In the past, I’ve written quite a few blog posts about the importance of health systems partnering with community and public health organizations to positively impact community and population health. Here are a few examples:
Public Health 3.0, October 5, 2016
Organizations Collaborating to Advance Population Health (Video), July 13, 2016
Replicate This: A Hospital Sponsored Community Blog, May 5, 2016
Population Health Management Is Our Future, March 15, 2016
One Year of Public Health & Primary Care Working Together, March 5, 2015
Clearly, this is an area in which I have a strong interest; so when I find a person or organization who shares my passion, I get excited; I see hope!
To that end, earlier this week I found the following passage on Renown Health’s website, and I was elated. They get it! This statement clearly articulates a vision of community health that I share and often promote within this blog (as you can see from the list of blog posts above).
Together, We’re Better
“As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, we will broaden our approach, and think not only about healthcare, but also about health. And, we will think beyond the walls of the hospital and take our services and winning spirit out into our communities.
We recognize that we all must come together if we are to really move the needle on our community health statistics and improve the overall health of our community. To accomplish these lofty goals, we are forging new partnerships with doctors, nonprofits, other hospitals, and those who are educating tomorrow’s workforce — just to name a few. We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to think differently and focus on what’s really important. And, we won’t forget our most significant partnerships — the one we share with our 6,000+ employees. The good work we do would not be possible without them.” (Renown Health Website)
It was wonderful to discover a healthcare organization that is embracing this perspective. I believe much of this philosophy comes from Dr. Tony Slonim, Renown’s CEO. He is an amazing guy and a model physician leader. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Slonim, I’ll give you some highlights. Dr. Slonim is a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM). He is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Critical Care, and a Doctor of Public Health. Dr. Slonim is a nationally recognized expert in patient safety, accountable care, healthcare quality, and innovative care delivery models focused on improving health in the community. He is an academic leader with more than 100 publications, 15 textbooks and more than $2 million in National Institutes of Health funding to his name. Dr. Slonim serves on the boards of the American College of Physician Executives, the Stevens Institute of Technology, and is the Chairman of the Certified Medical Representatives (CMR) Institute Boards.
I first met Dr. Slonim through an article in the The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) where he was interviewed about Physician Leadership. As I read that interview, I was engaged by his perspective on the health system’s role in addressing community health.
“We’re on a quest toward a healthy community, and that means we’re looking outside of our walls not only to healthcare and the healthcare we provide, but also ensuring the community’s health. How are we there not only when they’re sick or injured, but when they have questions about what vitamins or herbals to take? When they need support on how to reduce their stress or how to lose weight or stop smoking? Those are the ways that we need to engage the community with prevention and wellness. And we’re doing that a lot more aggressively than we ever have.” (AJMC, March 14, 2016)
After doing a little digging, I found Dr. Slonim’s TEDx Talk where he continues to address the theme of creating healthier communities. I’ve embedded that video below.
In short, Dr. Slonim and I share a common belief that community health needs to be addressed in the community – and that this is best done through partnerships between the health system and community/public health organization. For me, it was so gratifying to discuss a physician leader and health system that is embracing that philosophy!
Here’s the backstory: This week one of my colleagues and I spent a couple of days in Reno, Nevada visiting the marketing team at Renown Health. During my time at Renown, I was fortunate to spend time with their CEO, Dr. Tony Slonim.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Renown, it is a not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. It is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 5,700. Renown’s network includes three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, skilled nursing, and the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network. Of the 5,627 hospitals in the United States, Renown is one of only 281 physician-led organizations.
We left Renown with a great appreciation for the organization and its commitment to addressing community health. The health of our communities is dependent upon hospitals and health systems moving beyond their walls, and partnering with community organizations. It was wonderful to learn that the team at Renown embraces this perspective.