Endowment Grant Establishes The Leonard Parker Pool Center for Health Analytics
“This gift has real weight to change the landscape of personal health and wellness for Lehigh Valley residents. The Center will have beneficial effects for years to come.”
Edward F. Meehan
The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust
In December of 2019, Trustees of The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust approved an endowment award to Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) to create and fund The Leonard Parker Pool Center for Health Analytics at LVHN. This grant is the largest in the 44-year history of support from The Pool Trust to LVHN. Such an expenditure, and specifically, an endowment expenditure, is the natural next step in The Trust’s pragmatic movement to honor and follow Leonard Parker Pool’s vision to improve the health of the citizens of the Lehigh Valley.
While advancements in health care and technology have dramatically improved the treatment of, and mortality rates for people with chronic diseases and other illnesses, the incidence and prevalence of disease and illness have increased, especially in poor communities of color. These disparities are most influenced by social determinants of health – conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.
Accurate neighborhood level data and analytics describing key social determinants, including physical and behavioral health, housing, education and access to healthy foods are important components to improving health. These data, when blended with the voices of the community most impacted by disparities, become important influencers that drive effective interventions developed by collaborating sectors (including health care systems, cradle-to-college or career education organizations, agencies that provide safe and healthy housing and access to healthy foods).
Over the last decade, LVHN has developed an outstanding IT powerhouse, using analytic and digital platforms to guide forward movement of the Network into a value-driven healthcare world. The added capacity of The Center dramatically improves the measurement, surveillance and reliability of health care delivery and further potentiates the execution of next-generation care teams to improve the health status of the residents of the Lehigh Valley and beyond. The analytic system now available through LVHN will be enhanced through The Pool Center to:
- Access and integrate diverse, but inter-related health and well-being data sets (e.g. education, crime, health status, housing, disease incidence, economic mobility, health disparities etc.)
- Conduct analyses that will show cause, predict trends and increase efficiency of community-wide interventions
- Develop an effective real-time health surveillance system and provide comprehensive, easy to access and understand health-related data to a variety of stakeholders.
Initially, the proceeds of the endowment will be used to convene conversations and support unique talent to form the community data warehouse and the design of the surveillance system. The Leonard Parker Pool Center for Health Analytics will contribute to the creation of large, shared and new types of population data sets that are an important foundation to create targets and benchmarks for clinical care and population health management.
The Center may offer project grants, expert internships, and educational programs in addition to providing policy assessment and suggestions for improvement. Outcomes will be seen by the Lehigh Valley’s citizen and professional community in the years to come.