Postcards from Wellville

It’s been a busy, productive month on the road visiting the Wellville communities, collaborating with partners, and gathering additional support.

In April, Esther and Rick participated in the CareOregon board retreat, which was an inspiring two-day gathering of leaders focused on creating new opportunities to address the social determinants of health. CareOregon serves the state’s Medicaid members and health plans, including four Coordinated Care Organizations (CCO) covering about 250,000 Oregonians. One of those CCOs is Columbia Pacific CCO, lead sponsor of the Wellville efforts in Clatsop County, OR.

Focusing on “upstream” factors that matter to health – like food systems, housing, employment, and social connections – will have a powerful, lasting impact on the people and places of Wellville. We are inspired by CareOregon’s lead role in bridging health with health care, and we’re grateful to be part of making this happen in Clatsop County.

We also know that sustaining community-wide health efforts will require a shift in financing and business models, which is why CareOregon’s board-level support and other emerging approaches – such as Oregon’s Pay for Preventioninitiative – are so exciting!

Last week, on the other side of the country, the HICCup team was joined by our partner IBM for pilot design sessions in Spartanburg, SC. With IBM’s in-kind consultation and analytics support, the pilots are aimed at two of the five focus areas in Spartanburg’s Wellville plan:

  • Obesity prevention: increasing activity among grade-schoolers, while using real-time analytics to identify additional improvement opportunities such as nutrition and health literacy.
  • Care for the uninsured: using text messaging to extend care coordination among those with chronic illnesses served by Access Health.

Spartanburg’s Wellville efforts are attracting lots of attention. Also in town last week were:

A few days later, and a few states away, the Greater Wellville community of Lancaster, PA hosted its 2015 Health Summit, aptly titled The Way to Wellville. With several hundred leaders representing local employers, health care providers and community agencies, the summit focused on building the business case for a healthy community. Pay for success and other new payment models discussed could provide new sources of sustainable capital for the continued success of the LiveWELL Lancaster County Coalition, which has been around since 1990.

Next up on the tour?

  • Lake County, CA, June 11-12: The Wellville Five communities will gather for a two-day strategy lab facilitated by ReThink Health, our partner forbusiness planning support thanks to generous funding from RWJF. Teams from each community will test and refine their plans using the ReThink Health Dynamics Model, along with other tools, coaching and peer-sharing opportunities. We’ll also explore sustainable financing strategies to scale high-impact initiatives for better health and economic returns.
  • Greater Muskegon, MI, July 17-19: Local leaders, developers, students, investors and advisors will gather for the Muskegon Might Build-a-thon. Three teams of professionals will develop and present their best ideas to revitalize downtown Muskegon Heights, a community of 12,000 with a vibrant history that has been affected negatively during the economic downturn.

See postcards from our recent travels here, and stay tuned for more details. Then drop us a postcard about your community efforts, wellbeing strategies, business ideas, and funding/investment interests…and let’s create new Wellvilles together!