First-in-Health Task Force a finalist for grant

Group works to make Richmond a healthier place to live

ROCKINGHAM – The Richmond County First-in-Health 2020 Task Force has been named a finalist in the running to receive funding from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

The funding would allow the task force to become a leading community group on health improvement as part of an initiative known as SCALE (Spreading Community Accelerators through Learning and Evaluation).

Richmond_FitWith two years of grant support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SCALE aims to work with communities to develop the capability to improve health and to spread effective community-driven approaches across the U.S. Grant funding would help Richmond County leverage the resources to implement the Community Health Improvement Plan and give the First-in-Health 2020 Task Force the opportunity for technical assistance from national experts.

Health care professionals and Richmond County residents who are working together to make Richmond County a healthier place to live and work comprise the Richmond County 2020 First-in-Health Task Force.

“We are very fortunate to have dedicated, talented and creative partners as part of the Richmond First-in-Health 2020 Task Force,” says John Jackson, president of FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital.

Task force members worked collaboratively on the application process to narrow the focus of the Richmond County community improvement plan to five key areas: substance abuse prevention, chronic disease prevention (diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke), care management, social determinants of health and engagement of people in their health.

“If awarded the SCALE resources, the Richmond 2020 Task Force will work together to address access to care needs and lifestyle behavior modification opportunities and improve the overall health of the community,” says Roxanne Elliott, policy director for FirstHealth Community Health Services.

The 57 grant finalists, selected from close to 200 applicants across the country, will be narrowed to 30 communities by mid-April. The SCALE goal is to match up to 10 “mentor communities” – those with a recent track record of achieving better health – with 20 “pacesetter communities” that are seeking to accelerate their pace of change.

“This has been an incredibly competitive selection process that began with hundreds of outstanding communities,” said Soma Stout with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. “All of the finalists should be incredibly proud of the accomplishment of getting to the finalist stage.”

SCALE communities will try to obtain improved health outcomes, spread effective best practices as quickly as possible in order to realize improvements in health, and become beacons and resources for any community, anywhere, that is striving to obtain the best health possible – especially those most vulnerable to poor health due to poverty, violence or lack of social supports.

To learn more about the Richmond County First-In-Health Task Force, call 800-213-3284.

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