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2016 Association for Community Health
Improvement Conference
Summary of Proceedings
Lisa Herms, MSc, Research Analyst, Sodexo
Rachel S. Permuth, PhD, MSPH, National Research Director, Sodexo
The Association for Community Health
Improvement (ACHI) held its annual national
conference from March 1-3, 2016. The ACHI
is the premier national association for
community health, community benefit and
healthy communities’ professionals. This year’s
conference was held in Baltimore, Maryland, and
centered on discussion around the “From Health
Care to Healthy Communities” idea.
The event brought together hundreds of community thought leaders, population health experts and
community organizations, in sessions of collaborative engagement and learning. Presentations and
interactive meetings introduced and critically discussed the latest tools and approaches to population
and community health. This summary provides an overview of some of the key themes and takeaways
that emerged from the conference.
Clearly, community health improvement is not an easy feat and requires collaboration and input from
a variety of disciplines and stakeholders. Yet, the conference sessions showed that such improvement
is possible and increasingly being sought out and achieved. The underlying message permeating the
conference was the importance – and proven success – of collaboration and communication between
stakeholders, as a way to effectively rally and utilize all available resources, data and expertise to
improve community health.
From the plentitude of sessions and engaging presentations, three main themes stood out. These are
areas in which Sodexo can also play a role and help the movement toward improved community health.
1.	 Moving Beyond the Four Walls of the Hospital: To have a truly successful population health
management strategy, healthcare systems must continue to venture outside of the clinical
environment and into people’s daily lives – at home and at work.
2.	 Community Health Means Collaboration: Community health improvement cannot be achieved by
any one designated organization – it requires collaboration across sectors and stakeholders.
3.	 Taking the Evidence-based Approach to Community Health: Just as in other sectors, the
movement toward community health requires the utilization of data and evidence, to inform actions
and consequently drive results.
2        2016 ACHI Conference Summary    Proprietary and Confidential
Moving Beyond the Four Walls of the Hospital
It is widely acknowledged that healthcare is no longer confined to the hospital, and most large
healthcare systems have started to move toward “population health.” However, there is still a lack
of understanding of what population health truly entail and furthermore, which competencies and
strategies are required in order for an initiative to be successful. To have a truly effective impact
on population health, healthcare organizations must create a bridge to the broader community.
Existing examples of successful initiatives show that this requires a fundamental paradigm shift.
Understanding this transitional process and the necessary adaptations to infrastructure, leadership
capabilities, and collective mindset are critical in bringing healthcare to the next level.
Sodexo has already taken steps to adopt this new approach, by collaborating with numerous
organizations in order to improve health and well-being in the workplace. Speakers at the conference
often referenced the “community” in terms of where people live. While this definition is widely
understood and accepted, we must also recognize that since people spend the majority of their day
at work, there is also a “community” that centers around the work environment. In fact, the work
environment may serve as a starting point or a bridge between clinical care and the larger population.
Proprietary and Confidential     2016 ACHI Conference Summary        3
Community Health Means Collaboration
Community health improvement cannot be achieved by any one organization alone. It is not the
sole responsibility of healthcare providers, nor can it fall on the shoulders of any one individual
or community health organization. In order to truly make a lasting and effective impact, healthy
communities require collaborations among diverse stakeholders. Yet such a collaboration is often
difficult to build, lead and uphold in an ongoing effort. The conference speakers presented various
examples of community collaborations – from initiatives that target more value-based spending, to
initiatives aiming to integrate healthcare more efficiently. Sodexo’s Communities 4 Health pilot is an
example of an effective initiative that brings new insight to the plethora of success stories presented.
Overall, the conference highlighted the need to share these success stories of collaboration – to
increase awareness of its importance and to continue on a path of fostering greater collaboration and
involving more stakeholders.
4        2016 ACHI Conference Summary    Proprietary and Confidential
Taking the Evidence-based Approach to Community Health	
Resources in today’s world are scarce, and in the healthcare field this is no exception. As providers
strive to improve the health of their patients and community, they must be able to balance competing
demands on their time and resources. In order to avoid abandoning community health efforts in
favor of more immediate clinical patient demands, providers should utilize data and evidence-based
evaluations of proposed initiatives. Ultimately, data is at the heart of community health initiatives
– it forms the basis for community health assessments and serves as the starting point for identifying
targeted solutions to population health problems, tracking their progress, and reporting meaningful
outcomes and ROI.
At the same time, healthcare and community professionals must always be aware of the dangers
and risks associated with misused or misunderstood data. Moving forward, a key challenge will
be identifying measurement standards for outcomes and goals that, at first sight, might seem
“unmeasurable.” This will allow stakeholders to more effectively extract evidence of ROI from any
community health initiative.
