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Five collaborative programs earn 2020 AHA Dick Davidson NOVA Award

WASHINGTON (July 27, 2020) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced that it will honor five programs with the AHA Dick Davidson NOVA Award for their hospital-led collaborative efforts that improve community health. The winning programs are Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, Vail Health, Vail, Colo.; Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, Edison, N.J.; Supportive Housing for the Homeless, Baltimore City Hospitals, Baltimore; Healthy Roanoke Valley, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, Va.; and Mothers in Recovery, Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Fla.

“The most successful hospitals and health systems put in the work every day to improve the health of both patients and the communities they serve,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “This year’s AHA Dick Davidson NOVA award winners demonstrated this commitment through partnerships and innovative programs that address urgent and immediate public health challenges.”

The AHA Dick Davidson NOVA Award recognizes hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health status, whether through health care, economic or social initiatives. Honorees participate in joint efforts among health care systems or hospitals, or among hospitals and other community leaders and organizations.

The 2020 winning programs and hospital partners are:

Eagle Valley Behavioral Health
Vail Health, Vail, Colo.

Since its inception in 2019, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, an outreach of Vail Health, has served as a hub for integration and coordination of behavioral health resources, providers and organizations, with the goal of eliminating barriers and increasing access to behavioral health care. Eagle Valley Behavioral Health’s website lists every community practice and provider in the area and includes provider recruitment materials. The site also hosts a “Get help now” button to connect users to emergency services. Committed to the health of its community, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health created a media campaign to destigmatize behavioral health needs, led a successful campaign for a tobacco tax to support public health services, aided in a co-response crisis program, and played a leading role in bringing 25 mental health providers to the Eagle River Valley. With the recent economic impact caused by COVID-19, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health established Olivia’s Fund, providing financial assistance to anyone locally in need of behavioral health services, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine
Seton Hall University, Edison, N.J.

A core component in the curriculum of Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is the Human Dimension, a three-year course focused on social determinants of health. Students develop continuing relationships with individuals and families through home visits and structured activities, assess the needs of the community and then plan and conduct a community health project to address those needs. In doing so, students witness firsthand the impact of social determinants of health and collaborate with referred agency staff. The school also works with multiple collaborative partners including Seton Hall University’s departments of law, social work and nursing, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center and numerous school districts, food pantries, townships and cultural centers.

Supportive Housing for the Homeless
Baltimore City Hospitals, Baltimore

Through a partnership between Baltimore City’s 10 hospitals, the nonprofit Health Care for the Homeless, and the city of Baltimore, eligible individuals and families who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness are placed in permanent sustainable housing, with wraparound supportive services to help ensure their success. The city connects individuals and families with housing, and Health Care for the Homeless, a federally qualified health center, helps individuals in need access care and navigate the supportive housing process. The nonprofit also provides supportive services, including home-based health care visits, education and transportation to appointments and the grocery store. Individuals also have access to support groups to promote overall physical and psychological well-being. The city-based hospitals provide the Medicaid matching funds that enable Baltimore City government to take advantage of the Assistance in Community Integration program, a Medicaid Waiver opportunity. The hospitals also refer patients for housing placements. The supportive housing program was established in 2018 and expanded in 2019 to help meet a critical community need for housing. That need was identified as a priority during a citywide community health needs assessment, conducted by all city hospitals in collaboration with the Baltimore City Health Department.

Healthy Roanoke Valley
Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, Va.

When a community health needs assessment revealed disparities in two regions in Roanoke, Carilion Clinic, the United Way of Roanoke Valley and several other local partners formed a partnership called Healthy Roanoke Valley to help the community achieve better health and wellness. Over fifty organizations strong, the collaborative develops a three-year health improvement plan. Guided by the principles of ‘collective impact’ and a common purpose, members have continued to develop numerous programs individually and collectively to advance health goals. Two examples are Fresh Foods RX and the Pathways Hub. Fresh Food RX is a 12-week program of nutrition and health education in the primary care setting. Participants receive weekly prescriptions for free fresh fruits and vegetables from a mobile market parked outside of the facility during sessions. During the first year of the program, nearly half of participants experienced healthy weight loss while 70 percent reduced their risk of diabetes. The Pathways Hub uses community health workers to visit at-risk individuals at home and connect them with resources impacting social determinants of health, such as social services referrals, job-skill training, and medical homes. In an 18-month pilot, emergency department visits dropped by 67 percent.

Mothers in Recovery
Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Fla.

Memorial Healthcare System launched Mothers in Recovery in 2015 to help pregnant women with substance use disorders achieve recovery and prevent neonatal abstinence syndrome. The goal of the program is to provide expectant mothers with comprehensive treatment services—including medication assisted treatment and the option of medically supervised withdrawal—in order to optimize birth and health outcomes for mom and baby. Mothers in Recovery provides rapid access to opioid addiction treatment to pregnant women in Memorial Healthcare’s five emergency departments, 24/7. The program offers behavioral health services which are integrated with obstetrics and maternal-fetal medicine and maintains active partnerships with residential substance abuse treatment facilities that work with pregnant women and young children in order to provide transitional housing when needed. Each patient is followed by a multidisciplinary team including a dedicated recovery navigator for the duration of her treatment. Since the program began in 2015, 136 mothers have been treated and 93 percent of the babies have been born drug free. The mothers are followed for twelve months. Within three months, 91% of the women remained opioid-free; the numbers were 62% within six months and 51% within one year.