Parkland Joins National Cooperative to Reduce the Healthcare Divide

Parkland Health and Hospital System will be one of 10 hospitals nationwide to participate in a program meant to close the health divide called Hospital Community Cooperative.

Studies have shown that one’s zip code has an outsized impact on life expectancy, with the five miles between Lakewood and South Dallas resulting in a difference of around 18 years in life expectancy. The cooperative is meant to engage the community and prevent gaps like that from happening. The partnership was launched by the American Hospital Association and its affiliate the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity with support from the Aetna Foundation and hopes to close health gaps between different populations.

At Parkland, the cooperative will focus on reducing latent breast cancer diagnoses in zip codes 75216 and 75217, with high African American and Hispanic populations, identify social determinants of health that contribute to these diagnoses, and address those determinants. They hope to increase breast cancer education, screening, and early detection.
“Parkland wants to acknowledge the voice and resources of the communities we serve. Achieving health and healthcare equity is a partnership between communities and healthcare providers,” said Charles Horne, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity at Parkland via release. “Through our partnerships with the city of Dallas and the American Cancer Society and with the support and guidance of the AHA’s Hospital Community Cooperative, we know we can help advance health equity and address life expectancy gaps in our communities.”
“The 2018–19 program is a pilot to help us strengthen our understanding of how to build a meaningful national community of practice for healthcare organizations that supports the cultivation of strong, sustainable partnerships through local health equity interventions,” said Jay Bhatt, AHA senior vice president and chief medical officer via release. “HC² aims to help shape the narrative around diversity and health equity by generating a new class of AHA Equity of Care champions, providing models of success for other hospitals and health systems, and opening the door for bolder approaches that move resources, policies and practices upstream.”
A committee of health experts will offer guidance, and the AHA and partners will share the results of the cooperative in 2019.