The AAMC Accelerating Health Equity, Advancing through Discovery (AHEAD) initiative seeks to identify, evaluate, and disseminate effective and replicable AAMC-member institution practices that improve community health and reduce health inequities. Baylor College of Medicine and Harris Health System were selected to be a part of the Cycle 4: Building a Systems Approach to Community Health and Health Equity cohort.
The nation’s academic medical centers and their public health, community-based, and other partners are working to achieve health equity by improving population and community health and by making health care safer and more accessible, affordable, and equitable. Ten interprofessional academic medical center teams have committed to convene over a three-year period to accomplish the following:
- Comprehensively account for all community-relevant activities at their institution; create a 'systems map'
- Identify element(s) of systems to implement; identify stakeholders and develop metrics that matter to them
- Build evidence of impact; develop and execute a dissemination strategy
Vision Statement, Outcomes of Interest and Community Relevance
Vision Statement: We will improve health equity and access by reducing barriers to create a healthier community.
Outcomes of Interest: Chronic Disease (Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease) and Mental Health in Adult Populations
Community Relevance: While some chronic diseases and health conditions can be prevented through lifestyle modifications including healthy diets and physical activity, some populations face systemic barriers to being able to live healthy lives. The risk and burden of chronic diseases and other health conditions is not shared equally by Houstonians (and wider U.S. population). Those who are worse off socially and economically are faced with a far greater burden. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and a lack of well-being impose serious health and economic consequences. Preventing and better managing these conditions can reduce the incidence of these and other chronic conditions.
Equity Focused Long-Term Goal
By 2022 have at least a two year trend:
1. Reducing the prevalence of elevated HbA1c (> 9) among Hispanic population by 10% through increased identification and referrals for identified co-morbidities for adult patients served by Harris Health System measured by the Harris Health System Health Leads Social Determinants of Health Screening Tool and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ9) depression screening; 100% of identified patients would receive a referral to a nutritionist and/or mental health providers; 80% adherence with referral appointments.
2. Providing SDOH education to staff, medical professionals, and affiliate providers measured by pre/post questionnaires, system integration of SDOH training, number of trainings offered and number of individuals trained.