June 14, 2022
June 16 Community Conversation will provide an update on Central Health’s Healthcare Equity Plan
(Austin) – Residents are invited to help shape the future of health care in Travis County, as Central Health hosts a series of community conversations regarding its new Healthcare Equity Plan.
Central Health patients face extreme poverty and severe social inequities that prevent them from living healthier. The new Healthcare Equity Plan identifies opportunities for Central Health to continue to expand its reach and strengthen the impact on the health and wellness of Travis County’s most marginalized populations – especially communities of color.
The upcoming community conversations allow Central Health to explain to Medical Access Program (MAP) and MAP Basic members, community partners, and stakeholders how the Healthcare Equity Plan was developed and how we are beginning to develop an implementation plan that is financially sustainable over the short and long term, while gathering additional feedback and ideas from the community.
The next community conversation, designed for partners and stakeholders, is at 11 a.m., Thursday, June 16 at Central Health, 1111 East Cesar Chavez St. and online via Central Health’s Facebook page (facebook.com/CentralHealthTX).
Another community conversation will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, June 23 at the Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center, 2901 Montopolis Drive for MAP enrollees and community members in both English and Spanish. The event is free and open to all members of the public, and food will be served.
“These community conversations bring us together to create a vision for our local healthcare delivery system and how it serves people with low income,” said Mike Geeslin, President & CEO of Central Health. “Together we’re identifying gaps in the system and seizing opportunities to make the system the best it can be over the next decade.”
THE HEALTHCARE EQUITY PLAN
In 2021, Central Health launched a systems-based planning initiative to deliver health care services, looking at all the different parts that make up a system of care that will ensure people with low income living in Travis County can access the best possible healthcare when they need it.
“We conducted three key assessments that provided essential insights to inform the development of the healthcare equity plan. The Community Health Needs Assessment, the Capabilities Assessment/Clinical Needs Gap Analysis, and the Voice of the Community Report in combination formed the foundation of the new Healthcare Equity Plan which we also refer to as our health care service delivery strategic plan,” said Monica Crowley, Vice President, Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, and Senior Counsel for Central Health.
Central Health prioritized community engagement throughout the development of the plan. Through a combination of focus groups, one-on-one interviews, surveys, and community conversations, Central Health gathered input from 320 residents. This outreach included patients with experience navigating the safety-net health care system, residents from low-income communities, and advocates for hard-to-reach populations such as those experiencing homelessness or formerly incarcerated individuals.
The adopted goal of the Healthcare Equity Plan is to develop an equitable system of care that is comprehensive and accountable, while optimizing the collective use of capabilities and resources to serve residents with low incomes. The Healthcare Equity Plan provides the vision for how Central Health collectively and strategically meets the needs of the community in the short term, and through four strategic imperatives, also for the foreseeable future. Central Health is currently developing Operational Implementation Plans which will describe how and when one- to three-year priorities and five-, seven-, and ten-year longer term priorities will be accomplished. These implementations plans are being developed concurrently with Financial Sustainability Plans which will ensure that over the short and long term, Central Health is able to sustain strategic, operating and capital imperatives to meet the health care needs of those we serve.
The Healthcare Equity Plan identifies four strategic imperatives:
- Access and capacity – increasing the number of providers and care teams
- Care coordination – optimizing how patients transition between care settings (e.g. hospital to home)
- Member engagement – enhancing engagement for Central Health Medical Access Program (MAP) enrollees and expanding enrollment in high-need regions
- System of care – joint service-delivery planning and timely sharing of health care data.
For more information about the community conversations, contact Yesenia Ramos at (512) 978-8145. For more information about the Healthcare Equity Plan, visit centralhealth.net/our-work.