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Devereux launches population health initiative focusing on whole-person healthcare

Population health aims to improve the overall health and well-being of a population. At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, we are taking a population health approach to caring for the individuals we serve, their families and our employees every day. We are doing this by:

  • Clearly defining our populations and their risk factors;
  • Improving the individual’s experience;
  • Using evidence-based practices;
  • Practicing cost-effective treatment; and
  • Influencing policy to improve outcomes

Population health push

Devereux’s national director of population health, Lea Anne Gardner, Ph.D., RN, recently discussed the organization’s population health initiative at the 2018 Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR) Solutions Conference in Harrisburg, Pa. The annual three-day event brings together key stakeholders in intellectual disability and autism services from across Pennsylvania and the country.

“By taking a clearly defined, focused approach to population health, we aim to improve the health of the individuals in our care, their families - and our employees - while recognizing there are social determinants that may impact health outcomes,” said Gardner “These factors include socioeconomic status (i.e., education, income, family support), physical environment, health behaviors (i.e., alcohol and tobacco use, diet, exercise) and access to healthcare. At Devereux, we also aim to improve the individual experience of care and reduce the per capita cost of care for all of our populations.”

Whole-person centered healthcare

Devereux’s population health initiative focuses on promoting the integration of behavioral healthcare with physical care in outpatient, community-based and residential treatment settings. It also involves managing and coordinating that care to help the individuals we serve, their families and our employees improve their overall health.

Devereux’s initial population health focus is individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism. Steps for addressing both populations include:

  • Performing needs assessments;
  • Identifying risk factors;
  • Determining areas of improvement;
  • Establishing and implementing a plan of action; and
  • Evaluating outcomes

“Health is more than the absence of disease or sickness,” Gardner said. “Attaining good health requires taking care of your mind and body so you can enjoy life and those around you. It’s not an easy goal to reach, but with the right support it allows each of us to live our best life.”

To learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, click here.

  

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