Turning great ideas into healthier communities

PHI in the News

Kevin Barnett Talks to The Commonwealth Fund

September 28, 2016

Kevin Barnett, Dr.P.H., M.C.P., a senior investigator with the Public Health Institute, has spent the last two decades researching the ways nonprofit hospitals meet their charitable obligations. Part of this work includes looking at how hospitals spend their community benefit dollars. In 2013—the year nonprofit hospitals were first required to conduct and publish community health needs assessments (CHNAs)—he examined CHNAs and the resulting implementation plans for community health improvement developed by hospitals in 15 regions, looking at among other things how they defined their communities and engaged community stakeholders to identify problems and develop solutions.

Kevin spoke with Transforming Care, a publication from The Commonwealth Fund, on how community prevention and health disparity issues could be better incorporated into the work of hospitals.

"We are already seeing some hospitals and health systems moving a portion of their investment portfolios to supporting the development of housing, child care, and grocery stores as a way of improving health and quality of life," notes Kevin. "That said, I think it’s a hard shift for hospitals to go from focusing on what happens within their walls to looking at communities, especially those that may be outside of their primary service area."

Read the full interview.

Read Kevin's latest guide, Making Food Systems Part of Your Community Health Needs Assessment.