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Supporting Maryland Organizations Address Health Disparities

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Supporting Maryland Organizations Address Health Disparities

IPHI will collaborate with Maryland Nonprofits from July 1, 2023, to May 31, 2024, through a CDC-funded grant.

The IPHI and Maryland Nonprofits partnership will support Maryland’s community-based organizations, faith-based organizations (C/FBO), and local health departments (LHD) in addressing the social determinants of health (SDoH). This partnership will utilize partner networks, experiences, and a repository of tools and resources to support capacity-building efforts.

Strategy Overview:

1. Assessment

  • Conduct a thorough assessment of Maryland’s LHDs and C/FBOs to identify their strengths and capacity needs in addressing SDoH and promoting health equity.
  • Use surveys, focus groups, and listening sessions to understand organizational needs.

2. Training

  • Offer various online educational resources, including toolkits, equity assessment guides, on-demand learning events, recorded webinars, and newsletters.
  • Plan and arrange workshops on specific topics, like the “Healthy and Equitable Communities” workshop.
  • Plan a monthly 90-minute webinar series covering CBO/Nonprofit capacity.

3. Communities of Practice

  • Organize up to five forums to share resources, best practices, and real-time project implementation feedback.
  • These forums may discuss regional strategies to support health equity programming through workforce development.
  • Participants can set agendas tailored to their needs and be acknowledged as subject matter experts.

4. Tailored Technical Assistance

  • Provide support across various topic areas, prioritizing by assessment results and demand.

This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with 100 percent funding provided by CDC/HHS.

The state (Maryland Dept of Health) is supporting this project and is funded by the CDC RFA OT21 2103 Grant, National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities, for the provision of technical assistance and capacity building services to Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Faith-Based Organizations (FBO’s), and Local Health Departments (LHDs).

To learn more about IPHI supporting organizations addressing health disparities, please contact Senior Program Director Carolyn Padovano at [email protected].

Food Security Report

Title "Prince George's County Food Security Task Force Recommendations 2021" over a background image of crops growing from the ground.

Food Security Report

IPHI, Prince George’s County Food Security Task Force, and Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC) completed a report to address the county’s food-security challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report recommends 11 solutions (four foundational and seven general strategies) for the Prince George’s County Council, Office of the County Executive, and County agencies to adopt.

To download the report, click: here.

To view the executive summary of the report and recommendations, click: here.

 

Foundational Recommendations

  1. Create and fund a Prince George’s County Food Security Office.
  2. Gather, analyze, and use data to inform and drive County agency food security decisions.
  3. Increase resident participation in federal nutrition assistance programs.
  4. Develop a master communication strategy for food security, resilience, and emergency preparedness.

Food Security Policies and Programs Recommendations

  1. Plan for future food security disruptions by developing an emergency food security plan that integrates food system experts into existing emergency management operations.
  2. Increase access to bulk food purchasing, infrastructure, and resources for food assistance providers.
  3. Co-locate food security and social safety net services to create closed-loop referral systems.
  4. Improve transportation options for residents to access healthy food retailers and providers.
  5. Leverage state and regional partners for cross-jurisdictional food systems planning, coordinated communication, and infrastructure development.
  6. Provide land access, infrastructure, and resources to help agriculture flourish.
  7. Continue to provide and expand market incentives to support healthy food retailers of multiple sizes in target communities.

Dan River Region Health Equity Report

Photo by: The Gender Spectrum Collection.

Photo by: The Gender Spectrum Collection. View the guidelines: here.

Dan River Region Health Equity Report

IPHI has partnered with The Health Collaborative, Centra, Sovah Health – Danville, and Danville Regional Foundation to publish the Dan River Region’s first Health Equity Report.

This is a sunset initiative (no longer active).

In 2017, these community partners collaborated to collect data, engage residents, identify common themes, and analyze trends to better understand the region’s health status.

As part of a larger community health needs assessment, the map-based report provides critical insight into the many factors influencing the community’s health. The report’s findings have been presented in the region through a series of workshops, presentations, and community findings.

 

To download the Dan River Region full Health Equity Report, click: here.

 

RVA Breathes

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RVA BREATHES

IPHI partnered with the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Department of Psychology to implement of RVA Breathes. This program was a six-year NIH-funded research grant to assess the impact of evidence-based interventions on families with a child with uncontrolled asthma in Richmond, Virginia.

This is a sunset initiative (no longer active).

Richmond, VA, is consistently ranked one of the most challenging places to live in the United States for those diagnosed with asthma.

This study sought to identify interventions to help Richmond-based families manage their child’s asthma. Working in partnership with a team of Healthy Homes Assessors from the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD), IPHI community health workers (CHW) conducted home visits with families with a child with uncontrolled asthma. The team provided education on asthma self-management, establishing a medical home, identifying environmental triggers, and techniques to reduce asthma attacks. The team helped families identify and navigate resources to address health-related social needs.

