ARCHI Recognized With National Award
ARCHI, the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement, received the 2018 Community Health Leadership Award, sponsored by U.S. News & World Report and the Aetna Foundation. The collaborative expanded its work in Fulton and DeKalb counties and supports $1 million dollars in community led and health systems change.
Built Behavioral Health Capacity
GHPC’s Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health grew in terms of staff, projects, and partnerships. The center continued to support the Georgia Interagency Directors Team in carrying out the System of Care Behavioral Health State Planin Georgia and to expand statewide capacity in Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, and with support from the National Association of State Mental Health Directors and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Developed the Making Connections Rural Health Series
GHPC developed the Making Connections Rural Health Series. This series of seven briefs supplements the Understanding the Rural Landscape learning module and explores the range of elements that influence rural health, with special emphasis on the unique challenges and innovative solutions emerging in rural communities.
Enhanced Health Through Affordable Housing
To date, GHPC has worked directly with over 30 housing developers and local housing authorities to implement recommendations from the nation’s first health impact assessment to inform low-income housing tax credit policy, impacting residents of 10,000 units of affordable housing in Georgia.
GHPC Took National Role in Expanding the Public Health Workforce
GHPC developed and delivered an interactive module for public health professionals across the nation to broaden understanding of policies as levers influencing population health and equity, and to build policy engagement capacity in the move to Public Health 3.0.
Health Reform Workgroup Published Health Care Landscape Series
In 2018, the health reform workgroup evaluated recent state trends in private insurance and Medicaid. The workgroup published five briefs as part of a Health Care Landscape series, and provided requested information directly to legislators and others policymakers.
Research Growth at GHPC
Midway through the implementation of its five-year strategic plan for research, GHPC continued to present its work at national and state-level conferences and to publish in a growing list of peer-reviewed journals. The center continued to develop its research capacity through staff mentorship, expanded use of recognition for research, and strategic engagement with faculty in other research units at Georgia State University and beyond. In addition to peer-reviewed work, staff were featured in a record number of lay-media publications in 2018.
GHPC engaged in new partnerships over the past year, including through a new opportunity to evaluate the Improving Health by Aligning Housing and Health Systems project with the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, and UnitedHealthcare Community & State, as well as a collaborative to develop the Modeling to Learn quality improvement initiative with the National Center for PTSD at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Substance Use Disorder Portfolio Expansion
GHPC expanded its portfolio of work around substance use disorder, with a strong focus on systems-level approaches to tackle the multifaceted challenge. Work included refinement and publication of GHPC’s systems map of elements and interactions underlying and affecting the opioid epidemic, facilitation of the Georgia Department of Public Health’s opioid strategic plan, and a rapid realist review on the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders that will inform Ireland’s care delivery for integrated mental health and addiction services. The Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health continues to partner with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities in support of Recovery Support Clubhouses and expanded this work to include Intensive Residential Treatment Programs.
Systems Thinking Took Center Stage in National Work
GHPC continued to broaden its national dissemination of systems thinking applications in its work in evaluation, health systems transformation, and cross-sector collaboration. GHPC researchers published the chapter “Using Dynamic Systems Modeling to Advance Common Agendas” to ground collective impact efforts in a systems perspective.
GHPC Developed the Rural Health Module
In order to expand understanding of the importance of the rural context within the scope of health improvement efforts, GHPC developed two learning opportunities—a one-hour overview and three-hour experiential learning workshop. In 2017, the rural modules were presented to audiences at the local, state, and federal levels, including local community organizations, state health departments, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP).
GHPC Received National Recognition for Its Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Work
GHPC continues to receive recognition for its groundbreaking health impact assessment of the 2015 Qualified Allocation Plan for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in Georgia, which identified how the state’s allocation of low-income housing tax credits can be strengthened to support affordable housing as a platform for population health. The GHPC Health in All Policies team continues to build on this success by strengthening partnerships with affordable housing stakeholders in the state and nationally, speaking to multisector audiences, and consulting with other states on how to incorporate health perspectives into their housing policies. They have also secured resources that expand this work in Georgia to include evaluation, knowledge exchange, and capacity building for several local housing authorities around the state as they renovate their public housing stocks to be more sustainable and healthy. GHPC’s work in this area was also referenced in 2017 in Roll Call.
GHPC Launched a Global Health Portfolio
In 2017, GHPC launched a portfolio of work in global health. The initial portfolio reflects the center’s strengths in evaluation and policy analysis. GHPC is currently engaged in the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework for a public health training initiative in Nigeria and Sudan, in partnership with the Carter Center, and recently began a realist synthesis to inform how Ireland’s new drug strategy addresses the needs of individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use needs, and to develop guidance for best practice strategies for the integration of mental health and substance use services.
GHPC Relaunched its Health Reform Work Group
With health reform once again being debated at the national level in 2017, GHPC undertook comprehensive efforts to understand and translate health reform proposals for our local, state, and national partners. GHPC re-established its multidisciplinary Health Reform Work Group in order to track and analyze health reform proposals, to translate and disseminate information, and build a knowledge base to inform decision making. In 2017, the group published more than a dozen presentations, comparison charts, and policy briefs.
GHPC’s Hemoglobin Surveillance Group Hit Two Milestones
GHPC is the data-coordinating center for multi-institutional projects focused on surveillance of and health promotion for individuals with blood disorders in Georgia. In 2017, GHPC released a three-year Sickle Cell Disease Research Planto guide the use of surveillance data to develop policies and practices that can improve the lives of people with sickle cell disease, as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Sickle Cell Data Collection program. Additionally, the Georgia REdHHoTT project, with support from the CDC, launched a free, web-based continuing education series to increase awareness of and adherence to evidence-based transfusion practices for patients with sickle cell disease.
GHPC’s Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health Continued to Grow
The Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health is continuing to expand its work in supporting state agencies address the important public health issue of behavioral health. The team is supporting the Georgia Interagency Directors Team (IDT) for Children’s Behavioral Health in the development and implementation of its System of Care state plan and will help IDT in the implementation of the recommendations released by the Governor’s Commission on Children’s Mental Health. The Center of Excellence continues to grow both in the scale of its work and in staff. The team now has three certified trainers in mental health first aid.
GHPC Selected as Facilitation Leader for National Efforts
GHPC continues to be selected as a facilitator and convener for multiple national-level initiatives. These convenings highlight GHPC’s strengths in meeting design and facilitation and connecting stakeholders with objective, informed content. Topically, these meetings showcase the center’s expertise in health equity and population health. In 2017, GHPC facilitated meetings related to rural philanthropy with FORHP, the CDC’s Hi-5 initiative, and rural health disparities in partnership with the CDC, FORHP, the National Governors Association, and the National Network of Public Health Institutes.