Five Programs Earn 2024 AHA Dick Davidson Nova Award For Improving Community Health

American Hospital Association honors hospitals and health systems that have demonstrated a deep commitment to creating healthier communities

WASHINGTON (May 1, 2024) — The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced that five exemplary programs have earned the AHA Dick Davidson NOVA Award for their hospital-led collaborative efforts that improve community health. The winning programs are the Resourceful program, Essentia Health, Duluth, Minn.; Beyond Violence, John Muir Health, Walnut Creek, Calif.; UH Food for Life Markets®, University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio; TC Street Medicine, Munson Healthcare, Traverse City, Mich.; and Forensic Health and Trauma Recovery Center Services, Palomar Health, Escondido, Calif. 

The AHA Dick Davidson NOVA Award recognizes hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health status, whether through health care, economic or social initiatives. Honorees participate in joint efforts among health care systems or hospitals, or among hospitals and other community leaders and organizations. This year’s recipients will be recognized at the AHA Accelerating Health Equity Conference May 7-9 in Kansas City, Mo.

“This year’s Dick Davidson NOVA Award winners have demonstrated dedication and commitment to improving community health by forging strong partnerships with other community organizations,” said AHA president and CEO Rick Pollack. “These hospitals and health systems offer exemplary and essential services and programs that have adapted and evolved to effectively meet the changing needs of their communities.”

The 2024 winning programs and hospital partners are:


Essentia Health, Duluth, Minn.

The Resourceful program was launched in 2021 as a public resource directory connecting community members with thousands of verified programs providing free and reduced-cost services. Information available at is customized for the specific needs of the communities served by Essentia Health, which includes parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. The program integrates into Essentia Health’s electronic medical record system and is widely used by community members including Essentia staff and local organizations. All Essentia patients are screened for social needs at primary care and pediatric appointments. Its team of community health workers develop relationships with patients and utilize Resourceful to connect them to services addressing patient concerns such as food insecurity, transportation and housing. It’s a highly collaborative program with a community leadership team that sets annual performance targets, reviews robust evaluation metrics and monitors community and patient feedback.

Beyond Violence

John Muir Health, Contra Costa County, Calif.

The Beyond Violence program provides intervention to people impacted by interpersonal violence such as assault, stabbing or gunshot. At the hospital bedside, an intervention specialist engages with a patient to provide support and begin the enrollment process into the program. Beyond Violence provides direct access to health care services such as a mobile health clinic, trauma follow-up clinic, mental health support, connections to jobs and education, and resources for food and housing for long-term sustainability. The specialist connects the client, their family and others who were impacted by the violent event to a needed resource. The program has flexed with the growing needs of the community by expanding partnerships, geographical reach and increasing scope of services such as adding no-cost mental health therapy. The program initially was designed to serve ages 15-25, but in 2022 it expanded to serve anyone over 15. Since the program’s inception in 2010, 98% of program clients remained alive, which is testament to the program’s support and efficacy.

UH Food for Life Markets®

University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio

UH Food for Life Markets® is a food-as-medicine preventative model to address chronic health conditions by providing free, healthy food and dietitian consultation. When patients visit their clinician, they are screened for food insecurity. Those who screen positive receive a referral to one of five existing UH Food for Life Markets®. Onsite dieticians help patients select food that addresses their medical needs while also remaining culturally sensitive to food preferences. The program’s goal is to help patients control chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The program, in collaboration with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Sodexo, has expanded in urban and rural areas and expects to open its sixth market this year. Patients are eligible to receive food for a week for up to a family of four, once a month for up to six months and can get their referral renewed by following up with their clinician. The markets are part of University Hospitals’ Community Health Investment strategy and are counted as a community benefit. Healthy recipes, meal preparation tips and cooking demonstrations are a popular part of this program.

TC Street Medicine

Munson Healthcare, Traverse City, Mich.

Through the TC Street Medicine program, medical care and other supportive services are provided twice a week for the unhoused in the streets, at community-based organizations and in encampments in the woods. Launched in 2016 by a doctor from Traverse Health Clinic, it was expanded and fortified in 2020 as a more comprehensive collaboration between the clinic, Munson Healthcare and Goodwill Northern Michigan Street Outreach. With the addition of a mobile medical unit, the number of patients served greatly increased. The program connects unhoused individuals with care teams including health care professionals, outreach workers and social workers. Following the mantra “Go to the People,” the medical team including residents representing family medicine, psychiatric and pharmacy programs bring care directly to unhoused individuals. The TC Street Medicine team delivers compassionate, non-judgmental medical care directly to individuals who are in precarious housing situations and builds trusting relationships with patients seeking medical care as they work to protect their health and assist them in finding housing. 

Forensic Health and Trauma Recovery Center Services

Palomar Health, Escondido, Calif.

The Palomar Forensic Health and Trauma Recovery Center provides 24/7 compassionate, comprehensive services and support for San Diego County survivors of all ages who have endured physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, elder abuse or trauma. The programs connect survivors to specialized case management and mental health services to decrease recidivism, cycles of violence, crime rates, overuse of emergency room services, and morbidity and mortality rates. They provide immediate and early detection of abuse, services near a trauma survivor’s home; examination by a trained professional; and quality evidence to assist with investigations. Co-locating within a family justice center enables Palomar to collaborate with more than 80 multidisciplinary team partners including community-based organizations, local law enforcers and district attorneys. The center was founded in 1984 to serve children, became the first hospital in the county to serve sexual assault survivors in 1991, and in 2021 introduced specialty services for military members and human trafficking survivors. 


About the AHA
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at