Chair Files

Focusing on Population Health

Part of the Alliance collaborative since 1994, Billings Clinic had been serving its community with clinical interventions at the local level. About three years ago, the Alliance decided to focus on population health. Billings Clinic, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Billings, Mont., serves patients in Montana, northern Wyoming and the western Dakotas. According to Kristianne Wilson, executive director, health policy, each Alliance organization including another local hospital and the public health department developed its own community health improvement plan, which intersects a community-level plan. The organizations conducted a community health needs assessment, starting with a toolkit from the Association for Community Health Improvement, an AHA affiliate, and partnering with a research company to complete the assessment. The improvement plans have commonalities but also areas unique to each organization's own patient population and expertise, says Wilson. Billings Clinic has focused on access to care, chronic disease management, healthy weight and lifestyle for adults and children, and mental health issues. Specific initiatives include medical homes for primary care access and wellness/healthy weight programs for adults and children. The hospital's community health improvement committee helps  build knowledge and understanding for community health improvement at the board level," Wilson says. She adds, "We're not just doing community benefit and needs assessment because the IRS has made it mandatory. It's because we want to improve overall community health." For more information, contact Wilson at


Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......