Many Viewpoints Shape the Health Care in Baton Rouge

Healthy BR logo

The complexities of community health needs in greater Baton Rouge, La., might be overlooked or misapprehended by a single health organization. That’s why the latest Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for the city was conducted by an unusually broad coalition of care providers, six organizations that banded together in a region wide collaborative to improve the health of the Baton Rouge community in an effort known as “Healthy BR.”

Our Lady of the Lakes Regional Medical Center (OLOLRMC) is among the founders of Healthy BR, a regional approach to identifying community societal and health factors across a wide range of areas and industries.

Healthy BR is a “collective impact model,” inviting the participation and contributions of more than 90 hospitals, non-profit organizations, local businesses, schools, and governmental institutions, all working to shift the city’s health priorities in the direction they are needed most.

While the priorities of so many groups were not always in lockstep, regular meetings and status updates helped to identify and share resources, programs, initiatives, and opportunities for collaboration, a process known as organizational asset mapping.

This inclusionary process identified emerging trends and resulted in a CHNA that pinpointed a top 10 list of health priorities for the greater Baton Rouge population, running the gamut from behavioral health to chronic disease to social determinants of health to violence prevention.

The organizers of Healthy BR are pleased with the comprehensive scope of the health care picture their work unveiled and hope it may serve as a best practice model for other communities.

K. Scott Wester, president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, calls the progress Healthy BR made as a collaboration of health care providers to identify, address, and improve the health of its community “simultaneously humbling and inspiring.”

He went on to say, “While our unique CHNA approach has been recognized by many for its innovation and example, I’m even more encouraged by the open platform it’s given us for working together. Today’s challenges can often be too many to count. By working together on a few priority issues, we can focus our efforts and share creative solutions that make a bigger impact for everyone. Today’s work builds tomorrow’s good health.”

Resources on the Role of Hospitals