Navicent Health and Partners Renew Commitment to Health Equity

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Friday, April 5th, 2019

Navicent Health, in partnership with other community providers including Macon-Bibb County, is raising awareness of healthcare equity during April and celebrating the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services theme of “Active and Healthy.”

“Together with our partners, Navicent Health is raising the standard for efforts to improve health, education, justice, housing, transportation and employment, and therefore address the social determinants that impact health. We will continue to work with our wonderful partners to bridge efforts across our community and region to help eliminate health disparities, accelerate health equity and build stronger, healthier communities,” said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, President and CEO of Navicent Health.                               

Navicent Health and its partners seek to eliminate healthcare disparities and increase access to care by providing education to area residents as well as healthcare providers, and by providing resources to address disease prevention and management..

Navicent Health was recently recognized nationally by the American Hospital Association with its prestigious 2018 Equity of Care Award. Navicent Health was honored among all other hospitals and health systems in the U.S. for taking measurable steps to –

Improve diversity and inclusion, demonstrating measurable gains to improve health equity in Macon-Bibb County and the surrounding region.

Develop a cultural competency and engagement program, which supported patients, employees, associates, physicians, vendors and other partners.

Create specific programs to influence the social determinants of health and improve condition-specific access to clinics for those with diabetes, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Resolve readmission health disparities among African-American patients with COPD, heart failure and diabetes, as well as health disparities among females with diabetes.

Improve overall readmission disparities among African-Americans.

“Every day, hospitals and health systems strive to be leaders, innovators and connectors in their communities, within their leadership and staff, and across the field. (Navicent Health) is pushing the field forward in diversity, inclusion, and health equity. They are on the frontlines of bridging the gaps of equity within the field,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack.

Navicent Health is also committed to conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment every three years, which identifies health disparities in its service area. One of the focus areas from the 2015 survey was access to care, due to the limited number of physicians working with Medicare, Medicaid and vulnerable populations. Navicent Health addressed this challenge by giving initial funding to assist Macon-Bibb County’s Federally Qualified Health Center in expanding into new areas of Bibb County, augmenting gaps in services to other clinics and by developing new access points through community partnerships with government, civic, recreational and educational establishments and religious organizations. 

 Navicent Health, along with its community partners, has been successful in addressing healthcare disparities in the Macon-Bibb County community and beyond.  Eliminating disparities, improving outcomes, decreasing preventable illnesses and premature deaths – most prevalent in minority, underserved and rural populations – is a priority. Navicent Health is using a focused, evidence-based approach toward achieving the goal of strengthening communities through education, prevention, early detection, access and disease management,” said Dr. Reg Gilbreath, Chief Systems of Care Integration Officer.

Throughout the month of April, Navicent Health will work with community partners and its own staff to increase education and awareness of health equity for all individuals.