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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Home Care and Hospice Care: Creating a Culture of Person Centered Care




A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Visiting Nurse Association of America (VNAA) annual conference. The meeting was held in Miami, FL, which made it local for me, so I decided to attend to catch up with what was happening in the post-acute sector of our healthcare system.  I am glad I did, as it opened my eyes to one of the most dynamic and growing sectors of the industry.

As a registered nurse, I spent some time as a home care nurse. I recall it being a very personal experience as it was me, the patient and his/her caregiver. We had to make do with what we had in the home. I had to use my skills, my intuition and depend on my expertise when handling a variety of challenges that arose. I also had to rely on the caregiver when providing care, by helping me re-position the patient and better understand the patient and their condition so I did not over react when a problem occurred. Home is where most people want to be when sick or recovering, so it is no wonder the focus of all involved in the home care industry is to ensure care is person-centered.  

Today, home care, like the rest of the healthcare industry, is in the state of disruption. Payment models are shifting from volume to value; organizations are consolidating, and patients are demanding care that is increasingly convenient, high-tech, personalized and high-touch.

Most healthcare professionals think their jobs is to ensure health and survival for the patients we care. But it is larger than this because in reality, it is our jobs to ensure well-being. Well-being is the reasons one wishes to be alive. So, our work is really deeper in that we as healthcare professionals have to strive to understand what is important to our patients, what their goals and dreams are and work to ensure that their wishes guide the care we provide.

Healthcare has gotten so wrapped up in regulatory issues; finding ways to use data to meet the metrics needed to qualify for the new incentive plans that reward the work we do while finding ways to guard against the disincentives being implemented to change provider's behaviors. In a way, it feels like we have lost the focus of what is important. 

The theme of the VNAA Annual Conference was Leading Innovation. The conference brought together the country's top home-based care executives and clinicians to meet, to learn about trends impacting their industry and gain valuable insights from nationally known experts in the field. The meeting helped those who attended refocus their attention on how they are using the changes taking place today on how to ensure care is patient focused first and foremost.

There were two keynote sessions that provided insights into compelling topics affecting the entire industry. The opening keynote presentation was titled: Coordinating with Accountable Care and was presented by Donald Crane, CEO, CAPG, The Voice of Accountable Physicians Groups. He shared insights on mega trends, federal policy directions and strategic implications for the home care and hospice industry. Many home care and hospice organizations realize they need to re-organize to meet the demands of the changing industry. This session gave them the blueprint to assist them as they move forward during these disruptive times.

The second keynote was titled Death: Redesigned. There was a great deal of anticipation surrounding this session and it seemed like everyone was looking forward to the session while wondering what the speakers could tell a seasoned audience about end of life care. 

Tracey Moorhead, President, and CEO of VNAA opened the session and shared that VNAA and the legendary design firm IDEO began a partnership to advance awareness of end-of-life and palliative care options and support for providers and caregivers. She shared that this session was the kickoff of the alliance and that more information would be forthcoming. Tracey then introduced the panel that included: Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, Internist, and widow of the late Dr. Paul Kalanithi who began the discussion with a thoughtful reading from the book her late husband wrote: When Breath Becomes Air. She was joined by, Bruce MacGregor and Grant Wedner, representatives from IDEO, who discussed how they were working on ways to design 'thinking approaches' and some new resources to support the home and palliative care workforce as well as the patient, the family and caregivers during end of life events.  The moderator of the panel was Alexandra Drane, founder of Engage with Grace. Alexandra led a lively discussion that touched me deeply as it reminded me of my experience last year when I came so close to death. I could see others were moved as well, as all of us have had some experience with death and realize that we have to do better. It will be exciting to watch how this partnership moves forward.

At the end of the session, everyone was given the book; When Breath Becomes Air through a sponsorship from MEDALOGIX. At the cocktail reception that followed, we were able to have the book autographed by Lucy Kalanithi as a special gift. 

Because each person attending the conference came with different needs, the breakout sessions were divided into different groups that allowed attendees to choose what suited them best. The sessions were: Operations/Financial, Payment Models, and Leadership Strategies/Partnerships. There was a fourth breakout session that was sponsored by Medtronic titled: Navigating Health Systems. People could mix and mingle various sessions or stay within one track depending on their needs. Those that came with colleagues from their organizations came together after each session to compare notes and share what each other learned.

