on their physical and mental health. Without basic needs, children grow up longing for more: more safety, more structure, and more security.

Approximately 2.5 million children lacked a home at some point in 2013. And according to the National Center for Homeless Education, the number of homeless students has doubled in the past decade.

Topics: Childhood Development Coordinate Care Homeless

Empowering Women to Improve Health

Women’s health has taken center stage in 2017, but not necessarily for positive reasons. As healthcare policies continue to be debated in Washington, essential healthcare benefits for women are in jeopardy, including prenatal and maternity care, mammograms, and birth control.

As National Women’s Health Week, it’s an apt time to promote, not demote, women’s health. National Women’s Health Week, led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, serves as a time to advocate for women to make their health a priority. The annual campaign encourages women to improve their health, including regularly visiting a doctor, adhering to a healthy diet, exercising, and prioritizing mental health.

Topics: Community Resources Women's Health Community Based Organizations Coordinate Care Womens healthcare week

Is Healthcare Leaving Latino Men Behind?

By 2045, approximately 50 million Latino-American men will live in the United States. Imagine if this growing population avoided healthcare; instead of seeking preventative care, they only sought emergency treatment when necessary. It’s a scary thought on its way to becoming reality if not addressed soon.

Currently, Latino males are more likely to be sick and suffer from chronic illnesses than the average American. They are more likely to be obese, develop diabetes, and have high blood pressure, among other illnesses, and are less likely to seek treatment. Compounding matters, due to a distrust of the American health system, Hispanic men avoid doctors, cancer screenings and medication. Instead, they count on the emergency room as their primary point of treatment.

Topics: Coordinate Care minority health Health care

A Salute to Nurses: Our Caretakers, Educators, and Advocates

There’s a saying that nurses are by our side at the beginning of life and the end of it, and every health event in between. And it’s true. Nurses are the engine that drive the patient care process. 

Topics: Community Resources Coordinate Care nurses

Raising Awareness and Bridging the Gap in Minority Health

Your health care depends on who you are.” - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  

Topics: Health Disparities Coordinate Care Robert Wood Johnson Foundation minority health month minority health

Using Dual Eligible Plans to Improve Care for our Most Costly Patients

Dennis Heaphy, a Boston resident and 30-year quadriplegic, received new health care coverage in 2014. As part of initiatives ushered in with the Accountable Care Act, Heaphy, a low-income disabled individual, was able to stay home and in his community. This was a drastic change from the expensive and disruptive alternative he was all too familiar with—frequent visits to the hospital and long-term stays at skilled nursing facilities.

Now, improvements are being tested in a pilot program—“dual eligible” plans—aimed at providing better coordinated care for patients like Heaphy, who is among a group of the most costly and complex patients.  

Topics: Medicaid Coordinate Care ACA Medicare Dual Eligibles Elderly

A Breath of Fresh Air for Smoking Cessation Efforts­­­­

More than 50 years ago, the Surgeon General first reported that cigarette smoking was very bad for our health. At the time, 42% of Americans smoked. Even now that the percentage has dropped dramatically to less than 15%, smoking is still a deadly problem. 

The deleterious effects of smoking are well known, including the increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Smoking causes 480,000 deaths annually, which is more deaths each year than the following causes combined: HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related incidents. 

Topics: Healthify Social Determinants of Health Medicaid Coordinate Care smoking

Breathing new life into Asthma treatment

Santana Hudson, a 3-year-old boy from a low-income family in the Midwest, suffers from chronic asthma. The normally active young boy stops like clockwork every four hours to sit down and inhale asthma medication. If a dose is missed, he likely will end up in a trip to the emergency room, which for him, are frequent. Santana lacks a primary care doctor, and like many other children, he is left with one option for treating severe asthma attacks—to call an ambulance.

Asthma impacts roughly one in 12 Americans. It’s so common that its severity is often underestimated. But for some, like Santana, asthma can be so debilitating that it interferes with daily activities and can lead to life-threatening attacks. While asthma affects all ethnic groups and levels of socio-economic status, it disproportionally impacts low-income, minority and inner city populations.

Topics: Healthify Social Determinants of Health low income Coordinate Care coordination health asthma

500 Cities Project: Only Two Miles Away, Yet Miles Apart

Baltimore, like many cities across the country, is experiencing growing pains. With a relatively affluent metropolitan area and an abundance of high-paying jobs, the city is booming. But as wealth infiltrates some neighborhoods, others are being left behind. As a result, the city is experiencing significant gaps in both the wealth and health of its residents.

Take, for instance, two Baltimore neighborhoods, Federal Hill, located south of downtown, and Cherry Hill, one of the southernmost neighborhoods of the city. Approximately two miles apart, the two neighborhoods could not be more disparate when it comes to health. 

Topics: Community Resources Low income housing Coordinate Care coordination 500 cities project Robert Wood Johnson Foundation