Five Core Principles
Community Benefit at St. Joseph Health
Five core principles guide the planning and implementation of current and future community benefit efforts of the St. Joseph Health (SJH) and our local hospitals.
These core principles are the result of an innovative national model developed through a national demonstration project led by the Public Health Institute.
Those core principles are:
- Emphasis on Disproportionate Unmet Health-Related Needs (DUHN)
- Primary Prevention
- Building a Continuum of Care
- Building Community Capacity
- Collaborative Governance
Definition of Terms:
Core Principle #1
Emphasis on Disproportionate Unmet Health-Related Needs (DUHN)
All services, activities and donations to be counted as community benefit include outreach and design elements that ensure access for communities with disproportionate unmet health-related needs.
Communities with DUHN meet one of two criteria:
High prevalence or severity for a particular health concern to be addressed by a program activity, or evidence that residents are faced with multiple health problems and have limited access to health care.
Programs focus on vulnerable populations who lack access to health care because of financial, language/culture, legal or transportation barriers, and/or who possess physical or mental disabilities.
Core Principle #2
Emphasis on Primary Prevention
Increase program activities that address the underlying causes of persistent health problems with the goal to improve health status and quality of life.
Primary prevention refers to three types of activities:
- Health promotion – develop healthy lifestyles among the general population
- Disease prevention – focus on those identified as at risk for health problems
- Health protection – create a healthier environment that will support healthy behaviors (changing social and physical environmental conditions)
Core Principle #3
Build a Seamless Continuum of Care
This core principle calls for linkages between clinical services and community health improvement activities. The intent is for community health improvement activities to yield measurable impacts on health status and quality of life.
An important strategy is the engagement of clinicians in the design and implementation of community-based program activities. A key objective is to reduce the demand for ER and inpatient treatment of preventable illnesses. This is accomplished by developing evidence-based links between community health improvement activities and clinical service delivery.
Core Principle #4
Build Community Capacity
This principle focuses on the targeting of benevolent resources to mobilize and build the capacity of existing community assets. Community capacity can be increased by enhancing existing programs, developing new ones, allocating financial resources, materials, expertise and advocacy to build on what exists in the community.
The goal of this principle is to enhance the effectiveness and viability of community-based organizations, reduce duplication of effort, and provide the basis for shared advocacy and joint action to address the structural problems in a community.
Core Principle #5
Emphasis on Collaborative Governance
Here the emphasis is on a collaborative approach to the governance and management of community benefit. Collaboration with community stakeholders is a natural outgrowth of a community capacity building approach to program development. Hospital representatives identify potential community partners and develop a collaborative relationship that involves coordination of activities, sharing of resources and skills, and sharing risks. Collaborative governance involves an ongoing engagement of diverse community members as active partners.