I mostly stayed in the Leadership Strategies/Partnership sessions. It was very interesting, and I gained valuable insights that helped me better understand the challenges those in the home care and hospice community faced as well as some of the innovative work being done to meet the demands of regulatory efforts being put into place to improve quality and contain costs.

As I listened to the various speakers, I began to realize that the home care industry has the potential to lead the rest of the industry as it strives to understand how to create a culture that values person-centered care.  This is because the professionals who work in home care meet the patient where they are in the home. Home health care professionals; nurses, aides, companions, therapist and physicians all go into a person’s home and work with what they have – regardless of how much or how little. They meet the patient and their caregivers in their home and try to determine what they know, what they need to know and provide tips that allow them to manage a multitude of conditions. They also work to ensure the patient and families have the tools and resources needed to care for themselves effectively. Home care providers provide education, support, and empathy to each patient they meet and many times are the lifeline for both the patient and the caregiver.

I also realized how important it is to have a coordinated plan of care and excellent communication skills to assist the patient transitions from one setting to another.  They work with the acute care team as well as other post-acute providers to maintain continuity and ensure each patient is safe. 
 
Today's home health care workforce, like the rest of the industry, is under tremendous pressure to be efficient, effective and cost conscious. They also are under regulatory pressures to complete forms, develop plans of care and address issues that vary from patient to patient. To be effective, organizations are looking to develop specific competencies that ensure care is person-centered and focused on:

Developing relationships/partnership
Identifying the patient's values, needs, and preferences
·     Presenting information, evidence, and review options in plain language
·     Helping the patient reflect on and assess decisions
·     Action planning that promotes empowerment

In addition to the various sessions, the exhibit hall showcased over 70 vendors unique to the home care and hospice industry. Vendors brought their tools, their supplies, and technologies that are helping agencies to be smarter, faster and more efficient. 

There was a wealth of information to be gained from talking to the various vendors and a sense of community was evident as I met vendors and attendees. I really got the feeling that all knew they were partners and that by working together they would get through these challenging times.

VNAA also had a great application that all attendees could download to their smartphone that let them review the various vendors and what the products and services they provided. Participants could make notes to follow-up after the meeting with those they wanted to learn more about or explore their websites to learn about their services and products if they missed them in the hall.

The app also had the entire agenda listed so attendees could mark sessions they wanted to attend. They could also review the speaker’s bios and contact information as well as their slides.  It was very convent and user-friendly. The app had a place to keep notes on the sessions/exhibitors for future reference and provided the ability to tweet or send a post to Facebook if you wanted to share information on social media about the sessions, the speakers, trends or issues that was important. I used this feature a lot during the day and found it very convenient. 

On Day three, VNAA held an awards program to celebrate the unique qualities and contributions of home-based care providers. The winners were announced in the following categories:

Innovative Leadership Award: Geisinger Home Care: Survival Strategies for non-acute providers in a value-based contracting world.

Innovative New Model: Financial Award: Home Healthcare Hospice & Community Services: Unlock the keys to value-based care and alternative payments: clinical targets for care programming.

Innovative New Model: Clinical Award: Penn Care at Home: Rigorous focus on quality and patient safety will improve patient outcomes and ensure financial success.

Innovative Partnership Award: VNA of Kansas City: Impact of an In-Home Pharmacist Working in conjunction with nurses.

Innovative Program Design Award: Sutter Care at Home: Home Health Reimagined

Innovative Clinical Award: Use of Bordered Polymetric Membrane Dressing to Promote Patient Participation in their Own Wound Care in the Home Setting.

If you would like to reach out to any of these organizations, please email Taney Hamill, Senior VP at VNAA. Her email is thamill@vnaa.org.

I would like to thank the leadership at VNAA for allowing me to attend the Annual Conference. It was an important meeting and provided insights, information and innovative ideas that I and all who attended can use to understand better the changing landscape of our healthcare system as well as how all can improve operations and processes that will over time will improve the entire system.

Home care and the post-acute industry will continue to become a more and more valuable resource for each of us as well as our family and friends because we all want to be in our homes as much as possible. Having a reliable home care and post-acute network allows for this to happen.

It is not an easy time working through the disruption taking place today. But with organizations like VNAA providing support and resources professionals and organizations are showing progress as they work through the process.

Thanks for reading this issue of Nurse Advocate and if you have attended an interesting conference please feel free to share what you learned in the comment box below. 

Have a good week!

