Social and health scientists suggest that roughly 80% of health outcomes are dependent on non-clinical factors such as social and economic factors like education, employment and family support; one’s physical environment, like housing, transportation, and air and water quality, and health-related behaviors like alcohol and drug use, diet and exercise, and sexual activity. Because of this, many communities across the country have begun to place resources in primary prevention education and support for cross-sector initiatives that aim at improving the health of the whole population.
Of the remaining 20% of health outcomes dependent on clinical care, key factors include quality of care and access to care (are people aware of services? Can they get to services? Can they afford services?)
SVTAHEC follows and is involved in a number of area health initiatives. This helps to better advise its workforce education and development activities.
Health Needs in Southern Vermont Communities
The Affordable Care Act requires non-profit hospitals to conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA) of its stakeholders and health-related data every three years. Over the past six years, CHNAs in southern Vermont have revealed health trends in the area which suggest priority health services to be: access to mental health services; substance misuse and addiction counseling services, Medicaid dental services—particularly preventive oral health care for children, and supportive services for the aging population.
See Resources page for CHNAs and Implementation Plans in southern Vermont Health Service Areas.
Accountable Communities for Health
Vermont’s Accountable Communities for Health (ACH) initiative, active in all Hospital Service Areas (HSAs) in our area, supports both the integration of high-quality medical care, mental and behavioral health services, and social services for those in need of care, and community-wide efforts to reduce disparities in the distribution if health and wellness.
For an overview of the ACH program in Vermont: Click HERE
For information on ACH health initiatives in Southern Vermont: Click HERE
SVTAHEC Oral Health Access Initiative
SVTAHEC is a member of several Federal and Vermont State coalitions whose shared mission is to advance access to preventative oral health care among underserved rural populations. By keeping current on developments in oral health policy and legislation, we are better able to support local initiatives in our area. For more information about oral health initiatives in Vermont: link to Oral Health Access page
Partnering with Area Primary Prevention Coalitions
SVTAHEC has partnered with area primary prevention coalitions to create internship opportunities for its C-SHIP program and most recently to stage a series of panels and community events in Windham County around addressing Opioid Use Disorder.
Follow the link to Dr. Geoff Kane’s talk on addiction, September 9, 2019 in Wilmington in partnership with Deerfield Valley Area Community Partnership: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mIIechuRzTkXWWDzI3Viyz3_F0qa7Poz/view?usp=sharing
Follow the link to Daryl McGraw’s question and answer session following the sneak-preview screening of the documentary “Uprooting Addition” September 5, 2019 in Bellows Falls in partnership with Greater Falls Prevention Coalition and Turning Point Recovery Center: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qVtTPvtszhcKCI2JHc5BBYAUrbVFytco/view?usp=sharing
Windham County Consortium on Substance Use
SVTAHEC has been a member of the Windham County Consortium on Substance Use. COSU is a collaborative effort consisting of organizations and individuals who work across the continuum of substance use prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery. The group takes a community-driven, rural focused approach to addressing the impacts of opioid and other substance use in Windham County. In October 2018, COSU received a HRSA Rural Community Opioid Response Program planning grant, allowing the group to work with community members to assess gaps in service and systems around opioid use and reduce discrimination. As part of that project, SVTAHEC led the consortium’s workforce workgroup, culminating in the creation of a Workforce Plan to address SUD/OUD in Windham County.
SVTAHEC-authored report on the planning work of COSU: Click HERE
SVTAHEC-authored Workforce Plan for COSU: Click HERE