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Putting Mission into Motion

Community is at the core of everything we do here at the clinic. After all, it’s in our name: People’s Community Clinic. We’re always going the extra mile to connect with our community and foster life-long health.

Recently we’ve adopted a Community-Centered Health Home model of care. This approach to health promotion is founded with an understanding that there are a multitude of factors outside the doctor’s office which contribute to an individual’s health outcomes. Many health conditions are linked to the social, economic and environmental conditions in which patients live.

These factors are referred to as social determinants of health. Social determinants of health include everything from the safety of the home you live in to the air quality in your city to how safe you feel walking alone in your neighborhood.

It is easy to recommend a patient eat better and get more exercise, but the reality may be much harder if the nearest grocery store is miles away and the neighborhood has no safe place to exercise.

The American Journal of Preventative Medicine estimates that social determinants of health account for about 80% of the factors that impact health outcomes. So the question is: What can we do as a clinic to impact what patients encounter outside the clinic?

AWARENESS

As part of the Community-Centered Health Home initiative, People’s Community Clinic is looking beyond the clinic walls to address the root causes of poor health. As a first step, a team of People’s staff members have developed a unique screening tool to assess the social determinants that impact each patient.

People’s believes that to provide the best quality care we need to understand all of the factors that contribute to a patient’s health. They may have a cold today, but what if the cold is actually a symptom of a much larger problem, like poor diet or inadequate housing?

We are very excited that this screening tool has just finished its final pilot and will be launching at People’s Community Clinic soon.

ACTION

Nearly fifty years of serving the Austin community has taught us that in order to deliver fully on our mission we must work to improve the upstream conditions that negatively affect patients’ well-being.

This year People’s joined Austin Interfaith, a diverse non-partisan coalition of community groups working together to address public issues that affect the well-being of families and neighborhoods in our community. We are proud to be the first clinic to join this coalition.

Together, we’re taking action on issues that matter to our patients and the surrounding community. Issues like affordable housing, community safety, immigrant rights, access to Medicaid, and more.

Through this work our goal is to build stronger communities that support healthy lifestyles for all Central Texans.

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