A new Prevention Institute (PI) brief outlines what we’ve learned in advancing the Community-Centered Health Homes (CCHH) model across the country since it was first released five years ago. PI originally developed the CCHH model to provide a framework for healthcare organizations to systematically address the community conditions that impact their patients. By implementing activities based on community needs rather than medical treatment needs alone, we can improve health, safety, and equity outcomes.
In the five years since the first report release, the CCHH model has catalyzed action and activity in communities across the country—including California, the Gulf Coast Region, North Carolina, and Texas. The brief reviews and analyzes what we’ve heard from healthcare organizations actively involved in community change – particularly clinics doing early testing of the CCHH model – and summarizes lessons learned, recommendations for success, and common themes that have emerged for healthcare organizations and funders looking to implement the model. The brief was funded by The Kresge Foundation.
We know that healthcare isn’t all there is to good health. To keep people from becoming sick or injured in the first place means working beyond the clinic walls to address community conditions. Consider this scenario: Children are showing up at a community clinic with respiratory infections, elevated lead levels, rashes, and bug bites. By asking questions and looking for patterns, clinic staff might find that all the children live in a nearby housing development with substandard conditions. To prevent these symptoms from occurring again, the clinic might partner with local housing rights activists and legal aid organizations.
As interest in the CCHH model continues to build, our work to advance it will focus on testing and highlighting effective practices, facilitating shared learning, informing policies, and catalyzing healthcare to engage in community prevention strategies. These same types of strategies and lessons apply to broader health systems transformation efforts, such as the new Accountable Communities for Health model.
Momentum is building for healthcare organizations to contribute to advancing population health – improving the health of every resident in the geographic areas where they operate. Moving forward we hope the CCHH model will continue to provide a framework to conceptualize, plan, and implement strategies that address community conditions and achieve this goal.