Since October 2012, Healthy Roanoke Valley (HRV) has served as a partnership of over 50 public/private health and human services organizations, education institutions, local governments and businesses that are working to address the healthcare needs of underserved populations in the Roanoke Valley. An initiative of the United Way of Roanoke Valley, Healthy Roanoke Valley was born as the result of the Roanoke Valley Community Health Needs Assessment (RVCHNA) conducted by Carilion Clinic in 2012. A community-driven assessment, the RVCHNA identified (1) Access to Services (Primary Care, Behavioral Health and Oral Health); (2) Coordination of Care; and (3) Wellness as key priorities in improving health outcomes.
Healthy Roanoke Valley’s initial charge was to create goals and strategies addressing these priorities. Using a “Road Map to a Healthy Roanoke Valley” we created a 3-year “Strategic Framework.” Implementation of this strategic plan began in June 2013 with evidence-based strategies that are data-driven and focused on cost-effective ways to leverage existing resources in our community; serve our target populations; increase access to affordable healthcare services; and create a culture of wellness.
Healthy Roanoke Valley’s foundation is based on “collective impact”, a best practice model used in communities to address complex social issues that result in large-scale changes. It focuses on relationship building between stakeholders and progress toward a common agenda and shared strategies. Collective impact focuses on four conditions for success:
- Shared Community Vision: A broad set of cross-sector community partners come together in an accountable way to implement a vision for a healthier community and communicate that vision effectively.
- Evidence-based Decision Making: The integration of professional expertise and data to make decisions about how to prioritize a community’s efforts to improve health outcomes.
- Collaborative Action: The process by which networks of appropriate cross-sector services/providers use data to continually identify, adopt and scale practices that improve health outcomes.
- Investment & Sustainability: There is broad community ownership for building civic infrastructure, and resources are committed to sustain the work of the partnership to improve health outcomes.
Through collective impact, we are able to address the many social determinants that impact good health in the Roanoke Valley including education, housing, income and poverty, safety, transportation, access to healthy foods and the physical environment we live in.
Beginning in January of 2015, Healthy Roanoke Valley will partner with Carilion Clinic to conduct the next Roanoke Valley Community Health Needs Assessment. It will again be a community-driven assessment that will monitor and track efforts in the community to improve the health and well-being of those who live, work and play in the Roanoke Valley.