You’re a convener of sorts. What do you gain from that?

Partnerships—whether with a local food bank, a national corporation, a small church, county public health department or university—bring diversity of thought around solution finding, grassroots perspective as well as trust, resources, and connection to those who need the services. 

What’s the most successful partnership you’ve been a part of? 

Our community advocates program utilizes students to help navigate key social determinants of health needs for patients in our facilities and clinics. With students from varying geographies, fields of studies and backgrounds, we have been able to do two key things: foster a workforce that understands and has the desire to impact care transformation among the underserved, and provide our patients with additional resources that really close a loop in a relaxed, empathetic way.

How can partnerships work in such a competitive industry? 

When it comes to health equity and serving the underserved, health systems shouldn’t compete. It’s a personal goal of mine to foster health system relationships in this space to drive transformation and unity. An example of this is during the required community health needs assessment process, we were able to bring five other health systems together to collaborate, complete joint focus groups, and address the community as one voice. 

What do you do to build trust in the communities you serve? 

We always ensure that we take a qualitative and quantitative approach in creating the solutions that the communities want, when they want it and how they need it, and truly meeting people where they are. Our mobile COVID-19 vaccine program focused on breaking down a level of distrust from a highly hesitant minority population. Even though it was only a mile away from the vaccine hub, administering the vaccine in a local park helped us to reach more community members. We also leveraged local churches, senior centers and schools to make phone calls and send text messages. Lastly, we were very focused on removing barriers around transportation and technology when possible. Our barbershop initiative trained barbershop employees to take blood pressure readings and have discussions with clients about seeking care and avoiding long-term complications. The clients trust their barbers, and we empowered them with information to help educate 
and prevent long-term issues for their clients.

Meet the Emerging Leaders Class of 2021.

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