During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals remain cornerstones of their communities, as they’ve always been. They continue to serve and heal, provide jobs, food, social services and education around sound health practices. 

Hospitals are bridge-builders, too, seeking worthwhile partnerships to implement programs that have a direct and immediate impact on people’s lives.

The AHA Dick Davidson NOVA Awards salute this vital work. Each year, they spotlight hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health status, whether through health care, economic or social initiatives.

The five recently announced 2020 award recipients were honored for their outstanding creativity and community partnership.

  • Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, Vail Health, Vail, Colo. EVBH created a media campaign to destigmatize behavioral health needs, successfully pushed for a tobacco tax to support public health services and helped recruit 25 mental health providers to the Eagle River Valley. It also established a fund to provide financial assistance to any local resident in need of behavioral health services. 
  • Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, Seton Hall University, Edison, N.J. Medical students take a three-year course focused on social determinants of heath and learn firsthand how SDOH affect individuals and communities. Students plan and conduct a community health project to address identified needs.
  • Supportive Housing for the Homeless, Baltimore City Hospitals, Baltimore, Md. This partnership connects at-risk individuals and families to permanent housing, along with support services to help ensure their success. The hospitals provide Medicaid-matching funds that enable the city government to take advantage of a Medicaid waiver opportunity and refer patients for housing placements. 
  • Healthy Roanoke Valley, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, Va. Carilion Clinic is helping to reduce health disparities in the region through its support of a health improvement plan focused on making fresh healthy food more widely available. In an 18-month pilot, emergency department visits dropped by 67%.
  • Mothers in Recovery, Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Fla. The program supports pregnant women with substance use disorders by providing a multidisciplinary team, including a dedicated recovery navigator, for the duration of her treatment. Since the program began in 2015, 136 mothers have been treated and 93% of the babies have been born drug-free.

These are just some of the many life-changing ways hospitals continue to serve, nurture and improve their communities. Congratulations to this year’s honorees for their excellent work, and to all of you for your dedication to advancing health in America. 

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