Shaping a healthier community to live, work and play

thumbnail_5Improving the health of our communities is a responsibility everyone shares at Providence. The Providence Institute for a Healthier Community in the Northwest Washington Region is an example of how caregivers are meeting community needs outside the walls of hospitals and clinics.

Launched last year, the institute partners with local businesses, governments, nonprofit organizations and schools to create programs and initiatives that encourage residents of Snohomish County to make small but important behavioral changes to improve their health.

For years, Snohomish County leaders across multiple sectors have been coming together to discuss ways to address rising health care costs and poor health risk status indicators in their community. Providence established the institute as a way to be part of the solution.

 “Providence has a deep history of service to communities, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. The institute serves as a bridge between our health care system and community, promoting innovative partnerships both upstream and downstream of conventional healthcare, helping our community define health and well-being on its own terms, and working together to create a healthier future,” said Scott Forslund, executive director of the institute.

Some of the initiatives include:

  • PIHC helped develop the county’s first consumer-based Health & Well-being Monitor which measures 23 attributes of health as defined by residents in the community and rolls them up to six key dimensions of health, and overall health and well-being scores.
  • To create a youth voice, PIHC partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs to establish a Youth Council to address youth addiction, violence and bullying, and relationships.
  • An online Community Partner Portal has been created to connect individuals and organizations countywide around a common agenda of better health.
  • PIHC is undertaking the largest in-field lifestyle modification study of its kind in Snohomish County to examine the effect of lifestyle changes on predicted medical costs within the region.

To learn more, visit the Providence Institute for a Healthier Community website.