Addressing Population Health Needs

Lifespan, Rhode Island’s first health system is a comprehensive integrated academic health system affiliated with the Medical School at Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Miriam Hospital, Bradly Hospital, and Newport Hospital.

To help provide funding, the Rhode Island Foundation (RIF) the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island, awarded $43 million in grants in 2017 to organizations to address the state’s most pressing needs in diverse communities.

One of the recipients, Rhode Island Hospital received $50,000 to expand their “Connect for Health” program from Hasbro Children’s Hospital to their adult primary care clinic in South Providence. Patients under this program identifying a need, will be referred to Connect for Health.

“Connect for Health” is an organization that envisions a different kind of healthcare system. They envision a system that addresses basic resource needs as standard to provide quality care. “Connect for Health” acknowledges that medicine alone can’t always treat the non-medical factors that may impact patients. Connect for Health’s basic goal is to strive to integrate basic resources into quality healthcare delivery and fight for health equity.

Trained health advocates will help patients’ access community services such as food or housing. The health advocates mostly Brown University students, use a web-based community directory to identify services to match the patient’s needs and map them out based on proximity to the where the patient lives. The advocates then develop an action plan and follow up until all needs have been addressed or until the client is equipped to navigate the resources available on their own.

In another move, Rhode Island Hospital has joined other medical centers nationally serving as hubs for the “Strategies to Innovate Emergency Care Clinical Trials Network” (SIREN). The network improves coordination and sharing of lifesaving emergency medicine research related to serious conditions such as traumatic brain injury, cardiopulmonary arrest, and sepsis.

Now the Rhode Island Hospital SIREN hub has also entered into a five year agreement to form a “Superhub” within the SIREN network to be known as the “Coalition for Research in Emergency Medicine” or referred to as the CORE-EM Alliance.

The CORE-EM Alliance includes five other leading emergency medicine research centers that are located at Emory University, Tufts University, University of Arizona, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and the Orland Regional Medical Center. Today, the CORE-EM Alliance has 23 Level 1 trauma centers and serves approximately 53 million patients.

The CORE-EM Alliance will be joining SIREN to conduct several large scale studies of 1,000 plus patients over the next five years. The six hubs within the CORE-EM alliance is affiliated with multiple hospitals and has the ability to transition seamlessly from six independent research centers up to thirty plus enrolling hospital sites.

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