Rural Hospital & Public Health Collaboration to Improve Population Health
Chris Tilden, PhD, Research Projects Coordinator, Kansas University Center for Public Partnerships and Research
The core mission of public health has consistently been to reduce the leading causes of preventable death and disability. Moreover, health departments are increasing efforts to work with health care systems and other community partners to address the growing incidence of the leading causes of death in many communities, which are frequently chronic disease, drug abuse, and suicide. These issues are consistently found in Community Health Improvement Plans in both rural and urban communities across the United States.
As hospitals and health departments increasingly focus on quality and outcomes, including the health status of their communities, they should seek out opportunities to collaborate on implementing community health improvement plans. Mobilization of community-based partnerships is a core function of public health, so health departments should be a natural partner for hospitals that are seeking to develop sustainable strategies to improve the health of their communities.
- The core elements of Community Health Improvement Planning required of accredited public health agencies;
- Evidenced-based approaches that can be adopted by community partners to address leading causes of disease; and
- The importance of accounting for social determinants of health (SDOH) when implementing community health improvement strategies.