Image_Healthy Connections Network Logo HEALTHY CONNECTIONS NETWORK
The mission of the Healthy Connections Network is "to have a healthy community with accessible health care for all in Summit County" and the goal of the network is "to improve the overall health status of all residents of the community."

 

 

About Healthy Connections Network

Healthy Connections Network (HCN) is a collaborative 501 (c) (3) organization, begun in 1995 to respond to critical health and social service issues in Akron and Summit County, Ohio. Between 2000 and 2011, HCN focused on access to timely and appropriate health care services for uninsured residents of Summit County. HCN worked to plan, fund and implement the Access to Care program to link lower income uninsured adults in Summit County with a network of local physicians and health care providers who donated health care services for enrollees. By 2011, almost 5000 individuals had been served through Access to Care and full management of the program was turned over to Summit County Public Health.

In 2012, HCN continues to address its original goal of 100% Access/0 Disparities by turning its attention to the critical issue of health equity in Summit County.  According to the World Health Organization, social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources, which are themselves influenced by policy choices. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities - unfair and avoidable differences in health status.

Economically disadvantaged people can expect to live significantly shorter lives than people of greater means. The overall poverty rate in Summit County was 15.3% in 2010, and the poverty rate of African Americans in Summit County was twice that average, at 31%. This disparity is evident in the life expectancy of Summit County residents.  Average life expectancy for White residents is 76.4 years, while the average life expectancy for Black residents is almost ten years lower, at 67.1 years. In Summit County, 19.6% of adults between the ages 18-64 were without health insurance in 2008.  An astounding 62% of Summit County adults were considered overweight or obese. The links between poverty, environment, and health, and the impact of health inequities are everyday realities faced by Summit County residents

HCN is working in tandem with other community groups to help our community eliminate barriers to health access and to promote a healthy local community.

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Community Issues That Impact Health Equity


 

 

Local Resources

Summit County Medical Society
Helpwithmedicalcosts.com
InfoLine
Minority Health Roundtable
Summit County ADM Board
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Benchmarks

   Moving toward 100%
              access to health care /
                       
zero disparities in health status

In 2001:
HCN joined the "100% Access/Zero Disparities Campaign" initiated by the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) and held a Town Hall Meeting to raise awareness of the health care access plight of lower income uninsured residents of Summit County.

In 2003:
HCN published a report: “Access to Care: Health Status of the Uninsured in Summit County"

HCN published the first edition of the Help with Health Care brochure, a guide to existing health care access resources for the uninsured in Summit County. To get a copy of the brochure, click on the link above or call Summit County Public Health at 330-926-5675.

In 2004:
HCN received a grant from the Healthy Communities Access Program (HCAP) administered by the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)/Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to establish the Access to Care (ATC) program.

In 2005:
Access to Care began enrolling eligible lower income adult residents of Summit County to link them with a network of volunteered health care services.

HCN participated in the Summit Poll 2005, adding to data available about local health care access.

In 2006:
Access to Care served 1129 enrollees, leveraging $5.5 million in value of donated health care and $650,000 in donated pharmaceuticals.

246 private physicians supported Access to Care by donating in-office primary and specialty care. Health care services for enrollees were also provided by Akron General Medical Center, Summa Health System, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron Community Health Resources, The University of Akron College of Nursing Academic Nursing Center, and OPEN-M.

Access to Care management was assumed by Summit County Public Health, while. HCN provides on-going policy development, monitoring and evaluation oversight for Access to Care.

HCN initiated a strategic planning process to define future directions for improved health care access and reduced health disparities in Summit County.

 


In 2007:
A Return on Community Investment report (ROCI) was issued by Access to Care, demonstrating that, in its first 18 months of operation, the program had returned $5 in value for every $1 spent to operate the program. The program connected 1,171 individuals with a medical home and wrap-around health care services totaling $4.5 million in donated care provided by 253 volunteer physicians and other health care providers. By November, 2007, nearly $1,000,000 worth of pharmaceuticals had been leveraged, along with over $16 million in donated care. Both volunteer providers and participants considered Access to Care to be a success.

Access to Care received the “Making A Difference” Award at the Summit County Human Services Forum.

