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July 5, 2011

Hilltop Hosts Symposium: Responding to Community Health Needs

Dinah Winnick
Communications Manager
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
(410) 455-8117

The Hilltop Institute at UMBC held its fifth invitational symposium, “Responding to Community Health Needs within the Framework of the Affordable Care Act,” on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 (photos). National experts at the conference discussed how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates a new framework to address community health needs—integral to the success of overall health reform in the United States. Sessions focused on developing new community collaboratives to address the determinants of population health, using evidence and data to drive interventions and evaluations, and integrating medical and non-medical approaches to improve the health of communities.

Health reform, as envisioned and enacted under the ACA, extends beyond medical innovations and medical care delivery to also include non-medical determinants of overall health status. The symposium was designed to address current broad-based attempts to advance healthy communities and healthy living, rather than focus on more well-known ACA activities such as coverage expansion and changes in medical payment. Common themes that emerged throughout the day involved social, familial, economic and environmental dimensions of individual and community health.

The Hilltop Institute welcomed more than 120 health officers, state agency officials, legislators, foundation and agency representatives and researchers to UMBC for the event. Featured speakers included Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association; Michelle A. Larkin, JD, Assistant Vice President of the Health Group at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Mary Vallier-Kaplan, MHSA, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Endowment for Health.

See The Hilltop Institute website for a complete list of speakers and links to their presentations (recordings available soon). The online symposium program offers session summaries and speaker bios. Readers familiar with Hilltop’s hospital community benefit research, funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), will also be interested in a Q&A with RWJF’s Abbey Cofsky on NewPublicHealth, published in conjunction with the symposium.

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The Hilltop Institute at UMBC is a nationally recognized research center dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations. Hilltop conducts research, analysis and evaluations on behalf of government agencies, foundations and nonprofit organizations at the national, state and local levels.

Posted by dwinnick at July 5, 2011 4:20 PM