What happens outside of the health care setting—in the places where we live, work and play— determines much of a person’s health. Of course, what happens inside the health care setting matters as well. But the real magic happens when those two worlds are connected.
The “social determinants of health,” such as socioeconomic status and geographic location, have an overwhelming influence on the health of individuals and communities. Some organizations focus exclusively on addressing poverty, education and environment. Others focus solely on improving the quality and efficiency of health care.
MeHAF, as a foundation focused on improving access to care and improving the health of everyone in Maine, focuses on both areas. We believe there is a need to strengthen the linkages between health care and communities, fostering vital conversations and connections. These linkages make our health care system better and Maine people and communities stronger and healthier.
Several of the MeHAF payment reform grantees worked on trying to strengthen these linkages as a part of their work. When we interviewed the grantees in late 2014, they gave some great examples.
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