NC Center for Health and Wellness Overview Scorecard 2019-2020

This Scorecard is a web-based platform for tracking and communicating the following:

RESULTS—the conditions of health and wellbeing we envision and are collectively working to achieve;

INDICATORS—the measures of population health and wellness we are using to track our progress towards achieving these results, often with a particular focus on differences in conditions and outcomes among groups (disparities). We are working to "turn the curve on" these measures to contribute to greater equity;

STRATEGIES—the overarching sets of activities we undertake to create changes to help achieve our results; and

PERFORMANCE MEASURES—the measures of the quality and impact of our efforts, which we learn by asking "how much" we did, "how well" we did it, and whether "anyone is better off?"

 

If you are interested in learning more about each aspect of our work, click on the plus sign (+) next to the colored boxes. 

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Description

The NC Center for Health and Wellness envisions that every community across our state will have strong health, education, economic, and social support systems to ensure that everyone in our society has fair and just opportunities to be healthy. We acknowledge that numerous social determinants contribute to people's health—those conditions in which we live, learn, work, play and pray—and that these should be addressed in efforts to support health for all. 

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Strong primary prevention strategies are critical for all people across their lifespans. Building the capacity of and relationships between clinical providers and community partners can help create more access to health resources statewide and strengthen our prevention and treatment systems. Safe spaces and the physical and social conditions that drive health can also support individuals in making healthier choices for themselves and their families.

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Why Is This Important?

Everyone deserves fair opportunities to be healthy, but unfortunately many groups and communities have limited availability of and accessibility to the health care resources and conditions necessary to support their wellbeing. Research shows differences in health outcomes among people with different race/ethnicity, geographical locations, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and other characteristics. These differences can be seen in the indicators above, including overall life expectancy, poverty rates, educational attainment, and health status. We need to build the capacity of providers across the state to increase access to health services for all people, particularly underserved groups. Our systems and programs must also be strengthened through advocacy, policy change, and engaging cross-sector partners in community initiatives.

Who We Are

The North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness ﴾NCCHW﴿ was launched at the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) in 2007 to support the health of people across the state by serving as a catalyst for primary prevention and health promotion. Our mission is to develop healthy North Carolina communities with equitable opportunities ﴾Results 1, 2﴿, with particular focus on addressing health disparities in the prevention and treatment of chronic health conditions. Health equity provides an anchor for all of NCCHW work. This term conveys that everyone deserves a level playing field, no matter what their station in life, to pursue optimal health without undue burdens beyond their control.

 

NCCHW champions and spearheads promising and evidence-based initiatives and practical evaluation methods to improve communities where people live, learn, work, pray and play. NCCHW contributes to health and wellbeing for the state’s population via a web of relationships that lead to better practices, enhanced capacity, and community innovations at strategic points across the lifespan. NCCHW staff work in partnership with stakeholders across the UNC Asheville campus, the region, and the state to help support health service systems and providers, impact critical policies and ignite community initiatives.

What We Do

The two current initiatives at the core of our organization include NCCHW’s Culture of Results (COR) empowerment evaluation training and technical assistance program and Healthy Aging NC (HANC), which provides statewide training, data reporting and management, and technical assistance for evidence-based health programs. Our work collectively improves health outcomes for historically marginalized populations statewide and builds systems to support the inclusivity and decision-making abilities of these underserved populations long term.

 

NCCHW's Culture of Results Initiative (COR) provides training and technical assistance in planning and evaluation methods to statewide initiatives, local public health departments, hospitals, clinics, universities and grassroots community groups. Culture of Results applies key aspects of empowerment evaluation— providing evaluation as part of an ongoing planning process to support client self-determination and empowerment and organizational capacity building. Partners develop their own skills and capacity to evaluate their services to adapt, improve, expand and communicate results. Culture of Results team members engage partner organizations in learning and using a framework known as Results-based Accountability (RBA) and its evidence-based, common sense tools to plan and evaluate their projects and services. Culture of Results methods have been effectively used in NCCHW partners’ community health assessments and improvement plans, evaluation and grant reports, coalition building, and strategic planning processes. Over 1,000 individuals from 400 diverse partner agencies and groups have been trained in this framework since 2017. 

 

Healthy Aging NC builds the capacity of healthcare agencies to meet the Quadruple Aim by improving health outcomes, improving patient self-management, offering a high return on investment, and supporting clinicians work life through a broad network of evidence-based health programs in communities where people live, work, play, and pray. Our HANC website (www.healthyagingnc.com) is a statewide hub for information, referrals, and program registration. A HANC data manager tracks the quality assurance, fidelity, and reach of evidence-based programs statewide. Program managers support the expansion of programs to reach historically marginalized populations, create connections between clinical and community partners, and improve program sustainability. Our two major focuses currently are in falls prevention and chronic disease prevention and management. Results of the programs show significant improvements in self-efficacy and improved relationships between participants and their families, caregivers, and healthcare providers among the over 5,500 participants who have completed programs since the initiative came under NCCHW in 2016.

Story Behind the Curve

The NCCHW is housed at the University of North Carolina Asheville and leverages the expertise of the state's public liberal arts faculty, staff, and students. The Center focuses efforts on the UNC Asheville campus, Buncombe County, Western North Carolina region, and across the state, particularly in areas with opportunity to reduce poor health outcomes through cross-sector partnerships and community commitment to help everyone reach their full health potential.

 

Healthcare reform is creating opportunities for collaboration between clinical and community partners, yet providers are often not equipped to understand payors’ needs, develop partnerships to meet those needs, and create the value propositions to achieve successful, sustainable relationships with them. The type of support NCCHW staff provide is critical to bridging relationships and coordinating program delivery between community partners, clinicians, health agencies, and patients to fill service delivery gaps in high need areas of NC.

 

Through all of our work, we strive to bring focus to communities who have traditionally been underserved by, and excluded from, health programs, and to engage these communities in planning and implementing initiatives to improve health and address social drivers and physical environments. We build on the trust our partners have developed over many years, supporting them in engaging people “where they naturally gather at times that they naturally gather.” Through all our initiatives, we try to ensure that our trainings are needs-driven, build upon existing strengths, and align with the cultural values of our partners.

 

However, considerable challenges remain and there is great work to be done as the landscape of health care shifts to truly achieve the “quadruple aim” of health care improvement: 1) improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction); 2) improving the health of populations; 3) reducing the per capita cost of health care; and 4) improving the clinician experience. NCCHW is working to better understand how systemic injustice persists across sectors and how greater inclusion and equity can be achieved; the influence of trauma and how to prevent and treat its effects; ways to build the social support that is so critical to mental and physical health; and other underlying drivers of major health issues and disparities.

How We Impact

NCCHW staff operate with transparency and mutual respect for all colleagues and communities based on keen understanding that everyone can contribute to solutions that advance health. NCCHW utilizes sound organizational, management and financial practices. NCCHW fosters independence with partners, promotes shared collaboration and leadership and incorporates evaluative thinking and capacity building across all of its work.

Partnerships

Current Key Partners:

N.C. Division of Aging & Adult Services; NC Division of Public Health; NC Council of Churches; Western North Carolina Health Network; Mountain Area Health Education Center; Mission Health System; NC Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Community Food Strategies; and many more! 

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