Wellstar Community Report – July 2018 - June 2020

MOREOUTREACHBETTEROUTCOMES We seek to build healthier, more resilient communities by looking at health through a wide lens that includes not just office visits and bedside care, but education, outreach and prevention, as well.

Wellstar Population Health works to improve the health outcomes of the patients we serve. Underlying this work is the big idea that clinical outcomes are influenced by many non-medical factors. These are known as Social Determinants of Health. For example, the health of an individual with diabetes isn’t only a matter of taking the right dose of insulin or regularly visiting the physician. It’s also about the patient’s access to healthy food and community services, housing status, education and employment. To better understand these patients, their risks and factors that affect their health, Wellstar Emergency Departments have developed a Social Determinants of Health data collection process. The information gathered during ED visits will be used to identify community resources and other ways to meet non-clinical needs that impact health.

We know that disparities due to race, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status influence clinical outcomes. During the pandemic, Population Health team members created predictive models using clinical history and demographics to identify the most vulnerable populations. These groups were targeted for outreach by our specialists, who provided resources and education to help protect them from the ravages of COVID-19. Wellstar Health System also supported a System- wide expansion of telemedicine in 2020. Seeing a healthcare provider virtually not only reduces the chance for virus transmission, but also addresses inequities in transportation and access to services.

Shara Wesley, DrPH, is Assistant Vice President, Center for Health Equity and Community Outreach. Jeffrey Hines, M.D., is Medical Director of Wellstar Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity. Together with other team members, they are leading the charge to provide equitable care for all, especially those disadvantaged by social, racial and economic factors.


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