Recent News

June 30, 2016

Making Health a Value We Share

Imagine having a 5,000-piece puzzle in front of you and you were tasked to finish it as quickly as possible. Rather than taking it on alone, wouldn’t it be easier and more fun with multiple sets of eyes and minds contributing? That’s the idea behind Gen-H, the new community-wide health agenda.

As United Way took stock of progress toward achievement of the Bold Goals for Our Region and moved to accelerate the pace of that change, it was clear that, while the education and income goals were showing progress, health remained largely flat. It was time for a new approach.

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“Part of our conclusion was that we’ve seen progress in education and income because we have a collective, aligned effort underway,” said Ross Meyer, vice president, community impact, United Way. “Could we use that same approach within health to start to align all the various efforts, and resources and stakeholders in a way that could actually make progress against these goals? That’s how Gen-H came about.”

Gen-H is a community-wide commitment to making health and health care a value we share in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. It brings together a unique collaboration of healthcare providers, civic leaders, employers, organizations and individuals committed to changing health and healthcare in our region. While United Way, in partnership with Interact for Health and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helped catalyze the effort, The Health Collaborative is leading the effort forward as the backbone organization.

“Ohio and Kentucky continue to rank among the unhealthiest states in the nation, with health status varying drastically based on factors like income, race, ethnicity and location,” said Craig Brammer, CEO of The Health Collaborative.  “The Gen-H initiative is an important opportunity for our community to think innovatively about how we address these issues in order to ensure that we make the healthy choice, the easy choice for everyone in our community.” 

Ultimately, Gen-H is all of us, committing to making healthy choices for ourselves and driving change that makes health an easy choice for all of us.

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“We’ve been a part of the leadership group that has worked through a data-driven process to identify strategies we want to pursue to ultimately improve health, access to care, and lower cost,” said Meyer. “The Health Collaborative already had a lot of the key stakeholders at the table from all the hospital systems, to the big insurance companies, to community based providers, big employers, and had some track record of collective effort around improving the quality of health care. That was a good foundation to build upon.”

the triple aim

The Gen-H framework is a “Triple Aim” to improve health in our community by having: healthier people, better care and smarter spending. 

Healthier People: Enable everyone to make healthier choices that prevent and manage obesity and chronic disease with deliberate attention to health equity

Better Care: Improve access to high quality health care, particularly for those disenfranchised by income, education, insurance status or cultural sensitivity

Smarter Spending: Empower those who pay for care and those who provide it with information to improve health care value

Each facet of the Triple Aim also has its own goal, two of which coincide with the Bold Goals for Our Region

70% of the people in our community will report having excellent or very good health

95% of the people in our community will report having an appropriate place for health care

75% Our region will rank in the highest quartile for low healthcare spending

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Gen-H has developed a list of Five Ideas for Five Places to make a difference where you live, work, learn and play--simple every day things to do to improve your own health. 

“This is the first time that all of these key stakeholders across the health system—all the hospital systems, insurance companies, big employers, community-based providers, funders have really come together to align around identifying the biggest priorities and goals we’re going to work against to improve health in our community,” said Meyer. “That alone is an accomplishment. Now moving from setting our agenda to implementing it with strategies that get results is the next step.”