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America’s Essential Hospitals Launches Second Phase of Population Health Work


WASHINGTON – America’s Essential Hospitals’ research entity, Essential Hospitals Institute, has been awarded an 18-month grant to help essential hospitals move beyond their walls to help people overcome social and economic factors that impact health.

The project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), will support essential hospitals in building a foundation for population health improvement activities, assembling and aligning essential resources, and achieving community-integrated health care.

“Essential hospitals often are anchor institutions in their communities and serve patients for whom social determinants profoundly influence health,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “While this gives them a deep understanding of these nonclinical factors, applying that experience to improve community health often faces severe resource challenges.”

Population health programs, which promote healthful behaviors and mitigate social determinants of poor health, play an increasingly important role in preventing conditions that require medical care. America’s Essential Hospitals has made population health improvement a research priority. The Institute recently completed a project, funded by a RWJF planning grant, to assess its members’ capacity to improve population health and to identify the support they need to deploy population health programs.

A full report of the planning grant’s findings is available on the America’s Essential Hospitals website, along with a road map to community-integrated health care. The newly launched project builds on these findings with a three-part strategy to support hospitals in their work to improve population health:

  • engage stakeholders and foster partnerships at the national and local levels;
  • compile and share existing population health tools and resources tailored to essential hospitals; and
  • convene learning communities to build essential hospitals’ internal capacity to address population health.

A combination of in-person summits, distance learning opportunities, and online resources will provide essential hospitals with the foundation they need to learn and apply lessons from their pioneering peers and from the growing body of research on population health. By helping to broker partnerships between essential hospitals, public health departments, and community organizations, America’s Essential Hospitals will help communities mitigate resource constraints through collaboration.

Kalpana Ramiah, DrPH, the association’s research director, says the RWJF project provides an opportunity for the association to help essential hospitals use their unique position to influence the health of their communities. “Our work reflects the simple reality that to succeed as partners of the population health movement, hospitals need support to apply key tools and to develop core partnerships in population health,” she says. “Support provided now will have a lasting impact on moving our nearly 300 member hospitals toward community-integrated care.”

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our nearly 300 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

About Essential Hospitals Institute
Essential Hospitals Institute is the research and quality arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute supports the nation’s essential hospitals as they provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities. Working with members of America’s Essential Hospitals, we identify promising practices from the field, conduct research, disseminate innovative strategies, and help our members improve their organizational performance. We do all of this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for vulnerable people.

Carl Graziano


About the Author

Graziano is senior director of communications for America's Essential Hospitals.

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