Bridging Gaps to Build Healthy Communities: Opportunities to Better Address Social Determinants to Improve Health
The purpose of this issue brief is to showcase the vital role that Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) can play in delivery system reform to advance health equity and wellness for individuals and communities. This issue brief highlights current and potential barriers to positive collaboration between CBOs and healthcare Organizations (HCOs). Drawing on information obtained directly from CBOs, this issue brief is also intended to expand our collective understanding of CBO culture(s).
Overview of article
- The purpose of this issue brief is to showcase the vital role that community-based organizations (CBOs) can play in delivery system reform to advance health equity and wellness for individuals and communities. This issue brief highlights current and potential barriers to positive collaboration between CBOs and healthcare organizations (HCOs), from the vantage point of New York (NY) and Massachusetts (MA) CBOs operating in the context of their respective state Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) programs
- There are 5 key lessons from NYC CBOs seeking engagement under NY’s DSRIP: 1) Delivery system reform must be rooted in health equity and wellness goals; 2) Bridging the cultural gap between HCOs and CBOs requires a paradigm shift; 3) Successful reform requires engagement and expertise from CBOs that represent their communities; 4) CBOs must build capacity to level the playing field; and 5) CBOs must come together as a collective to participate in delivery reform
- This first lesson, the need to focus on health equity and wellness, resonated strongly with CBOs in Massachusetts. MA CBOs agreed that: 1) Health equity and wellness goals should serve as the primary goals of delivery reform in Massachusetts; 2) Addressing SDOH needs of members is a critical piece to achieving health equity and wellness; 3) Health equity and wellness are complex terms to define and must be responsive to cultural differences across communities; and 4) Achieving health equity and wellness requires cross sector collaboration to capture the value of CBOs
- Working to achieve health equity and wellness in Medicaid populations requires healthcare delivery systems to value the contributions of CBOs of all sizes as well as HCOs
- The findings in this issue brief call for a stronger and aligned base of support for the development of a National Blueprint for Advancing Health Equity Through Community-Based Organizations to facilitate greater cross-sector collaboration between CBOs and HCOs