Resources:

Here are some resources that you might want to check out as they will provide insights into how YOU can help as the healthcare industry continue to move toward a patient and family centered care system.

Visiting Nurse Association of America:  If you are a consumer, caregiver, or healthcare professional make sure you follow VNAA for news, information, and resources to assist you as you transition through the complex healthcare system.

Blueprint for Excellence: Pathways to Excellence: The VNAA Blueprint for Excellence is a quality improvement and workforce training resource for home health, hospice and palliative care providers. It advances the use of best practices by gathering into one virtual location curriculum and training tools, as well as the relevant research supporting those tools. The VNAA Blueprint and its best practices demonstrate the value of home health, hospice and palliative care--both in lowering the overall cost of care and in improving health outcomes.

 Crossing the Quality Chasm, A New Healthcare System for the 21st Century Institute for Medicine. This landmark report laid out the challenges in our healthcare system and the imperative for change.

Always Events: Picker Institute Although this site is not managed by the Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care it is an important resource for all. The Picker Institute adopted an organizing principle focus on the concept of Always Events. Always Events are defined as those aspects of the patient and family experience that should always occur when patients interact with healthcare professionals and the delivery system.

Healthcare Professional Education: A Bridge to Quality: Institute for Medicine. The Institute of Medicine study Crossing the Quality Chasm (2001) recommended that an interdisciplinary summit be held to further reform of health professions education in order to enhance quality and patient safety. Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality is the follow up to that summit, held in June 2002, where 150 participants across disciplines and occupations developed ideas about how to integrate a core set of competencies into health professions education.

These two books are must reads for all healthcare professionals: Check them out at your local library!

Being Mortal: Medicine and what Matters, in the End, Atul Gawande, MD, MPH

When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi, MD.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Resilience: Capturing the Power of the Human Spirit




As a nurse working in critical care as well as a catastrophic case manager, I have always marveled at the resilience of the human spirit. Over my career, I have met and cared for so many brave and courageous people, but it was not till I became a patient myself that I could comprehend some of what they went through.

This week I celebrate one year of completing chemotherapy for a central nervous system brain tumor that turned my life upside down. As I have shared in previous posts in Nurse Advocate, I was extremely fortunate to have found an excellent treatment team who were able to diagnose and treat me successfully. This would not have been possible without the help of my husband who has been and continues to be my rock as well as my longtime friends and colleagues Marilyn Van Houten, Case Manager and Cathy Bowers, Patient Advocate. Each has been my advocates and helped me to understand what was happening, supported me through difficult days and helped me celebrate my successes.

Being able to diagnose and treat cancer has come a long way over the years. It is exciting to see the innovations that happens through the hard work of Oncologists/Hematologists, Oncology Nurses, Pharmacists and others who dedicate their careers to understanding various forms of cancer and the treatment options available. Until perfected, complications continue to occur, and it is up to the resilience of the patient and their caregivers to move forward.

I am an example of someone impacted by the harsh side effects that can result from the chemotherapy agents designed to eradicate cancer from our bodies. As a result of my chemotherapy, I have nerve damage which has caused bilateral foot drop and chemotherapy-induced neuropathy in my hands and feet. The combination has left me with ambulatory issues, the inability to drive and memory deficits. Despite these complications, I am grateful to be alive; to be able to participate in family and friend’s activities, and live life!

Looking back from where I was last year, to where I am today, I realize how much I have progressed. Last year at this time, I could not walk independently and required maximum assistance to move from one chair to another. I also needed help toileting, fixing meals and showering. I could dress, but due to the weakness in my hands, buttoning a shirt, zipping pants and picking up things was a challenge.

Toward the end of my chemotherapy treatment, my Hematologist recommended that I enter an inpatient rehabilitation program for intense rehabilitation to help rebuild my strength. At the time, I was not looking forward to going to another hospital but knew it was what I had to do. I was lucky to have a Health South Rehabilitation Hospital near my home and opted to go there instead of to a rehabilitation program at the University of Miami due to the distance.

To get the process moving, I called the Director of Case Management at Health South whom I knew and asked her to help me expedite the admission process.  She was able to assist me and arrange for an evaluation with the physiatrist. After the evaluation, I was admitted to the inpatient unit for aggressive therapy.

As a Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse and a Board Certified Case Manager, I had a good amount of experience with rehabilitation as I had many patients whom I accompanied over the years to various rehabilitation programs, yet being the patient was a different story.  As with the other aspects of my journey as a patient, I was again surprised at the reality of the experience and what rehabilitation entailed. It is truly a humbling experience.  

