Development of a Wellness Trust to Improve Population Health: A Case-Study of a United States Urban Center

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sandra E. Echeverría, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Across the United States health systems are recognizing the urgency of addressing the social determinants of health in order to improve population health. Wellness trusts, modeled after financial trusts support primary health prevention in community settings, provide an innovative opportunity for better community-clinical linkages, collaboration, and impact. This study aimed to understand the necessary tenets for a wellness trust in Brooklyn, New York (USA) and examined community interest and political will; administrative, financing, and leadership structures; and metrics and data sources to monitor and assess impact. We employed a multi-method design. Key informant interviews (KIIs) (n?=?15) were conducted from 7/2016 to 1/2017. A content analysis of grey literature was used to analyze community interest and political will (n?=?38). Extant datasets, such as New York City Community District profiles, were reviewed, and a narrative review was used to assess cost-effectiveness of prevention interventions (n?=?33). The KIIs and grey literature underwent thematic analysis. Findings indicated healthcare issues dominated the health agenda despite recognition of social determinants of health. Braided funding (discrete funds that are coordinated but tracked separately) and blended funding (funds pooled from multiple sources tracked together) are common funding mechanisms. Robust data systems exist to assess impact. Indicators should address social determinants, performance and impact, be measurable, geographically specific, and include communities. Wellness trusts should be sustainable, engage communities, foster collaboration, and have adequate capacity. The Collective Impact Framework, a mechanism to coordinate and maximize efforts, offers this organizational structure. Wellness trusts are promising mechanisms to advance population health.

Additional Information

Prev Med Rep. 2018 March 21; 10:292-298.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Wellness trusts, Mixed-methods design, Collective Impact Framework, Primary prevention

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