It has been proven that healthcare providers are able to best care for a community and its residents when there are adequate and established support systems in place. As healthcare systems continually seek out new methods to improve health outcomes, community health centers (CHCs) are uniquely positioned to establish themselves as local partners delivering positive outcomes.
As they build trust with patients, CHCs are able to truly become partners in not only their care, but also in their life. Historically, CHCs seek to care for the whole person, and this includes assisting with nutrition and emotional health as well as physical wellness. All of these examples may be reinforced through partnering with others in the community, when organization missions and core values are aligned.
Community partnerships may include innovative agreements with local food banks to develop prescription health programs that have significant impact on managing conditions such as diabetes for patients. Many CHCs also work very closely with local WIC and Healthy Start programs to provide care to those who might not otherwise have access to quality options.
Of course, community partnerships are mutually beneficial to CHCs as well. From financial support to expansion of necessary services and facilities, to providing a training pipeline for the next generation of medical or dental providers, pharmacists, nurses, medical staff and dental assistants, CHCs’ can benefit from local academic partnerships with colleges, universities or trade programs.
Community partnerships are also beneficial in staffing facilities and health centers. As many regions are currently facing shortages in the workforce, it’s important to develop programs that will help attract students to the medical field and help bridge the gaps that currently exist in filling entry-level positions.
By having a strong community focus, CHCs are able to effectively develop, and reinforce, their strong community reputation.
For more information on developing a community relations or community engagement program, please contact senior healthcare account manager John Gonda at moc.mddmaet@gnhoj.