In 2008:
In March, 2008, HCN partnered with the Akron Urban League and Minority Health Roundtable to present a showing of “Unnatural Causes,” (www.unnaturalcauses.org, a PBS series presented by California Newsreel (www.newsreel.org). The series investigates the sources of health inequities and the search for solutions in various communities around the country. It provides a platform for discussion about how communities can work toward the goal of healthy communities and health equity.

In 2009:
HCN published an updated report to the community, "Our Work Continues."

In 2010:
HCN partnered with the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, Center for Community Health Improvement, to operate the Access to Care program.

In 2011:
Access to Care (ATC) had served almost 5000 enrollees, leveraged $64,596,595 million in value of donated health care and $2,059,765 in free pharmaceuticals.

364 Summit County physicians supported Access to Care by donating in-office primary and specialty care. Health care services for enrollees were also provided by Akron General Medical Center, Summa Health System, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron Community Health Resources, OPEN-M, and The University of Akron, College of Nursing, Nursing Center for Community Health.

Operation of the Access to Care program was turned over to Summit County Public Health, with support from Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron.

In 2012:
HCN continues to serve our community as a collaborative venue to explore and promote healthcare access strategies. HCN will continue its tradition of open dialogue and will expand discussion to include health equity issues that directly impact the health of individuals and families in our community.  HCN continues to work toward 100% Access to Health Care/Zero Disparities in Health in Akron/Summit County.


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Membership

Executive Committee
Officers

Chair: 
Chair-Elect:
Treasurer:
S
ecretary:

Gene Nixon , Health Commissioner, Summit County Public Health
Janine Janosky, Vice President, Center for Community Health Improvement, Austen BioInnovation in Akron (ABIA)
Roberta Aber
, Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio
Bob Howard
, Consultant, Akron Children's Hospital

   
Board of Directors Voting Representatives

Suzanne Hobson, Director, Community Health Initiatives, Akron General Medical Center
Annette Mitzel
, Director, Nursing Center for Community Health, College of Nursing, University of Akron
Dottie Achmoody, CEO, OPEN-M
Malcolm Costa, President/CEO, Akron Summit Community Action, Inc.
Roxia Boykin
, Vice-President, Community Benefit & Diversity, Summa Health System

Board of Directors Non-Voting Representatives

Joan Picone, Community Representative

Contact

Susan S. Gerberich, Ph.D., R.N., CNS
Project Consultant, Healthy Connections Network, P.O. Box 2734, Akron, OH 44309-2734
(330) 972-7894
ssg@uakron.edu

Organization Membership List

Akron Children’s Hospital
www.akronchildrens.org

Akron Community Health Resources (ACHR)
www.achrhealthcare.org

Akron General Medical Center
www.akrongeneral.org

Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
www.akronhousing.org

Akron-Region Interprofessional Area Health Education Center (ARI-AHEC)
http://www.uakron.edu/nursing/community-engagement/ari-ahec/

Akron Summit Community Action, Inc.
www.ascainc.org

ASIA, Inc.
www.asiainc-ohio.org

Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
www.abiakron.org

Buckeye Community Health Plan
www.bchpohio.com

Caler & Company
www.caler.com

Community Legal Aid Services, Inc.
www.communitylegalaid.org

Family and Children First Council
http://fcfcsummit.org

Minority Health Roundtable
www.minorityhealthroundtable.org

OPEN M
www.openm.org

Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio
www.plannedparenthood.org/ppneo

Summa Health System
www.summahealth.org

Summit County Department of Job and Family Services
www.summitdjfs.org

Summit County Public Health
www.scphoh.org

The University of Akron, College of Nursing, Nursing Center for Community Health
http://www.uakron.edu/nursing/community-engagement/nursing-center-for-community-health.dot

United Way of Summit County
www.uwsummit.org
Individual Community Representatives
Dr. Michael Moser, MD, MPH
Marsha Schofield, MS, RD, LD
Marty Harbin, JD
Joan Picone, Consultant
Michelle M. Smith
Dr. C. William Keck, MD, MPH

 

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Meetings

    2013 HCN Meeting Schedule

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Links

American Public Health Association Ohio Department of Health
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Health Policy Institute of Ohio
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy People
   

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Site design by Kathy Coleman, Summit County Public Health
©2012 All rights reserved

 

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