The American Hospital Association is recognizing Springfield’s two nonprofit hospitals for their collaborative effort to improve community health in Enos Park, a low-income neighborhood located between the hospitals. HSHS St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center will receive the NOVA Award at the AHA’s Leadership Summit in San Diego, California, on July 28. The hospitals are among five recipients of the national award.
Established in 1993, the NOVA Award recognizes hospitals and health systems across the nation for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health.
Launched in 2015, The Enos Park Access to Care Collaborative is a partnership between the two hospitals and SIU Medicine’s Center for Family Medicine, a federally qualified health center.
The hospitals and SIU launched a community health worker program to serve the neighborhood’s approximately 2,300 residents. The program has increased the number of people with a medical home, reduced emergency department visits for non-emergent health issues and improved self-sufficiency of program participants.
“Access to care was identified as one of the most significant issues in our community, so the two hospitals got together and decided to take a deep dive into one geographic neighborhood to identify and address issues that prevent residents from getting the care they need to live healthy lives,” said Ed Curtis, president and CEO of Memorial Health System, the parent organization of Memorial Medical Center.
The program also has increased access to pediatric mental health services through screening intervention and educational services at its local elementary school and other neighborhood sites.
Dr. Tracey Smith, director of population health integration and community health with the SIU Center for Family Medicine, is the program director and leads a full-time and two part-time community health workers.
“The outcomes demonstrate that if you provide access to the right type of health care in the right place at the right time, it’s going to contribute to wellness and a better living standard,” said Dr. Charles Lucore, president and CEO of HSHS St. John’s Hospital.
The Enos Park Access to Care Collaborative reached nearly 1,100 residents in the first two years of the program, including 300 clients who were enrolled in the community health worker program.
A public recognition ceremony will be held August 23 in Enos Park. Other recipients of the NOVA Award include Unity Center for Behavioral Health in Portland, Oregon; Annapolis Community Health Partnership in Annapolis, Maryland; Kids Teaching Kids in Irving, Texas; and Healthy Kids Express in St. Louis.