The final post-intervention visits and data analysis remain ongoing, but current outcomes of interest include reduced emergency department utilization, unnecessary hospitalization, and increased school attendance and medication usage. Preliminary results showed:

  • Caregivers gained the confidence to manage asthma attacks and talk to their children’s doctors and school personnel.
  • Children became comfortable with talking about asthma with their parents and doctors.
  • Caregivers reported developing new strategies to improve medication adherence.
  • Caregivers frequently discussed the invaluable psychosocial support the CHW and Healthy Homes teams provided. Having someone to discuss challenges and fears helped to manage stress. Children felt supported in addressing challenges.

After this project, the VCU and RHHD teams worked together to develop a community-based asthma program model. With more flexibility and adaptability, the community-based program model is well-suited to meet parents where they are. Recognizing the pilot’s success, research project results, and the importance of sustaining this resource, RHHD has agreed to continue this intervention starting June 2022.

To learn more about RVA Breathes, please contact Senior Program Manager Rebecca Epstein at [email protected].

Cameron Foundation Community Health Needs Assessment

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Community Health Needs Assessment

The Cameron Foundation in Petersburg, VA, partnered with IPHI to update its community health needs assessment (CHNA). The most recent assessment was developed in spring 2023.

The assessment provides a comprehensive review of demographic, socioeconomic, physical environmental, and health indicators, and includes jurisdiction-level forces of change analyses and a summary of existing services and resources in the foundation’s service areas. IPHI led the collection, analysis, and reporting of health indicators, which include clinical and behavioral risk factors, County Health Rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, health outcomes, and life expectancy maps.

IPHI worked with the foundation to frame the report using a health equity lens to link demographics, environmental and socioeconomic factors (e.g., social determinants of health-SDOH) to overall health outcomes and inequities between populations, neighborhoods, and jurisdictions. Among other data in the report, IPHI integrated the Vulnerable Populations Footprint from the Community Commons and census tract life expectancy maps to visually demonstrate the link between adverse SDOH and short life span at the neighborhood level.  IPHI added evidence-based recommendations to guide communities in using the assessment.

To learn more about the Cameron Foundation’s community health needs assessment, please contact [email protected] or visit: www.camfound.org/.

Community Health Improvement Planning

A group of teens and adults are gathered around a map with pens for a community workshop activity.

Community Health Improvement Planning

The community health improvement plan (CHIP) is a collaborative process to identify trends, needs, and resources in a community or jurisdiction and develop action plans for community health improvement.

 

Our framework for community health improvement work defines health broadly and recognizes that health and well-being are affected by the conditions and circumstances in which people live, age, work, learn, and play.

Our commitment to the belief that all people and communities have the right to achieve and maintain good health fuels the passion we bring to the work.

Our approach to the community health improvement process includes these key components:

  • Coalition-building among public and private community partners;
  • Grassroots community engagement;
  • Data collection and analysis to identify community health needs, inequities, strengths, and assets; and
  • Development, implementation, and evaluation of action plans that include common goals, a shared system of measuring outcomes, and proven interventions.

We are uniquely positioned to assist with this important assessment and planning work. We have the organizational capacity and staff skills, and experience to contribute by:

  • Serving as a neutral convener to  engage community partners and residents;
  • Collecting, analyzing, and presenting community health data in an understandable and meaningful way;
  • Facilitating health issue prioritization and action planning; and
  • Providing technical assistance for action plan implementation and evaluation.

To view and download the CHIP overview, click: here.

To learn more about community health improvement planning, please contact [email protected].

Health Equity Consultant for Nemours Foundation

Three boys wearing soccer gear are stretching on the field.

Health Equity Consultant for Nemours Foundation

In August 2021, IPHI extended its partnership with Nemours Children’s Health System for a fourth year. IPHI will continue to serve as an equity consultant for Nemours’ CDC-funded Healthy Kids, Healthy Future (HKHF) initiative.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Future logo

 

HKHF partners with state-level early care and education (ECE) coalitions of agencies and organizations integrating obesity prevention policies and systems into ECE settings.

IPHI will continue to provide core equity training to state-level coalitions throughout the nation. The training uses a 16-hour Healthy and Equitable Communities (HEC) curriculum, then provides follow-up technical assistance to support integrating equity tools and concepts into coalition strategies. IPHI will work with up to seven states through HKHF on the following:

  • Health Equity Research / Data
  • Coalition Building and Support
  • Survey Design / Development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Community Engagement
  • Equity Committee Development

IPHI supported Nemours HKHF with the following technical assistance :

