From Jan Bergen, President & CEO
Staying well is about much more than doctor’s appointments and medications.
We have increasingly come to recognize that many nonmedical factors can greatly impact our patients’ ability to maintain their health and well-being. These factors, which range from housing and food insecurities to limited transportation, are known as “social determinants of health.”
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s mission extends well beyond providing high-quality health care. As part of our deeply rooted commitment to our community, we have a responsibility to help establish and maintain the basic conditions that support good health for our patients.
This work is not new for LG Health. Our Care Connections program, for example, has a long and successful history of meeting the health-care needs of medically complex patients while simultaneously addressing the nonmedical challenges in their lives. By address these social issues, we have been able to reduce unnecessary health-care expenses and improve the clinical status of our patients.
Facing even one of these additional challenges can limit a patient’s ability to follow a recommended plan of care. For example, it can be difficult to buy healthy food without reliable transportation. And following an insulin regimen for diabetes can be nearly impossible without a stable place to live.
LG Health is already involved in many community programs that address social determinants of health, from school-based clinics to social service hubs like the Fresh Express program or Healthy Corner Stores. Our long-standing commitment to improving community health recently was recognized with the Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service.
In the future, LG Health will place an even greater emphasis on social determinants of health. We will focus on the community’s most pressing health needs and invest our resources in areas of the greatest potential impact. Prevention will remain our priority as we target the root causes of poor health.
Of course we won’t do this work alone. We will continue to engage a broad spectrum of community partners, ensuring that our efforts are sustainable and the results are truly transformational.
LG Health has many reasons to address social determinants of health, from improved clinical outcomes to potential economic benefits. But most importantly, this is the right thing to do for our patients and community.
LG Health is committed to making our community a healthier place – for today, tomorrow and for generations to come. I look forward to sharing much more about this important work with you in the near future.