Population health cannot be improved by health IT implementation alone. An essential first step is to use culturally appropriate ways to engage the most difficult to reach populations in understanding how personal choices and behaviors impact their health. While Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community worked to build infrastructure similar to other Beacons across the country through clinical transformation and health IT, it also supported new approaches focused on wellness, prevention, and strengthening community partnerships.
HIBC partnered with 18 community organizations, including for-profit, nonprofit and education institutions to implement Healthy Eating Active Lifestyle (HEAL) projects. Each project used a grassroots approach to health and wellness and aimed to empower project participants to make a commitment to healthy living.
Through these HEAL projects HIBC helped to overcome geographic and socioeconomic barriers to health and wellness improving population health on the Hawai‘i Island.
In 2012, HEAL projects engaged 8,655 community members. Community participation will continue to increase in 2013. HIBC's key accomplishments are:
- Emphasized health factors such as healthy living to reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and other chronic disease.
- Ensured projects focused on health and nutrition, physical activity or anti-tobacco education in their objectives while addressing the specific needs of their unique community.
- Used established networks to gather resources and implement programs quickly and efficiently.
- Improved the health of rural communities on Hawai‘i Island.
- Developed an Asset Map of community health resources.
HEAL projects vary in the number of participants, yet demonstrate broad reach across the community through indirect participation. Through the HIBC HEAL partnerships, the project created a network of 167 community organizations. See the work of our HEAL partners.
- 1) Build relationship and forge coalitions at the community level.
- 2) Create gateways to sharing new ideas.
- 3) Create sustainability through networks and build assets such as community health resources.
- 4) Take advantage of new technologies to engage patients in their health.