  • Michigan and Florida –
    • Provided consultative services to advise on the logistics and communications needed to coordinate each state’s Healthy and Equitable Communities Workshop sessions. IPHI coordinated participant registrations via IPHI’s Learning Hub system and distributed pre- and post-assessment surveys to assess participant knowledge levels around various equity topics. After the workshops, IPHI provided a comprehensive training report summarizing data from the workshop sessions and providing recommendations for future improvements.
  • Kansas –
    • Provided consultation on the development of a position description for a newly created Equity Consultant role. IPHI leveraged best practices for job descriptions to co-create an accurate and detailed position description in collaboration with our client partner.
  • Alabama –
    • Attended several strategic planning discussions to assess the needs to support re-assembling their member coalition. Discussions centered around potential technical assistance support areas, including the development of a member survey, assistance with a strategic plan, coalition re-engagement strategies, and expanding diversity of coalition members.
  • Pennsylvania Keystone Kids Go (KKG)
    • Reviewed prior member survey data and advised the development of an enhanced member survey to embed an equity focus. IPHI evaluated the client’s mission, values statement, and strategic plan and advised on opportunities to increase emphasis on equity language and methods. Provided guidance on methods to engage additional coalition members, ensuring representation from diverse organizations. IPHI assisted our client with developing a steering committee and advised on plans for the re-engagement of their coalition members. Also developed plans for the KKG’s annual member meeting. For the annual meeting, IPHI developed presentation materials and facilitated consensus discussions to ensure a path forward in building equity into their strategic plan.

Prince George’s County Food Security Task Force Highlights 11 New Recommendations to Improve Food Security

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 26, 2022

Media Contacts:
FEC: Julia Groenfeldt, [email protected]
IPHI: Sydney Daigle, [email protected]

Prince George’s County Food Security Task Force Highlights 11 New Recommendations to Improve Food Security 

(PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md.) — The silence of hunger has been heard loud and clear thanks to the Prince George’s County Food Security Task Force, the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), and IPHI’s Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC). The group completed a report to address the county’s food-security challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report recommends 11 solutions (four foundational and seven general strategies) for the Prince George’s County Council, Office of the County Executive, and County agencies to adopt.

The report highlights timely policy recommendations and strategies to improve food security, increase food system resiliency, and ensure county agency and community officials are prepared to respond to food-security challenges in future public health, environmental, or economic emergencies. “The Food Security Task Force final report and recommendations set the table for addressing food insecurity in the county and its impact on our quality of life. It presents a strong foundation and best practices guide for the county, especially as we continue to address the additional impacts of ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Task Force Chair, Council Member Todd M. Turner (4th Council District).

The following recommendations are outlined in the report:

Foundational Recommendations

a. Create and fund a Prince George’s County Food Security Office.
b. Gather, analyze, and use data to inform and drive County agency food security decisions.
c. Increase resident participation in federal nutrition assistance programs.
d. Develop a master communication strategy for food security, resilience, and emergency preparedness.

Food Security Policies and Programs Recommendations

1. Plan for future food security disruptions by developing an emergency food security plan that integrates food system experts into existing emergency management operations.
2. Increase access to bulk food purchasing, infrastructure, and resources for food assistance providers.
3. Co-locate food security and social safety net services to create closed-loop referral systems.
4. Improve transportation options for residents to access healthy food retailers and providers.
5. Leverage state and regional partners for cross-jurisdictional food systems planning, coordinated communication, and infrastructure development.
6. Provide land access, infrastructure, and resources to help agriculture flourish.
7. Continue to provide and expand market incentives to support healthy food retailers of multiple sizes in target communities.

The Task Force advised the Prince George’s County Council and County Executive to implement these recommendations to address the ongoing food security crisis.

IPHI Senior Program Manager Sydney Daigle said, “The recommendations provided in this report are informed by experts and advocates who have been working tirelessly to address food security during the pandemic and for years before it. Taken collectively, these strategies present an opportunity to advance healthy food access and food security for residents now and for years to come.”

The Prince George’s County Council established the Prince George’s County Food Security Task Force in 2020 and it was extended in 2021. The Task Force is comprised of 21 members from specific county agencies and non-profit food system stakeholders. The Task Force leveraged the Food System Study initiated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) and FEC to serve as a guide to combat food insecurity, which can stem from several interrelated causes.

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About the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council:
The Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC) is a local food policy council that works to help residents grow, sell, and choose healthy foods. Since 2013, FEC has been a voice for county residents at the policymaking table. The FEC focuses on systematic and sustainable changes to promote health, economic opportunity, food security, and well-being in Prince George’s by advocating for policy that creates a more equitable local food system. The FEC is housed within the Institute for Public Health Innovation. For more information on FEC, visit www.pgcfec.org and follow FEC on social media @pgcfec.

About the Institute for Public Health Innovation:
IPHI develops multi-sector partnerships and innovative solutions to improve the public’s health and well-being across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. IPHI strengthens health systems, policies, enhances conditions that promote health, and builds community capacity to ensure equitable opportunities for all. IPHI is one of over 40 public health institutes across the country and a member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes. For more information about IPHI, visit: www.institutephi.org, and follow IPHI on Facebook and Twitter @InstitutePHI.