In this evolving healthcare landscape, hospitals and health systems are beginning to shift their attention from clinical encounters to now include a greater focus on population and community health. Rather than seeking out purely transactional relationships with patients, hospitals are looking to prevent chronic disease by actively promoting health and wellness. Many hospitals are even seeking to address those environmental conditions that negatively impact health – such as access to healthy foods, safe spaces to exercise, and sanitary living conditions. To that end, many healthcare organizations have recognized that community health is primarily impacted by efforts that take place out in the community, rather than in a clinician’s office, and are directly taking on the upstream causes of poor health through partnerships with local non-profits, businesses, and public health entities.
With these changes taking place, one question that comes to mind is how healthcare marketers and communicators can support this shift. Because of their connections with local organizations, healthcare marketers are often in a unique position to help to facilitate and even initiate these partnerships. This article looks at the model established by Morrisville, Vermont’s Copley Hospital and its marketing team’s innovative approach to addressing community health.