In sum, the conference sessions highlighted the importance of utilizing case studies and taking
advantage of all available data – both at the individual the community levels. Data collection and
analytics, when properly used and shared among all stakeholders involved, can play a key role in
improving community health.
Proprietary and Confidential     2016 ACHI Conference Summary        5
Conclusion
The importance of improving community health is unquestionable, but achieving this will require a new
approach and increased collaboration among all stakeholders involved. These stakeholders include
healthcare providers, community and interfaith organizations, governmental and non-profit agencies,
facilities management, and building and construction organizations. To create healthier communities,
all of these groups must work together and share their unique experiences, skillsets and data. Events,
like this conference, are a great opportunity for professionals to connect and stay up-to-date with
industry knowledge, in order to achieve these goals.
Above all, the conference reaffirmed the path Sodexo has taken and the contributions Sodexo has
already made toward enhancing population and community health.
6        2016 ACHI Conference Summary    Proprietary and Confidential
Additional Resources
To learn more about the Association for Community Health Improvement, the annual conference, or the
contributions Sodexo has made to the three themes identified, the following resources may be of interest.
Association for Community Health Improvement website:	
http://www.healthycommunities.org
Sodexo White Papers:
•	 “Communities for Health Launch Event Summary of Proceedings”:
		http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/dc43c72e
	 •	 “Going Beyond the Four Walls: Population Health Management Partnership Strategies MUSC &
	 Sodexo”: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/c8359abd
	 •	 “Access to Healthy Food: A Critical Strategy for Successful Population Health Management”: 		
	 http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/2e5ddaa8
	 •	 “Using Big Data in Hospital Facilities Management to Enhance Employee Productivity and Quality 	
		of Life”: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/3f45da2c
Sodexo Thought Leadership Library:
Additional Sodexo white papers on population health management and related topics can be found in the
Sodexo Thought Leadership Library: bit.ly/sodexothoughtleadership
Proprietary and Confidential     2016 ACHI Conference Summary        7
As part of Sodexo’s commitment to creating
a better tomorrow through sustainable, green
initiatives, this document has been printed on paper
containing 20% post-consumer recycled content.
9801 Washingtonian Boulevard, Suite 602
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
800 432 6663
www.sodexoUSA.com

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2016 association for community health improvement conference: summary of proceedings

  • 1. 2016 Association for Community Health Improvement Conference Summary of Proceedings Lisa Herms, MSc, Research Analyst, Sodexo Rachel S. Permuth, PhD, MSPH, National Research Director, Sodexo
  • 2. The Association for Community Health Improvement (ACHI) held its annual national conference from March 1-3, 2016. The ACHI is the premier national association for community health, community benefit and healthy communities’ professionals. This year’s conference was held in Baltimore, Maryland, and centered on discussion around the “From Health Care to Healthy Communities” idea. The event brought together hundreds of community thought leaders, population health experts and community organizations, in sessions of collaborative engagement and learning. Presentations and interactive meetings introduced and critically discussed the latest tools and approaches to population and community health. This summary provides an overview of some of the key themes and takeaways that emerged from the conference. Clearly, community health improvement is not an easy feat and requires collaboration and input from a variety of disciplines and stakeholders. Yet, the conference sessions showed that such improvement is possible and increasingly being sought out and achieved. The underlying message permeating the conference was the importance – and proven success – of collaboration and communication between stakeholders, as a way to effectively rally and utilize all available resources, data and expertise to improve community health. From the plentitude of sessions and engaging presentations, three main themes stood out. These are areas in which Sodexo can also play a role and help the movement toward improved community health. 1. Moving Beyond the Four Walls of the Hospital: To have a truly successful population health management strategy, healthcare systems must continue to venture outside of the clinical environment and into people’s daily lives – at home and at work. 2. Community Health Means Collaboration: Community health improvement cannot be achieved by any one designated organization – it requires collaboration across sectors and stakeholders. 3. Taking the Evidence-based Approach to Community Health: Just as in other sectors, the movement toward community health requires the utilization of data and evidence, to inform actions and consequently drive results. 2        2016 ACHI Conference Summary    Proprietary and Confidential