On day One, I was evaluated by the various therapists to determine my plan of care. Each came in and asked me a series of questions to gain insight into my history and discussed my goals and what I wanted to get out of therapy. I felt that I was part of the process and that each professional was interested in helping me reach my goals. After the evaluations had been completed, the team met to develop my plan of care and a schedule I would follow during my stay. I was to receive physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and cognitive therapy which comes under Speech Therapy over the next two weeks. PT and OT were ordered twice a day for an hour each.  Cognitive therapy was once a day for an hour. As Health South had a therapeutic pool, I was able to participate in pool therapy an hour a day which was a wonderful experience for me as I am a ‘swimmer’. The water therapy allowed me to work on my balance in a safe environment and to do the various exercises I could not do on land. I believe it was pool therapy that helped me the most emotionally.

I also was introduced to my case manager Annie, who explained her role and told me to call her anytime. Her name and number were put on my white board so I could contact her as needed. I also had a team of nurses and aides who helped me when I was in my room. It was truly a team effort! As a leader in the field of case management, I was proud to see that case management at Health South was front and center. Information on case management was in all of the reading material that I was provided. The information showed me how my case manager could help me throughout my stay and work on my transition to home once I was ready.  It was comforting to know there was someone for both myself and my husband to reach out to with any questions.

Attending therapy was another experience and one that I was somewhat apprehensive as I was so weak and did not know what to expect.  We all have exercised from time to time, but when you are debilitated and weak, therapy takes on a whole new meaning.  My therapists encouraged me and took the time to explain the various exercises and how they would help me. They were with me every step of the way to ensure that I was safe.

At first, I was afraid to walk as my legs could not hold me and I had several falls.  Early in the process, one of the physical therapists saw the issue that I could not flex my foot due to the bilateral foot drop, so he wrapped my sneakers with ace bandages so my feet would be in the correct position to ambulate. This made a huge difference and helped build my confidence. Also, the therapist recommended that I use a walker for stability. These simple suggestions allowed me to be safe when I walked which allowed me to start to build my strength.

Another thing I observed during my stay was how determined the patients were and how attentive the therapists were to each patient. Many times, I had to share a therapist, but I never felt like I did not get the attention I needed. I enjoyed watching the various therapist work with their patients and was impressed with the caring manner as they encourage the patients (I included) to do more than they thought they could do.  

The modality that surprised me the most in my program was cognitive therapy. I did not realize that I had cognitive deficits until I was asked to do various tasks that showed my deficits. During sessions, the therapist used various exercises that helped me see where I had some problem and some tips to compensate for the deficits I was experiencing.

Today, I am noticing that as I add more and more activities to my daily routine, I realize I am not the same person I was before, mentally or physically.  I have to remind myself to take my time, to focus more on what I have to do and use things like my calendar and alerts to help me remember things. I am grateful to have colleagues and friends who are patient with me and support me through the process.

In retrospect, being an inpatient for two weeks was not something that had I looked forward to, but I realize now it was the best thing that I could have done for myself. As I gained strength, confidence and hope.

After discharged from the inpatient hospital, I returned to outpatient therapy where I continued to progress. With the help of orthotics, I was able to progress from using a wheelchair to a walker, to a quad cane and then to a straight cane. At each junction, I was fearful, but with the help of my therapists, I made the transition safely.

Today, I have finished formal therapy. I have exercises that I do to help me continue to improve with regarding the chemo induced neuropathy and bilateral foot drop.  I am also enrolled in a water aerobics class and am back to swimming laps at a local aquatic center near my home. These activities have helped me immensely and helped me feel somewhat ‘normal.'

What has surprised me as I traveled through the past 14 months is how resilient we are when given the right tools to care for ourselves.  As I said, I am grateful to my husband, my family and friends, and my treatment team. I also realize how fortunate I am to have an excellent insurance plan that paid the bulk of the costs of the treatment that I required.

I urge patients and their caregivers to advocate for aggressive rehabilitation when needed. Today, many managed care organizations offer rehabilitation to be done in a skilled care facility instead of an acute rehabilitation program. This may be appropriate for some people who cannot participate in aggressive rehabilitation, but if there is any doubt, please insist on being evaluated for an aggressive program, it makes a difference!

