Access to Care
According to our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA),
many members of Wellstar’s community have care access challenges in large part due to insurance constraints and provider access shortages. At Wellstar, we are committed to serving our community’s most vulnerable and under-resourced populations. Our community clinic partnership network helps increase access to care and provide reduced-cost outpatient medical services. By partnering with community clinics, healthcare systems like Wellstar can help reduce emergency department visits, decrease avoidable readmissions, boost patient satisfaction scores, and identify a patient’s health risk factors before an illness develops.
Wellstar Behavioral Health offers a variety of services to assist the unique health needs of our community members. As part of our ongoing efforts, the Wellstar Opioid Steering Committee is focused on planning and implementing a comprehensive response to growing opioid misuse. A collaborative team of Wellstar providers, patients and communities have come together to help reduce opioid misuse, abuse and addiction. Three physician-led workgroups lead the charge using provider and patient education, clinical initiatives, and community awareness and engagement.
To address the behavioral needs of community members and mitigate the role of mental health stigma, Wellstar's Soul Support delivers three evidence-based programs to provide mental health education and support to congregations.
Food Access and Healthy Living
According to our CHNA, many Wellstar communities are caught in the vicious cycle of balancing housing and healthcare needs with their food needs. As a result, food insecurity and poor nutrition may lead to a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like obesity, hypertension and diabetes. To address this health inequity, Wellstar has begun food insecurity screening as a standardized protocol in vulnerable patient intake procedures, especially in areas in which a significant percentage of the patient population is identified as low income.
Additionally, Wellstar facilitates fresh food distribution to families living in food deserts through a partnership with Goodr, Co.
Safe and affordable housing is good for health. Wellstar is engaged in collaborative learning to strengthen working knowledge of the housing crisis in Georgia, and partner with community-based organizations to ensure complete referrals for patients in need.
Comprehensive screening of a pediatric patient provides opportunities for providers to gain valuable insight into the child's family, life, safety, education and social capital, and opportunities for physical activity. With this knowledge, providers are able to offer life-enhancing programs and services to ensure every child has the ability to live up to their full potential.
Wellstar’s Women’s Alliance for Healthier Outcomes (WAHOO) team has been hard at work ensuring our continued dedication to ensuring healthier outcomes for every woman, every time, throughout Wellstar and Georgia. The alliance’s strategic plan focuses on improving outcomes related to one or two high-risk clinical areas each fiscal year utilizing a process improvement cycle-based framework. To date these efforts have improved the timely initiation of best practice hypertensive treatments system-wide.
To address the maternal health crisis through an equity lens, Wellstar Community Health (WCH) and Wellstar Center for Health Equity partnered with Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA). HMHBGA has impacted the health and well-being of women, children and families for the past 40 years by supporting the community through direct services, advocacy and community education. WCH has partnered with HMHBGA to help expand the organization’s Perinatal Care Package Project (PCP). This program provides support to pregnant and postpartum birth givers and encourages positive maternal health and wellness by providing vital resources and education.