Community Centered Health Homes
The Episcopal Health Foundation believes ALL Texans deserve to live a healthy life. Children, families and adults should be able to live in communities that enable them to thrive.
While access to high-quality, affordable medical care is vitally important to good health, being healthy depends on much more than clinic exams and hospital treatments. Many chronic health conditions are connected to the social, economic and environmental conditions where a person lives.
It's about health, not just healthcare
Poverty, substandard housing, poor air quality, lack of affordable healthy food, and limited safe places to exercise are just some of the underlying conditions that contribute to poor health in Texas. These community conditions contribute to high rates of chronic health issues like diabetes, heart disease and asthma.
Community-based clinics across the state provide affordable, high-quality healthcare. However, clinics are often only able to treat the symptoms of their patients’ chronic health problems. Medical care alone isn’t enough to keep many Texans healthy.
When patients keep coming back with similar recurring health issues, community-based clinics are left asking the same frustrating question -- What good does it do to treat people if we keep sending them back to the conditions that make them sick? We need a new approach that complements what happens in the exam room to tackle community conditions that impact the health of Texans.
The Texas Community-Centered Health Homes (CCHH) Initiative is working with a group of clinics to develop specific ways for them to go beyond clinic walls and take community action to prevent illness and poor health.
First developed by Prevention Institute, a CCHH clinic “not only acknowledges that community conditions outside the clinic walls affect patient outcomes, it actively participates in improving them.”
The CCHH model creates a broader role for clinics to improve the health of patients and neighborhoods. Through partnerships with a variety of organizations, clinics are able to strategically engage in community-wide prevention strategies and other efforts that can improve health conditions in a community. Interventions might involve aligning goals with other social sector partners, applying a health lens to local policies and ordinances, improving community environments, or working with businesses and the private sector to shift towards organizational practices that better support health.
The Texas CCHH Initiative is a large-scale, long-term investment in getting community-based clinics to improve health, not just healthcare in the areas they serve.
Community-Centered Health Homes can improve health outcomes for patients and enhance the quality of life in the surrounding community. By complementing health care delivery with community action, CCHH clinics focus more on prevention and addressing the community conditions including the root causes of poor health outcomes. That can result in less illness and injury, reduced demand for medical treatment, and more opportunity for more Texans to achieve their highest level of health. The Texas CCHH Initiative is one way EHF is working together with community-based clinics, nonprofits, people of faith, and community members to create a health system that ensures Texans not only receive quality medical care, but that the places they live and work enable them to get and stay healthy.