  • 3. Moving Beyond the Four Walls of the Hospital It is widely acknowledged that healthcare is no longer confined to the hospital, and most large healthcare systems have started to move toward “population health.” However, there is still a lack of understanding of what population health truly entail and furthermore, which competencies and strategies are required in order for an initiative to be successful. To have a truly effective impact on population health, healthcare organizations must create a bridge to the broader community. Existing examples of successful initiatives show that this requires a fundamental paradigm shift. Understanding this transitional process and the necessary adaptations to infrastructure, leadership capabilities, and collective mindset are critical in bringing healthcare to the next level. Sodexo has already taken steps to adopt this new approach, by collaborating with numerous organizations in order to improve health and well-being in the workplace. Speakers at the conference often referenced the “community” in terms of where people live. While this definition is widely understood and accepted, we must also recognize that since people spend the majority of their day at work, there is also a “community” that centers around the work environment. In fact, the work environment may serve as a starting point or a bridge between clinical care and the larger population. Proprietary and Confidential     2016 ACHI Conference Summary        3
  • 4. Community Health Means Collaboration Community health improvement cannot be achieved by any one organization alone. It is not the sole responsibility of healthcare providers, nor can it fall on the shoulders of any one individual or community health organization. In order to truly make a lasting and effective impact, healthy communities require collaborations among diverse stakeholders. Yet such a collaboration is often difficult to build, lead and uphold in an ongoing effort. The conference speakers presented various examples of community collaborations – from initiatives that target more value-based spending, to initiatives aiming to integrate healthcare more efficiently. Sodexo’s Communities 4 Health pilot is an example of an effective initiative that brings new insight to the plethora of success stories presented. Overall, the conference highlighted the need to share these success stories of collaboration – to increase awareness of its importance and to continue on a path of fostering greater collaboration and involving more stakeholders. 4        2016 ACHI Conference Summary    Proprietary and Confidential
  • 5. Taking the Evidence-based Approach to Community Health Resources in today’s world are scarce, and in the healthcare field this is no exception. As providers strive to improve the health of their patients and community, they must be able to balance competing demands on their time and resources. In order to avoid abandoning community health efforts in favor of more immediate clinical patient demands, providers should utilize data and evidence-based evaluations of proposed initiatives. Ultimately, data is at the heart of community health initiatives – it forms the basis for community health assessments and serves as the starting point for identifying targeted solutions to population health problems, tracking their progress, and reporting meaningful outcomes and ROI. At the same time, healthcare and community professionals must always be aware of the dangers and risks associated with misused or misunderstood data. Moving forward, a key challenge will be identifying measurement standards for outcomes and goals that, at first sight, might seem “unmeasurable.” This will allow stakeholders to more effectively extract evidence of ROI from any community health initiative. In sum, the conference sessions highlighted the importance of utilizing case studies and taking advantage of all available data – both at the individual the community levels. Data collection and analytics, when properly used and shared among all stakeholders involved, can play a key role in improving community health. Proprietary and Confidential     2016 ACHI Conference Summary        5
  • 6. Conclusion The importance of improving community health is unquestionable, but achieving this will require a new approach and increased collaboration among all stakeholders involved. These stakeholders include healthcare providers, community and interfaith organizations, governmental and non-profit agencies, facilities management, and building and construction organizations. To create healthier communities, all of these groups must work together and share their unique experiences, skillsets and data. Events, like this conference, are a great opportunity for professionals to connect and stay up-to-date with industry knowledge, in order to achieve these goals. Above all, the conference reaffirmed the path Sodexo has taken and the contributions Sodexo has already made toward enhancing population and community health. 6        2016 ACHI Conference Summary    Proprietary and Confidential
  • 7. Additional Resources To learn more about the Association for Community Health Improvement, the annual conference, or the contributions Sodexo has made to the three themes identified, the following resources may be of interest. Association for Community Health Improvement website: http://www.healthycommunities.org Sodexo White Papers: • “Communities for Health Launch Event Summary of Proceedings”: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/dc43c72e • “Going Beyond the Four Walls: Population Health Management Partnership Strategies MUSC & Sodexo”: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/c8359abd • “Access to Healthy Food: A Critical Strategy for Successful Population Health Management”: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/2e5ddaa8 • “Using Big Data in Hospital Facilities Management to Enhance Employee Productivity and Quality of Life”: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/3f45da2c Sodexo Thought Leadership Library: Additional Sodexo white papers on population health management and related topics can be found in the Sodexo Thought Leadership Library: bit.ly/sodexothoughtleadership Proprietary and Confidential     2016 ACHI Conference Summary        7
  • 8. As part of Sodexo’s commitment to creating a better tomorrow through sustainable, green initiatives, this document has been printed on paper containing 20% post-consumer recycled content. 9801 Washingtonian Boulevard, Suite 602 Gaithersburg, MD 20878 800 432 6663 www.sodexoUSA.com