Would love to have your comments and suggestions for future posts for Nurse Advocate. My goal is to make posts useful in helping patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals improve care coordination and transitions of care. Leave a comment below, or email me directly at allewellyn5@bellsouth.net 

In closing, here are some interesting resources that I have come across recently that highlight the resilience of people who have experienced a cancer diagnosis, who have endured a catastrophic event or live with a chronic condition that impacts their life.

 Celebrate Life Events Fighter and Slide Show: this slide show produced by Heather M. Spencer, Documentary Film Maker to be used in the series of Celebrate Life Events she hosted across the west coast of the United States. Celebrate Life Events Fighter and Slide Show highlights people from all over the world who have/had all types of cancer. Each shared their thoughts and hopes in this inspiring video. Heather also included tips to assist caregivers, friends and family in helping cancer patients through their journey. The video contains soothing music and beautiful photos with inspiring quotes that will inspire and empower all who are going through life’s changing events. So grab a glass of wine, turn up the volume on your speakers and enjoy the show! Don't forget to share this resource with all who could benefit.

Winners: A Novel by Danielle Steele. I am a big Danielle Steele reader, so when her new book Winners was released, I got my copy. The book is about a series of people who experience life changing events and discover a common link that allows them to overcome their challenges. The main character is Lily, a young girl who in training for the winter Olympics on the US Ski Team. As a result of a freak accident, she suffers a spinal cord injury that changes her life in a second. The story shares her journey through the recuperation process. What captured my attention was the reference in the book to Craig Rehabilitation Program. Craig is a world renowned rehabilitation center in Denver Colorado. The book takes you on a journey that shows the power of rehabilitation and how it can help someone reach their maximum potential in spite of a tragic event. 

 When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi. This is a book about death from someone who has died. Dr. Kalanithi wrote this book the last year of his life. It is a sensitive and moving book that I would highly recommend. Click here to read the review from the NY Times on this important book.

Love That Boy is a book written by Ron Fourier, a political journalists. The book is about his son who has autism and how he learned to be a better parent. If you have or know someone who has a child with autism or another medical or physical challenge, pick up a copy. 

Thank you for reading Nurse Advocate. I value your comments and recommendations for future posts on topics that you have experienced as a patient, a caregiver or a healthcare professional. Leave a comment or email me directly at allewellyn5@bellsouth.net.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Improving the Health of the US Population through Population Health




Finding a way to contain healthcare costs while improving the health of the US population are topics being discussed in the halls of Congress, in Board Rooms, in local communities and at national healthcare conferences across the country.  This is because the high cost of healthcare spending is threatening economic status of the United States around the world. 

Today it is recognized that chronic medical and mental health conditions are responsible for 75% of all health care expenditures. If we as a country want to slow the rate of healthcare spending, we need to work together to better educate consumers to change behaviors to prevent chronic conditions and empower them with tools and resources to better managed these conditions that will also improve their quality of life.

We all know that the United States spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world, but year after year, reports from organizations like the Commonwealth Fund show that we are not yielding commensurate value for those dollars in terms of population health or the patients’ experiences with the healthcare system. As a result, Federal and State governments, payers, providers, employers and consumers are learning the importance of working together to change this dynamic.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Population Healthcare Colloquium, a national meeting focused on population health. The Colloquium is now in its 16th year of bringing together leaders from various sectors of the healthcare industry to learn, network and share ideas on how to improve the health of the US population.

 The Conference is hosted by the Jefferson School of Public Health under the direction of Dr. David Nash. Dr. Nash is a passionate medical professional who uses his experience, insights and passion to design an event that year after year sets the agenda for the population health industry.

I have attended this conference almost annually since it started and always learned something new. The information presented assists professionals involved in population health to look at different viewpoints concerning health and wellness. This year’s event was extra special for me, as I missed last year’s Colloquium due to my illness, so I was looking forward to attending this year’s meeting.  I learned a great deal and was able to re-connect with colleagues and friends. The conference also enabled me to network with interesting exhibitors and learn about the innovative tools and resources available to assist the population health community with improving the delivery of care.

Maybe because I am looking at healthcare through the lens of a patient these days but I felt there was a different tone to this year’s event from previous Colloquiums. To me, there was a more personal focus and a serious look at the root causes impacting our ability to improve the country’s health and wellness irrespective of the billions of dollars spent trying.

