The work that hospitals and health systems are doing to improve the overall health of their communities is just as important as the work to treat injuries and diseases. Hospitals are taking responsibility for the health of their communities, helping people get and stay healthy year-round.

Every year the AHA honors outstanding hospital and health system programs that are improving community health status — through health care, economic or social initiatives — and working collaboratively with other health care organizations or with other community leaders and organizations.

The 2022 AHA Dick Davidson NOVA Award recognizes five programs that are making a significant impact to improve community health.

  • Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis-St. Paul launched Community Connect to identify unmet health-related social needs like access to nutritious food, transportation and housing support; provide responsive community resources to address such needs; and engage in ongoing case management to help foster the conditions where children can thrive.
  • The Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center at Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., created the Continuous Care Program, which has used virtual assessments and telehealth to ensure all children and their families are engaged in care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The center’s work focuses on the health and well-being of children with special health care needs.
  • Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and Montage Health, both in California, partnered to create the Monterey County Diabetes Collaborative. This collaborative is reducing type 2 diabetes in the predominantly Hispanic population of the region, where one in eight people have diabetes.
  • Spectrum Health, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., developed the School Blue Envelope Suicide Prevention Program, a partnership with local school districts to decrease the stigma in talking about suicide, improve faculty confidence when responding to students with a mental health crisis, and adopt an “all hands on deck” approach to preventing suicide.
  • Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, N.H., created The Doorway program to serve as a single source for people seeking help with or information about substance use disorder. The Doorway provides screening and evaluation, treatment and peer recovery support services, as well as suicide prevention resources.

You can find more information about these excellent programs and their impact by visiting

Congratulations and appreciation to this year’s Dick Davidson’s NOVA Award recipients for offering creative solutions and working to provide support, knowledge and resources that promote healthy families and communities.

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