CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- "We're here to help build healthy communities yet we're just not getting it done," says Joe Wilkins, MBA, FACHE, Atlantic Health's SVP & Chief Transformation Officer. "What's the missing ingredient? We don't have the collaboration. We don't have that partnership required for us all to come together."
Joe Gasque reinforced the importance of collaboration and leadership, "It's an ecosystem. There's not one organization that can solve this problem alone and that's where collaboration really has to come together." Gasque is Chief Marketing Officer for the US and Canada at GE Healthcare.
"Leadership and Healthy Communities" is a recently released Business of Healthcare interview hosted by BOH founder Matthew E. Hanis. The interview explores the leadership and innovations leading to healthy communities.
The Healthy Communities movement targets persistent barriers to people living the healthiest life possible wherever they live. Zip code proves to be a strong determinant of health status in the US. In some areas, residents in adjacent zip codes have a 15-year or greater difference in life expectancy.
Barriers such as access to healthy food, quality schools, stable housing, good jobs with fair pay, and safe places to exercise and play lead to disease, chronic illness, and higher healthcare costs for all of us.
So what solutions demonstrate progress?
"We created the 'Healthy Cities Challenge,' a consortium of interest with grant money," shared Gasque. "For instance, the group in Charlotte North Carolina was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the two largest health care systems there, Atrium and Novant. The YMCA was involved. Blue Cross Blue Shield was involved. Johnson & Johnson was involved. Physical activity, tobacco cessation, and nutrition were the three leading indicators that team started to track and influence."
Wilkins shared that, "We've created an organization called "Aha!" Atlantic Health Advancement which is capturing bright ideas from our front-line staff, providers, our nursing staff, our pharmacists and so on If you think of something that can help us reduce costs or transform the payment models, we capture all ideas. If we commercialize them, you will share the royalties. It's just the right thing to do in terms of involving in the entire workforce in transforming health care."
And what are the characteristics of emerging leaders building healthy communities?
Wilkins sees several traits such as, "Socially connected across the board, these are more diverse leaders that care about the community even more than themselves. They see the critical need for change and they're not going to settle with the way things are today. They are going to drive change either through the vote box or just through the organizations they become part of."
He adds, "You need to be knowledgeable about the entire spectrum of care. These new leaders can't just be an expert in terms of how hospitals work, how provider groups work and how doctor organizations work. You must understand the medical device field, you've got to understand drug companies, health plans, you have to understand all different aspects of the system to be able to bring people together and find new collaborations that are going to make a difference."
Gasque sees similar characteristics in GE Healthcare's emerging leaders, "If you have a GE business card you're a leader. Leadership is influence it's not title. It's the ability to live in ambiguity, balancing short and long-term decisions. These new leaders wake up hungry every day to know how they can grow themselves personally and add more to the teams that they work with."
With Healthy Communities being a fundamental opportunity to improve the Mission and Margin of healthcare, these innovations and, more importantly, these emerging leaders will be critical to how healthy we are and the health of our economy.
To watch the full interview, visit BOHSeries.com. Listen in podcast format by looking for Business of Healthcare and our red logo on iTunes, Stitcher, or Libsyn.
This interview was made possible by GE Healthcare, the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, Saint Louis University, and the Jefferson College of Population Health.
SOURCE Business of Healthcare