Case Studies

Ascension - Healthy Neighborhoods Detroit

St. Louis, MO

An evaluation in 2007 revealed that 9 out of 12 zip codes in Ascension’s St. John Providence Health System (SJP) service area had some of the worst health outcomes in the entire state of Michigan. Community survey results pointed to three major needs: sustainable access to primary health care, workforce development and trainings, and safe, healthy neighborhoods.

Healthy Neighborhoods Detroit (HND) was created in 2008 as a response. Ascension’s SJP partnered with Maintaining a Neighborhood Network, Detroit Community Initiative, Nortown Community Development Corp. and the Voices of Detroit Initiative to begin addressing social determinants of health at a neighborhood level. HND opened its first Neighborhood Health & Safety Office (NHSO) on a former hospital campus.

The work has expanded to include a second NHSO as well as a stronger health literacy program to help residents learn to read. Most recently, SJP partnered with Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan and the Society of St. Vincent DePaul to recruit and register participants, facilitators and mentors for Bridges to HOPE (Helping Others Prosper through Empowerment), a no-cost program that offers life skills lessons that will yield a more stable, secure future.

The NHSO has 3,000 clients, with 15,000 resources distributed and 300 job referrals made per year. Patrols put in more than 2,000 hours per year. Nuisance and cleanup are addressed for 50 homes per year. The health education forums hold 36 events per year. Health literacy has performed 300 assessments. Thirty new Block Clubs have been formed. And the Bridges to HOPE pilot yielded 50 applicants, 50 facilitators, and 15 mentors in one year.

Lessons Learned
Collaboration in the community is essential. Collaborations should not be launched unless there is something that can be done together that cannot be achieved alone. Early engagement and dialogue with other community resources is key.

Future Goals

Expand the Neighborhood Health & Safety office to a third location. Expand the Bridges to HOPE initiative. Expand the health literacy improvement series.

Contact: Nick Ragone, Esq.
Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
Telephone: 314-733-8941

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