Confronting Population Health Challenges Together
Infant mortality, chronic disease, and end-of-life care are three critical health problems in Shelby County, Tennessee, that the Healthy Shelby Initiative is successfully tackling. A new Triple Aim improvement story describes how Healthy Shelby is supporting a broad coalition of community-wide stakeholders in working together to improve the health of residents and reduce medical care cost. How has Healthy Shelby managed to successfully coalesce these stakeholders — public health, hospitals, health care providers, social service providers, academic institutions, the faith community, local government, and funders? Data definitely got everyone’s attention: chronic disease drives a large portion of local health care costs and affects large numbers of residents; infant mortality rates are too high; and local hospitals see high costs of care in the last six months of life. Poor quality of life, they also realized, discourages businesses and job candidates from coming to Shelby County. To keep the community healthy and vibrant, Healthy Shelby recognizes it’s vital to confront the issues together.