IHA case studies

Community Health Network: A Population Health Model Linking Hospitals and Community Partner Organizations


The Community Health Network (CHN) targets the socioeconomic determinants of health that are not typically addressed in a health care system. The program functions in three complementary areas: (1) providing tools and resources to create a healthier environment; (2) connecting members with education, community resources and primary care to reduce risk of chronic disease; and (3) mobilizing trained volunteer liaisons to meet the nonmedical needs of their ill or hospitalized members. The CHN collaborates with organizations to educate and provide help for members in navigating the health care system. It operates on the premise that people heal better when they feel a sense of connection, compassion and care from those within their own communities.

The program provides underlying support and enhancement for the care model redesign being piloted in the health system. The CHN empowers volunteers at community organizations to provide basic nonclinical support for stress-inducing issues such as caring for pets, household chores, groceries and meals, as well as providing emotional support. This patient-centered network strives to improve patient outcomes and reduce readmissions and preventable mortality.

This case study is part of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association's annual Quality Excellence Achievement Awards. Each year, IHA recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Illinois hospitals and health systems in continually improving and transforming health care in the state. These organizations are improving health by striving to achieve the Triple Aim—improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care—and the Institute of Medicine’s six aims for improvement—safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. To learn more, visit https://www.ihaqualityawards.org/javascript-ui/IHAQualityAward/

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......