Capital Area Health Alliance: Bringing Value to the Capital Area Region
The Capital Area Health Alliance (CAHA) is a regional hub
for organizations with interest in health and health care. Since its inception, CAHA has convened
community conversations to understand and address healthcare system trends, regional needs and opportunities for improvement. The Alliance provides an inclusive platform on which competing organizations and multiple sectors can collaborate. Through its committees,
which bring together the expertise and resources of multiple organizations in all of these sectors, CAHA connects
providers engaged in the work of health care with organizations working at the community level to support innovative approaches to improve the health of the entire community and to bring resources
opportunities to employers, businesses and area residents.
CAHA’s work impacts economic growth and quality of life
in the region. Through its strategic initiatives, CAHA supports prevention and management of chronic diseases that account for 86 percent of all health care spending, provides resources to promote a healthy lifestyle for area residents of all income levels, and facilitates community-wide recruitment and retention of the health professionals needed by the community. An increasing amount of evidence suggests improvements in health are drivers of economic growth and poverty reduction.
Building a Workforce to Support Quality of Life in the Community and the Diverse Needs of Residents
The Capital Area Physician Experience
(CAPE) Committee and the Capital Area Community Nursing Network
promote strategies to recruit and retain the physicians, nurses and primary care providers required to meet the needs of a demographically changing population and to support new models of care delivery. These strategies support hospitals, physician groups, public and mental health agencies, and health plans in their missions. In the new Healthcare Workforce Committee
, CAHA is engaging healthcare employers, labor agencies, regional education service agencies and educators to identify innovative strategies to assure a continuous availability of healthcare workers to meet community needs, by promoting a “right fit” for employers and employees.
Value through Healthy Lifestyle Initiatives
Essential to a vibrant healthcare workforce, is a healthy community. Resources offered by CAHA through its Healthy Lifestyles Committee
support emotional and physical health and wellness, supplementing and enhancing prevention and wellness activities of health plans, employers, community organizations, hospitals, health facilities, physicians and primary care providers. Events organized by CAHA and area partners offer education and ideas to motivate people to engage in healthy lifestyle habits that are key to chronic disease prevention and management. For example, resources such as a Walking Group Toolkit, a Parks and Trails brochure, and Let’s Walk & Talk with a Doctor
series highlight options for physical activity that are being organized and offered by employers. Medical practices use the Parks and Trails Brochure as a tool to initiate dialogue with patients about the health benefits of walking.
Integrating Needs of Vulnerable Populations to Support Improved Outcomes and Reduce Costs
Behavioral health needs and services for vulnerable populations are integrated into the work of all CAHA committees. Through the Mental Health Partnership Council
, CAHA promotes training and education to build the capacity of hospitals, health facilities, health professionals, individuals and human service agencies to interact with people with mental illness and works to promote inclusion of this vulnerable population in its events and activities. The Committee brings together stakeholders to identify strategies to facilitate integration of and access to services, and to promote improved outcomes for individuals and reduced costs to businesses, employers and health plans.