Building effective partnerships is key to improving population health. Hospitals and health systems across the country are collaborating with organizations in their communities to address food insecurity and housing, the opioid epidemic and other challenges that influence health and well-being. 

Last week, more than 630 community health leaders convened in Atlanta for the annual conference of the Association for Community Health Improvement, an AHA affiliate. Conference attendees worked together at table activities to discuss and design strategies to advance health in America. Presenters and participants shared inspiring stories about how partnerships are successfully addressing community health priorities.

In Atlanta, the conference’s host city, cross-sector community partnerships that include area hospitals and health systems are working together to improve and strengthen the health of low-income communities by focusing on equitable transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and arts and recreation opportunities. Conference attendees had the opportunity to visit Soccer in the Station, the first soccer field located inside a transit station, another multiuse transit-oriented development that will ensure affordable housing and also focus on the arts, and the Atlanta BeltLine.

As hospital and community leaders, we can learn from the work of such partnerships and even replicate their initiatives and results. The ACHI website has news about the conference as well as resources and tools that your hospital can use to improve the health and well-being of patients and residents in your community.