Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness selected for award from national leadership program

3/13/2012

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BOSTON – March 13, 2012 – The Disparities Leadership Program has recognized Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare (JHSMH), a part of KentuckyOne Health, and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) with the award for Best Overall Project.  The two organizations have collaborated to implement an initiative designed to help underserved people living in Louisville’s urban neighborhoods better manage their health conditions in their homes. The program began March 1, 2012 and uses a nurse from Jewish Hospital to provide free health coaching and support for low-income patients after they’ve had an inpatient hospitalization.  In addition, health department peer advisors make home visits to connect patients with community resources like transportation and support them in managing their health. It is funded with a Mission and Ministry Grant from Catholic Health Initiatives.

Bev Beckman, who retired in December from JHSMH as director of care management, and Ryan Irvine, deputy director of LMPHW, were one of only two teams from 16 health care organizations from around the United States selected for the award this year. The award recognizes breadth of impact of the project on the organization, use of Disparities Leadership Program tools and skills and overall achievements over the course of the year.

The Disparities Leadership Program is the first program of its kind in the nation, and is designed for leaders from hospitals, health insurance plans, and other health care organizations who are seeking to develop practical strategies to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.  The program is led by the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts. 

The goal of the Disparities Leadership Program is to create a cadre of health care leaders who have in-depth knowledge of the research and causes of health care disparities; cutting-edge, quality improvement strategies and skills to address disparities; and leadership skills to implement solutions to help transform their organizations.

“This program is about developing new leaders and taking action. It is about helping individuals and their health care organizations understand the critical connection between improving quality and eliminating disparities in care through a concerted, coordinated effort to change our health care system,” said Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH, director of the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH, and a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee, which produced the 2002 landmark report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health Care.  This report revealed striking disparities in the quality of health care services delivered to minority and white patients—even for patients of the same socioeconomic background and access to care. “These health care organizations are clearly distinguishing themselves as national leaders by taking action to identify and address disparities, and their hard work and accomplishments are worthy of recognition.”

The project implemented by JHSMH and LMPHW, called “A Partnership to Manage Care Transitions,” focuses on improving health outcomes for Medicaid patients and the uninsured/under insured as patients transition from the hospital to home. The program consists of a hospital visit and four to eight follow-up telephone calls from a community care nurse navigator based at Jewish Hospital. In addition, the patient receives four to eight home visits from a LMPHW peer advisor over the first four weeks after their hospitalization to reinforce effective self-care and to provide assistance to community resources. 
 
During the patient’s hospital stay, the nurse navigator provides a Personal Health Record, a tool to help patients organize physician appointments, manage their medications and improve their understanding of symptoms that require a call to their doctor or visit to an emergency department.

“This project demonstrates a wonderful public/private partnership to help people in our community receive the right care in the right setting,” said David Laird, president and CEO of JHSMH. “By helping this vulnerable population better manage their care at home, we will reduce the number of unnecessary re-hospitalizations and emergency department visits while better identifying and addressing the barriers to good care.”

 “Through this project, systems have been developed to measure and trend findings from the nurse navigator and peer advisors to improve care for all patients, while improving outcomes for underserved populations,” added Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness.

In addition to earning the award for Best Overall Project, Beckman has been invited to serve as faculty for the Disparities Leadership Program’s 2012-2013 cohort of participants.

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The Disparities Leadership Program is jointly sponsored by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and supported by Joint Commission Resources (JCR), an affiliate of the Joint Commission.

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, a part of KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System.
 The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has nearly 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies, with more than 13,600 employees across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.
 KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky and has more than 2,325 licensed beds.

Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. The mission of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness is to protect, preserve and promote the health, environment and well-being of the people of Louisville.  To learn more about the Department’s programs and services go to www.louisvilleky.gov/health.
 

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