The Collaborative's Caswell Chapter Awarded $100,000 Grant

March 7, 2019

The Collaborative's Caswell Chapter Awarded $100,000 Grant

The Health Collaborative's Caswell Chapter awarded $100,000 grant to expand efforts to address social determinants impact community health by Blue Cross NC Foundation

  • Receives $100k grant to improve health and increase health equity
  • Supports partnerships between clinical entities, community organizations, and resident leaders
  • Expands effort that is already transforming health care and community conditions
  • Joins 3 existing communities and 5 new communities focusing on community-centered transformation

YANCEYVILLE, NC – With growing momentum behind the understanding that the majority of health, up to 80 percent by some estimates, is dictated by factors outside of the health care system, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) Foundation awarded $100,000 to support the Caswell Chapter of The Health Collaborative’s focus on social determinants to improve health and address the inequities that cause health disparities.

The Health Collaborative is a cross-sector group of residents who are working together to improve the health and well-being of the Dan River Region. The Health Collaborative unites organizations and creates action to support health for all people in the Dan River Region through an integrated approach, which complements existing programs of their community partners with policy, systems and environmental changes to support long-term, sustainable and transformational initiatives. Recognizing that place-based challenges require place-based strategies, the Caswell Chapter was created in January of 2018.

“Being selected as one of the six new communities to participate in the Community-Centered Health Cohort validates the hard work, innovation and cross sector collaboration that have been happening in Caswell over the past year,” said Elyse Jardine, Project Manager of The Health Collaborative. “By partnering with clinical providers, community service organizations and economic development and place making efforts, The Health Collaborative and its partners are poised to explore and activate community wealth building strategies to improve health outcomes.”

Through this project, the Caswell Chapter of The Health Collaborative plans to address the impact of economic instability on health outcomes through community wealth building initiatives, which is the combination of authentic community engagement, community development, public health, and local economic development strategies aimed at building a platform for healthy people, strong communities, and a thriving local economy. Caswell Family Medical Center will serve as the fiscal agent for the grant and employs the Caswell Chapter’s Project Coordinator, Shannon Moretz.

“Caswell Family Medical Center is committed to providing high quality health care services to our community,” says William Crumpton, CFMC’s Chief Executive Officer.  “We are excited to be a part of a movement that has tremendous potential to make significant impacts on the long-term wellbeing of people who live, work and play in Caswell County.”

This grant expands Community-Centered Health, the Foundation’s approach to supporting clinical-community collaborations to better understand and act on non-medical drivers of health, with the ultimate goal of increasing health equity and improving health at the population level.

“Where we live; how safe or stressful our environments are; our access to quality education, healthy foods, transportation, community resources and more all affect our health,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, president and CEO of Blue Cross NC and Chairman of the Blue Cross NC Foundation. “This investment is designed to support communities to identify the factors that are impeding all people from achieving good health and to work in partnership to address those causes at a systemic and policy level to improve the health of their communities.”

The Caswell Chapter of The Health Collaborative’s continuing work is rooted in the core tenets of the community-centered health approach:

  • Developing multi-sector, clinical-community partnerships in which community members experiencing the conditions that cause inequities have leadership roles
  • Making policy, systems, and environmental changes that will sustain impact and lead to increased health equity in the community
  • Shifting health care’s processes and culture to identify and act on non-medical barriers to good health at the population level

“For far too long, interventions have been prescribed by those living outside a community or those who haven’t experienced health inequities directly,” continued Conway. “This approach counters that instinct by engaging the wisdom and leadership of those who experience inequities directly to identify and prioritize changes necessary to transform health.”

Community-Centered Health is a long-term approach and this grant supports an initial partnership development and planning process. CommonHealth ACTION, a national leader in health equity, is the Foundation’s technical assistance partner. They will coach partnerships during the planning process and provide tailored support to maintain a focus on equity and systemic changes inside and outside the health care system that drive chronic disease and health inequities.

“Health is a production of society,” said Natalie S. Burke, president and CEO of CommonHealth ACTION.  “If we’re going to create communities where everyone is able to achieve their best possible health, then we need to redesign systems that are currently producing health, well-being, and quality of life for some while producing illness, disease, and early death for others.”

At the conclusion of the initial 15-month planning period, the Caswell Chapter of The Health Collaborative will be eligible for up to four years of implementation funding from the Blue Cross NC Foundation to put their plans into action.

For more on the Community - Centered Health Initiative visit BCBS Community-Centered Health