Where you live can have a bigger impact on your health than your genetic makeup. Access to health care and improving the affordability and availability of healthy foods can go a long way in improving the health of the community.
To address these health disparities, Texas Health is implementing a different approach to community health improvement called Texas Health Community Impact.
Through this initiative, we are reframing how we engage with the communities we serve to better:
- Leverage existing partners
- Address social determinants of health
- Use data to drive community health improvement at the local level
Texas Health Community Impact was launched in January 2018 and awarded cross-sector collaborative grants addressing local needs in innovative ways. Program and collaboration priorities must be community-led and focused on measurable results, while also aligning with the Texas Health mission and vision for a healthy future for North Texans.
Through existing data from our Community Health Needs Assessment, Texas Health identified a key set of priorities to be addressed locally and based on the priorities in relation to social determinants of health and its impact on health outcomes.
Community Health Improvement
- Impact of exercise, nutrition, and weight on chronic disease
- Access to health service and health care navigation and literacy
- Mental health and substance abuse
Social Determinants of Health
- Culturally appropriate health and nutrition education
- Food security, such as the availability of affordable, healthy food
- Reliable access to preventative health care and affordable prescriptions
- Address social and community isolation
A Regional Approach
The major engine to deploy Texas Health Community Impact in our communities is the Texas Health Community Health Improvement department, which oversees five unique regional Texas Health Community Impact Leadership Councils (THCILCs) that represent counties in the Texas Health service area.
The five regions are: Collin; Dallas/Rockwall; Denton/Wise; Tarrant/Parker; and Southern (Ellis, Erath, Hood, Johnson, and Kaufman counties).
The THCILCs, new in 2018, are comprised of community leaders responsible for recommending outcome-driven programs and collaborations.
The regional THCILCs have been instrumental in determining priority areas of focus to invest Texas Health and community resources. The major steps undertaken by the community-led volunteer councils, with the support of Texas Health, are the following:
- Identify target communities (ZIP code level prioritization, sub-population identification)
- Identify community health needs (community readiness assessments/windshield surveys; focus groups)
- Build focused, community-based approach to tackle health priorities
- Create sound metrics to measure results of our community investment
The result of this work is a community driven implementation plan to improve community health in each of the five regions. The plans guide Texas Health in its work and investment in those regions.
For additional information regarding the regional Texas Health Community Impact Leadership Councils, please contact THCI-Grants@TexasHealth.org