Large, academic health systems often focus on delivering care, researching disease and training the next generation of providers. But there’s good reason to think they could also advance their mission through community investments, especially in housing.
Kelly Kelleher, MD, MPH, vice president of Community Health at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, talks to the Healthcare Strategies podcast from xtelligent Healthcare Media about a study he co-authored showing poor housing quality is linked to poor health in children – and uses that as a jumping off point for talking about how health systems can engage in housing-related improvement.
- As a “first level,” hospitals and systems can screen patients for housing insecurity and poor housing quality (and they should be prepared to connect families to services if they need help).
- At a second level, hospitals can advocate for the enforcement of housing codes that are already on the books.
- And at the third level, hospitals can work with state and local governments, financial institutions and other interested organizations to actually expand the supply of affordable housing. Nationwide Children’s has done exactly that since 2008 through its Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families initiative, impacting 400 houses.