Recently, the Public Health Foundation (PHF) announced the inaugural winners of the Future of Population Health Award, which recognizes exemplary practice by hospitals and health systems that are collaborating with public health departments and other community partners on health improvement strategies and implementation efforts. The awardees for the 2016 program are INTEGRIS Health in Oklahoma and WellSpan Health in Pennsylvania.
These organizations are engaged in innovative and ambitious local partnerships to improve access to mental health services in the communities that they serve. “These hospitals and their partners are building on one another’s strengths as they take on tough, longstanding community health problems,” said PHF President Ron Bialek.
The Future of Population Health Award, established by PHF in 2016, encourages hospitals and health systems to address the upstream causes of health challenges outside the hospital walls effectively. The Award highlights these achievements and the brilliant leaders and organizations that are transforming the health of their communities for a better tomorrow.
INTEGRIS Health, based in Oklahoma City, OK, has long collaborated with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) on achieving a variety of local health improvement goals. OCCHD’s Mental Health Coalition includes INTREGRIS Health and numerous non-profit agencies in the community. Together, they trained members of the community to recognize the signs of mental illness in children, young adults, and the elderly using the Mental Health First Aid curriculum, and to ensure those in need knew how to access services.
“Our mission at INTEGRIS is to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Bruce Lawrence, President and Chief Executive Officer of INTEGRIS. “In order to make a meaningful difference in today’s health care environment we have to change behaviors, and the only way to do that is through collaboration.”
The other award recipient, WellSpan Health, headquartered in York, PA, serving central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, also focused on improving screening and management of individuals needing behavioral health services. The initiative standardized use of a screening tool across numerous points of entry in the community. This has simplified provider communications and helped to ensure that those with depression are promptly referred to appropriate professionals.
“We are honored to be selected as an inaugural recipient of the Future of Population Health Award,” said Maria Royce, senior vice president, strategy and market development and chief strategy officer, WellSpan Health. “Our Behavioral Health Driver Diagram demonstration project is just another example of how WellSpan is working to increase access to behavioral health care in the communities we serve. From creating a new behavioral health organization, WellSpan Philhaven, to incorporating behavioral health care into primary and specialty care practices and emergency departments, our mission is to treat the whole person – body, mind and spirit. That starts with eliminating misconceptions and reducing stigmas associated with seeking mental health care. We are committed to this work, which is a critical community health need in central Pennsylvania and in cities and towns all across our nation.”
Beyond their ties to mental health screening and services, both organizations also integrated interventions from the Guide to Community Preventive Services (the Community Guide) into their program work. The Community Guide is a collection of evidence-based findings and recommendations from the Community Preventive Services Task Force for what works to improve health.
Awardees from both INTEGRIS Health and WellSpan Health will be recognized for their accomplishments and presented with awards in front of professionals in healthcare, public health, and population health at the Association for Community Health 2017 National Conference, March 9-11, 2017, in Denver, CO.
The Future of Population Health Award program is now accepting applications from hospitals and health systems for 2017 through April 21, 2017. Eligibility and submission information is located on the Public Health Foundation’s website at