Neither the heat nor summer vacation schedules kept Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) stakeholders away from their most recent quarterly convening. On July 18, 56 invested members representing 33 social services, for-profit, and academic organizations with a common mission to improve the health of the Louisville community gathered at Metro United Way to share progress and consider the future - investing in sustainability and leaving a legacy through collective impact.
The quarterly meetings are an important way for committees – who are meeting monthly to advance research, pilots and initiatives related to their focus area – to learn about each other and identify relevant intersection points.
Community Coordination of Care – Tom Walton described the committee’s three focus areas of 1) screening, 2) navigation and 3) increasing capacity. As it relates to screening, Tom highlighted the Family Health Centers’ pilot to initiate the PRAPARE screener, mentioning to the group that one of the key pilot leaders would share more later in the agenda. For navigation, the committee continues to bolster support for the United Community initiative. To increase capacity, the committee has been looking into innovative solutions – both within our community and outside – related to food, housing and transportation – hoping to identify opportunities to scale.
Behavioral Health – Joe Bargione shared that the committee’s interest this year is twofold – 1) to sustain the Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training with monthly offerings and 2) explore how to do psychological autopsy to understand what triggers, events and commonalities may be identified and targeted to increase prevention success. Check out this fascinating example from Washington County (OR) about how the county now trains animal shelter employees to engage/intervene as it relates to individuals who are dropping off their pets. Visit www.qprlou.com to learn more about suicide prevention training and consider hosting a public session at your location.
Cultural/Social Impact – Theo Edmonds, Director of the Center for Creative Placehealing at the University of Louisville’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences presented on the role of hope, trust, belonging and their integration into the Cultural Wellbeing Index being developed through ULCCP with support of Louisville Metro that will measure wellbeing, and serve as predictor of retention and innovation inside the business sector.
Respiratory Health – Tami Cappelletti, of the American Lung Association, shared how in addition to a focus on e-cigarette and air quality policies and initiatives, the committee is excited to welcome the Chest Foundation to Louisville next month for a lung screening event. The event will take place on August 24 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the West Wing in the Health Expo Area. This large, interactive booth – located amongst other health organizations/screening opportunities – will feature screenings, education (for patients and caregivers alike), engaging exercises to demonstrate aspects of lung health and more. Please email if you would like to volunteer at this event.
The Communications committee, designed to support communication across the Board and into the broader community, highlighted the value of promoting our work to others in the community and asked each member to consider how his/her organization is contributing to #MoreHealthyDays in Louisville. During the Quarterly meeting, attendees were asked to respond with 1 sentence about how their organization’s work supports more healthy days. Weren’t able to attend, or forget to leave your response? Send it to LouisvilleCultureofHealth@gmail.com
Community Data Sharing
After learning about each committee’s impact, the agenda moved into a data sharing component, where thought leaders and subject matter experts featured various local health data and initiatives. The intent of this segment was for meeting attendees to leave with a well-rounded look at the health of Louisvillians through the lens of different organizations, as well as insight into the direction Louisville Metro is taking towards health for the next five years – using all of this information to inform their work.
Humana’s Bold Goal was the impetus for the Louisville Health Advisory Board, started in 2015. Since then, Humana has been measuring progress on an annual basis of Humana members’ Healthy Days, as a proxy for the community as a whole. Humana Associate Director, Population Health Insights, Angela Hagan, shared 2018 figures which demonstrate an overall improvement in Healthy Days among Bold Goal Communities from 2015. Of the Bold Goal Communities, Louisville started with the fewest number of Unhealthy Days (12.66) and has stayed statistically flat over the years. What Angela shared is the social determinants of health – like food insecurity and severe loneliness - are the highest contributors to Unhealthy Days which makes the focus of the LHAB so critical in improving lives and health outcomes.
Speaking of social determinants, the community understands the necessity of assessing its residents. This is what prompted Family Health Centers, support by the Community Coordination of Care committee, to pilot screening for the social determinants of health with the PRAPARE survey. Cynthia Cox, Director of Health Information Management for Family Health Centers, shared the impressive results of the initial pilot, including how specific social determinants link to others. Due to the early learnings in the pilot, Family Health Centers has expanded the use of the PRAPARE tool to 7 other sites.
Once social determinants of health are assessed, the LHAB understood that there is a need to then connect people to the resources to support them. Enter United Community. Metro United Way Senior Project Manager, Keni Brown, shared the new platform that over 40 social services are using to refer clients to services. When holistic needs of individuals and families are met, we can expect better outcomes. United Community intends to simplify access to services, and improve outcomes to collaboration, communication and activity. Round one launched April 1 and the current Round 2 there are 50 partners offering more than 90 unique programs. As Keni said, Metro United Way is “Helping to ensure that ‘United Community’ is financially sustainable so our citizens have an "easy button" to get connected to all the resources they need through any door they enter.”
Dr. Sarah Moyer, Director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and Louisville Health Advisory Board Co-Chair talked about how its Healthy Louisville 2025 approach takes a health equity lens, and includes a focus on policy, access to critical services, and more. In addition to highlighting what the community shared that it needs to be healthy, Moyer shared a preview of the Community Health Improvement Plan.
After reviewing our progress throughout the community, Chief James, Chief of Community Building Louisville Metro Government, joined the group to frame the work we have ahead of us, specifically in light of the new budget cuts to services. The need for services that address the social determinants of health, are greater now than ever before. The Chief outlined some programs that impact social connectivity and support of our most vulnerable residents, no longer getting funding. Although remaining optimistic, Chief James, challenged us to continue the work we are doing and find ways to work collaboratively and more effectively to support all residents.
Though the formal meeting came to a close, the room remained buzzing with attendees remaining afterwards to discuss points of interest with one another. Co-chair Dr. Bryan Loy reflected on the success of the convening: It was a great meeting. The committee updates have now transitioned from reporting out on progress to reporting out on impact. Chief Vincent James' report out on the status of the budget underscores the need for this group of community leaders to create and administer solutions in a world of diminishing resources to improve the health and wellbeing of this community. I continue to be impressed with the resolve of the Louisville Health Advisory Board. I anticipate that the best is yet to come from this talented and resourceful group.