Report of the Chairman and Executive Director
The Triple Aim approach is the new gold standard for health care. Improving access to care while also improving outcomes and decreasing the cost of services is the goal of every health care organization in the country. The education and creation of the next generation of health professionals and caregivers who operate within the Triple Aim paradigm is essential. The Pool Trust’s Strategic Focus Areas, Community Engagement, Primary Care and Community-Based Workforce Development and Care System Redesign, are in alignment with this framework.
The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust works closely with the region’s premier health care organization, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) by providing critical support of new programs to better serve our community. In the past three years, The Pool Trust made more than $18M in grants with the majority of these resources primarily directed toward workforce development and community health efforts. The Trust’s investments, in these large-scale, multi-year, capacity-building endeavors, led by the Department of Nursing, the Department of Community Health and the Division of Education, have already generated positive outcomes for the health of the citizens of the Lehigh Valley and hold even more promise for the future. Recent efforts which model these large-scale initiatives include the following examples.
The Regional Integrated Collaborative for Healthy Youth (RICHY) program, started in 2015, brings together LVHN, two local colleges (DeSales University and Marywood University), and a community based behavioral health provider (Valley Youth House) in a unique initiative to offer pregnant and parenting adolescent mothers with integrated, comprehensive health services. Specific goals include improvement in the health and well-being of the adolescent residents and their young children, improvement in the health-related knowledge and self-advocacy skills of the residents, better coordination and integration of preventive services with the larger primary care system in the Lehigh Valley and a reduction in overall healthcare costs. This novel pilot program is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
LVHN’s Street Medicine Program, which brings health practitioners to city streets to treat homeless residents, will grow over the next two years thanks to the Trust’s support. It will sustain the efforts of the more than 100 individuals working in the program, promote interest in street medicine and develop ways to provide mental health/behavioral health services.
The Trust, in conjunction with the Allentown School District and LVHN’s Division of Education, will also play an important role in growing the next generation of health professionals through a Youth Engagement Program to be piloted at Building 21 High School. Students interested in health care will receive exposure to a variety of careers through authentic projects with problems in real-world settings conducted through a cohorted mentorship program. The program, which will have a special focus on students from groups who are historically underrepresented in medicine, is expected to expand in coming years to the region’s other high schools.
The Pool Trust awarded eight grants in 2015 totaling $1,610,000. We are confident that these new programs, and the others we have supported in the past, will have both short-term and long-term impact for the betterment of health of Lehigh Valley residents.
John P. Jones III
Edward F. Meehan