Building a Culture of Health
Jan 25, 2015 10:00 PM
America’s growing burden of chronic disease is forcing the pendulum at hospitals and health systems to swing from episodic, acute clinical care toward wellness, disease prevention and disease management. As an industry we are now responsible for the full continuum of care, and for keeping patients healthy and out of hospitals.
Good health, of course, hinges upon more than access to quality health care. It is also the byproduct of luck (our genes) and our environment (including lifestyle choices). To build community health we must build a culture of health.
This is not something we can do alone. Making this shift is going to take insurers devising payment models that reward, instead of penalize, clinicians for improving patient health. And it’s going to require engaging with patients in new ways, especially underserved populations. This could mean working with community groups to ensure neighborhoods have access to healthy food, and joining with schools to improve childhood immunization rates.
With this challenge in mind, I’m pleased to announce two important additions to our University of Utah Health Sciences team: Ana Maria Lopez and Chad Westover.
As Associate Vice President for Health Equity and Inclusion and Director of Cancer Health Equity for Huntsman Cancer Institute, Ana Maria Lopez M.D., M.P.H., will lead Health Sciences' diversity and inclusion initiatives. An oncologist, she comes to us by way of the University of Arizona College of Medicine where the professor was fond of teaching her students that “the secret of caring for a patient is to care for the patient.” This approach speaks volumes and informed her vision for Arizona’s telemedicine program, which expanded under her watch to reach cancer patients along the Arizona/Mexico border.
Also, in February we welcome to our leadership team, Molina Healthcare President, Chad Westover, P.A. Chad will serve as our Health Plan CEO. His expertise and experience in health insurance—which is such an important piece of the health care reform puzzle—will be huge assets to our health care system. I can think of no one better to help us build partnerships with payers and other stakeholders to advance the health of our community.comments powered by Disqus