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Community Innovations and Impact – PSIJ

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

I recently attended Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal forum focusing on Community Innovations and Impact in healthcare, criminal justice, child welfare, education and sustainable food in Philadelphia.

Opening remarks provided by Nan Feyler who is Chief of Staff at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.  Nan talked about Collateral Impact – the idea that if you have a criminal record you are legally discriminated, can be legally denied employment, cannot get loans or grants for education.  “The New Jim Crow” – collateral impact of being poor.

Panel:  Regional Healthcare Access Innovations

Delaware Valley Community Health (Patti Deitch) – Provide services in North Philadelphia and Norristown.  The people they serve are people who the “regular” system doesn’t work.  96% of those they serve are significantly below the poverty line.  Model – patient has a primary provider (physician, PA, NP) and also provide ancillary services including behavioral, dental, depression, post trauma stress and anxiety counseling.

11th Street Family Health Services (Dr. Patricia Gerrity) – Community partnership started in 1996.  Promote the concept of “Self as Home” – You are your primary care provider.  Healthy Living Center – bring Drexel students and faculty etc. to work with community; also bring in specialists to provide an open access system (nutrition, therapist, education, fitness, etc.).  Focus on parenting – family health, family nutrition.

Healthlink Medical Center (Mae O’Brien) – Free health services, started in 2000.  Serve 55,000 patients, provided $5 million in services and $5.7 million in medication in the past 11 years.  Budget is entirely philanthropic.  Focus on people who fall in the cracks,  The Center is not a walk-in or emergency clinic.

Community Volunteers in Medicine (Maureen Tamoschuk) – Based in Chester County – free clinic.  All programs under one roof.  $1.5 million in medication distributed.  Provide dental. Education, chronic disease management.  Links to Paoli Hospital and Main Line Health Systems.  PA approved volunteer credential service.

What do these health organizations need? Community partners; Improve care, improve cost, improve health; Better links with prison system; Impact measurement – impact on the community and ensuring that people access healthcare.

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