Many of the speakers focused their presentation on the social determinants that impact health and our ability to live well. As we know, there are many factors that come together to affect the health of individuals and their communities. Whether people are healthy or not, is determined by their circumstances and environment. It was learned that to a large extent factors such as where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income, education levels, and our relationships with friends and family, can have considerable impact our health and well-being.

The theme of several the presentations stressed that we as a healthcare team have to get back to basics and learn from our patients how they are faring with basic needs such as food, shelter and work status. One quote that struck me and drove home this point was; “the most important factor in determining a patient's chance of being readmitted to the hospital was what they have in their refrigerator!”  Meaning many patients are discharged from emergency departments or the hospital without being asked some basic questions which could alert us to the challenges they face. They include such questions as;  do you have a home, do you have food to eat that meets your nutritional needs, do you have a way to get your medication, do you have a primary care doctor who you can follow-up with, and do you have a way to get to a follow-up appointment? Depending on how patients answer these questions can determine how they will do with regarding to the management of their health care challenges. To me, these questions are a wake-up call as to the challenges patient and caregivers face every day. If we want to be able to change the status quo; we need to take the time to understand the basic needs that impact the health and welfare of the people whom we serve.

Today, it is recognized that sickness and the hospital-centric model of healthcare, is giving way to an "anywhere care" model that centers on population health management. Population Health Management goals includes better health, better care, lower costs and improved access to care and outcomes. A new leadership mindset focused on these four imperatives is needed to spur progress toward meeting the population's health. These imperatives are:

·       Committing to a New View of Healthcare; Healthcare professionals with this new mindset recognize that change is not coming to healthcare; it is already here based on consumer-driven and Internet-fueled choice. If consumers prefer the convenience and style of nurse practitioners in retail store-based clinics, then they will seek out the settings where they can have the nurse practitioners in retail settings. Consumers are bypassing expensive, inconveniently located facilities, preferring their care in places close to where they live, shop and work.

·       Building Agility: The role of today’s healthcare's leaders centers on building organizational agility. To be able to nimbly operate a current business while simultaneously preparing for changing/new conditions.

·       Experimentation and Innovations: The drumbeat for value has been present in healthcare for decades and is growing considerably faster and louder. Adoption or expectation of value-based payment has increased rapidly, with impetus from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which announced its goal of moving at least 50% of its payments into value-based mechanisms by 2018. New payment models center around quality vs. quantity. Providers who want to succeed will have to be able to demonstrate the value they bring and the outcomes achieved to qualify for incentives and avoiding penalties.

·       Integrated Planning and a Blueprint for the Journey: To manage an environment all must be able to analyze market dimensions and develop and plan for multiple scenarios. They then must move ahead to make the fundamental changes needed in their organization's technology, system configuration, and clinical and business processes.

As the industry continues to move toward these changes, some organizations are testing new
models and showing success. To recognize and reward providers and organizations for their
work a new dimension was added to the Population Health Colloquium this year. The Hearst
Health Prize was introduced this year to recognize organizations doing innovative work in
the area of population health. The awards program was developed by the Jefferson College of Population Health and Hearst Health. 

I wrote about this exciting program in last week’s issue of Nurse Advocate. In my interview with Gregory Dorn, MD and president of Hearst Health, I learned that the call for submissions drew over 150 entries. Three finalists and one winner was chosen by a distinguished panel of judges. The award winner walked away with $100,000.00 which will help them further their project. The finalists were: Centering Health Care Institute, Wealth for Health; a program developed by Jersey City Medical Center and Community Health Care of North Carolina. Each of these programs showed innovation and the importance of how healthcare systems can improve the health of their populations through collaboration with their communities. The winner of the Inaugural Hearst Health Award was Community Care of North Carolina for the work they are doing with in improving care coordination and transitions of care in heir Medicaid population.

It is exciting for me to see the growth of the Population Health Colloquium from the standpoint of the number of professionals attending, to the wide variety of vendor participating, to the creativity and innovation taking place from all sectors of the healthcare community. I left the meeting thinking that concept of Population Health is taking hold and is on an exciting path of changing the delivery of healthcare while improving the health of populations across the country.

The 2016 Colloquium was presented live and via a live webcast. As a result, the event has been archived which allows you and your teams to view the program post event. Here is the link http://www.populationhealthcolloquiumportal.com for the cost and details on how to access.

Thanks again to Dr. David Nash and his team for another great conference. I look forward to the 2017 Colloquium and hope to see many of you there!