The Jewish Healthcare Foundation has commissioned several health scans of the Pittsburgh region in order to determine how best to meet the mental and physical health needs of the most vulnerable in the community.
Health Environmental Scan
An examination of health and healthcare benchmarks for Southwestern Pennsylvania include: rates of illness and disability across population groups; root causes of poor health such as addiction, poverty and unemployment; and the availability and distribution of health insurance and health care. The Health Environmental Scan helped to define specific needs for improved care planning, coordination and case management between all providers in the system. The Scan also created the blueprint for two important opportunities: the development of a community-governed behavioral health system under Pennsylvania's shift to Medicaid managed care, and the formation of the Consumer Health Coalition.
Aging Environmental Scan
The Jewish Healthcare Foundation teamed with the United Way of Allegheny County and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Partnership for Aging in an nine-month study of the area's 65-and-older population-the nation's second largest concentration of seniors. The Aging Environmental Scan offers an agenda promoting wellness, moderating the effects of aging and encouraging well seniors to engage more fully in community life. Several initiatives have sprung from the Aging Environmental Scan, including the Community - University Partnership for Successful Aging, caregiver training, home-safety audits, an awareness campaign around wound healing, and the National Senior Volunteer Summit. Initiatives currently under review include an awareness campaign on the importance of careful medications management, and an extensive new menu of programs intended to engage seniors fully in the arts, education, service and other aspects of community life.
Child and Youth Injury Environmental Scan
The Youth Crime Prevention Council of Allegheny County, convened by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, wanted to develop comprehensive strategies and an integrated response to youth violence that would encompass intervention, prevention and community mobilization. The Child and Youth Injury Environmental Scan presents data on the extent, patterns and key risk factors of violence and injury in the community. The study highlights promising interventions used in other communities, and remains central to the Youth Crime Prevention Council's long-term strategic plan.
Home-Delivered Meals Services for the Elderly Scan
The Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh, in collaboration with the Allegheny County Alliance on Aging, convened an expert group of nutritionists, aging service providers, and gerontologists in early 1994. This group, called the Nutrition and Frail Elderly Committee, was commissioned to work with local stakeholders to develop recommendations and build consensus around a model program of nutritional services to meet the needs of the elderly population to the year 2000 and beyond. To facilitate discussions and provide a basis for making recommendations, the committee attained the services of consultants from the Organization and Management Group for Collaborative Learning (OMG) who conducted a study of Home-Delivered Meals (HDM) programs in Allegheny County and took part in all aspects of committee work. Extensive input from elderly HDM consumers and their families, HDM volunteers and paid staff, personnel from other agencies with input into HDM programs, and health and human service providers was solicited as part of this process. The committee met throughout 1994 to review and discuss data about HDM, as well as to participate in strategic planning exercises that led to action recommendations presented in this report.
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