Keys to a Healthier Population
Date: November 1, 2013
When most people think of Johns Hopkins Medicine, they associate us with super-specialized care. While it’s true that the organization employs thousands of health care whizzes in a variety of areas, we still believe that primary care is the foundation for good health.
Our cover story highlights a network of on-site employee wellness centers started by Johns Hopkins occupational medicine guru Edward Bernacki. While being responsive to the needs of payers, in this case, employers across the country, he and his colleagues are developing innovative ways to promote primary and urgent care services to employees. These strategies, like on-site wellness and prevention programs, and reliable Internet-based health content and other services, provide incentives for employees to take charge of their health quickly and efficiently.
Johns Hopkins’ new Center of Excellence for Latino Health provides another example of how to envelop additional health customers. The center will provide multidisciplinary care crossing medicine, pediatrics, gynecology/obstetrics and more, but our mission here is not just provision of health care; it’s also engaging and embracing the growing Latino community surrounding Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Physicians with the center, fluent Spanish speakers, will expand their ongoing community outreach efforts, asking community members about their needs and developing programs to address them, in addition to conducting research on health disparities.
Novel engagement opportunities like this are key to creating a healthier population. We have to engage consumers in different ways to inspire them to take charge of their health. We have to understand our customers, their needs and how they learn and educate themselves. And we have to be more available and accessible. Unfortunately, if we’re not, patients will continue to use emergency departments as first-line medicine.