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15 Communities Work to Share Electronic Health Data Across Sectors

January 21, 2016
by David Raths
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AcademyHealth leads Community Health Peer Learning Program funded by ONC

AcademyHealth, a national organization serving the fields of health services and policy research, has chosen 15 U.S. communities to participate in the Community Health Peer (CHP) Learning Program, designed to expand the sharing and use of electronic health data across sectors such as food, education, and housing.

In July 2015, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) awarded AcademyHealth $2.2 million to lead the Community Health Peer Learning Program (CHP). The organization said it would work with the communities to identify data solutions, accelerate local progress, disseminate best practices and learning guides, help inform national strategy around population health challenges, and align with other delivery system reform efforts driving toward better care, smarter spending and healthier people. For instance, CHP communities will be link critical information from within and outside of health care to address challenges ranging from pediatric asthma to at-risk individuals facing housing insecurity.

Over the next 17 months, AcademyHealth and its partners, NORC and the National Partnership for Women and Families, will lead this peer learning collaborative to help develop concrete and strategic action plans to address specific population health challenges within each community.

AcademyHealth also plans to build a virtual network of networks, designed to accelerate peer learning and progress by providing expert guidance, technical assistance, and facilitation of cross-sector stakeholder engagement. For example, For instance AcademyHealth will closely coordinate grantee learning efforts with Data Across Sectors for Health, a new initiative designed to support community-based, multi-sector data sharing initiatives. (Healthcare Informatics featured DASH in a story last fall. It is expected to announce grant winners soon.)

"With this program, we are providing the expertise and resources necessary for participating communities to strengthen connections with partners, expand data sharing and use, and develop and begin piloting high-impact Community Action Plans for addressing a specified community-level population health challenge," said Alison Rein, Senior Director, Evidence Generation & Translation at AcademyHealth and CHP Program Director, in a prepared statement.  "We are confident that we can continue to cultivate the data and research infrastructure needed to advance a culture of health, and are excited to support engagement of critical sectors and data sources to advance that aim," she added.

Participant Communities

The following communities will receive awards of $100,000 to engage in a 17 month process to design — and begin implementing aspects of — concrete and high-impact community action plans for improving community health through the expanded collection, exchange and use of electronic health data:

  • All Chicago Making Homelessness History
  • Children's Comprehensive Care Clinic
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center 
  • Dignity Health Foundation
  • Louisiana Public Health Institute 
  • North Coast Health Information Network
  • Providence Center for Outcomes Research and Education 
  • UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
  • Vanderbilt University Department of Health Policy
  • Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP)


Subject Matter Expert Communities:

The following communities will receive awards of $50,000 to engage in the development of topical Learning Guides designed to provide guidance and to facilitate sharing of population health lessons:

  • California Family Health Council
  • Greater Detroit Area Health Council
  • Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
  • San Diego Health Connect        
  • The University of Chicago Medicine




Thanks David Raths for sharing the final list of 15 US communities which are going to participate Community Health Peer Learning Program.