Hospitals Honored for Working Together to Improve Community Health

Aug 7

Five Collaborative Programs Win 2018 AHA NOVA Awards


WASHINGTON (July 17, 2018) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced that it will honor five programs with the AHA NOVA Award for their hospital-led collaborative efforts that improve community health. The awards will be given July 28 at a ceremony during the AHA’s Leadership Summit in San Diego. The winning programs are Unity Center for Behavioral Health in Portland, Ore.; Annapolis Community Health Partnership in Annapolis, Md.; Enos Park Access to Care Collaborative in Springfield, Ill.; Kids Teaching Kids in Irving, Texas; and St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Kids Express in St. Louis, Mo.

“Hospitals and health systems continue to reach beyond their four walls to meet the needs of their communities in innovative ways,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “This year’s AHA NOVA honorees demonstrate how the power of partnerships can help to address some of the most challenging and complex issues affecting children, families, and communities. These partnerships are truly advancing health in America.”

Established in 1993, the AHA NOVA Award recognizes hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health. The 2018 winning programs and hospital partners are:

Unity Center for Behavioral Health

Adventist Health, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, and Oregon Health & Science University – Portland, Ore.

Unity Center for Behavioral Health is a partnership of four Portland-area health systems providing a coordinated continuum of care for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The health systems are focused on improving quality and effectiveness of patient care, reducing area emergency department diversion, reducing short-term behavioral health inpatient stays, and improving outcomes through community-based services.

Annapolis Community Health Partnership

Anne Arundel Medical Center – Annapolis, Md.

Annapolis Community Health Partnership focuses on culturally competent outreach to address care and outcome disparities by working to prevent, screen for, diagnose, and treat diseases. Throughout its collaboration, the Annapolis Community Health team has identified neighborhoods experiencing higher than expected volume; partnered with public housing officials on a senior apartment on-site primary care practice and health resource; used health care workers from the community served; ensured health education and care transitions; and addressed adverse social determinants of health.

Enos Park Access to Care Collaborative

HSHS St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center – Springfield, Ill.

The Enos Park Access to Care Collaborative serves the Enos Park community by increasing the number of people with a medical home, reducing emergency department visits for non-emergent health issues, and improving program participants’ self-sufficiency. In addition, the program has increased access to pediatric mental health services through screening intervention and educational services at its local elementary school and other neighborhood sites. The team uses community health workers in a collaborative with the two hospitals and a federally qualified health center.

Kids Teaching Kids

Medical City Healthcare – Dallas, Texas

The Kids Teaching Kids partnership serves the North Texas community and is designed to educate and engage high school, elementary school students, and their parents in better nutrition. This also includes awareness around increased fruit and vegetable consumption at home and when dining out. The high school culinary students and educators of the Kids Teaching Kids program create healthy snack recipes that elementary kids can make by themselves at home and develop healthy, kid-friendly meals, which includes 11 restaurant partners with 243 locations.

Healthy Kids Express

St. Louis Children’s Hospital – St. Louis, Mo.

Healthy Kids Express is a team that includes a nurse, nurse practitioner, social worker, asthma coach, and community health educator, serving the St. Louis area. This dynamic team takes a mobile health unit, free of charge, to under-served schools, focusing on schools in zip codes with asthma prevalence and high hospitalization or emergency room visits (14 schools across five districts). The program emphasizes empowering children to manage their health challenges, encouraging parents to participate in shared decision making, and educating staff and school nurses. The team has also advocated on political and public policy issues to improve the lives of children who have asthma. Their advocacy entails changing state legislation and developing tools for school nurses to improve asthma and food allergy management. Healthy Kids Express provides services to 20,000 children per year and is made possible through the generosity of donors to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Arika Trim, (202) 626-2319

Marie Johnson, (202) 626-2351


About the American Hospital Association

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at


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