Spectrum Health’s Core Health Program earns national award


Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital was founded in 1873 and is part of the Spectrum Health Medical Center in downtown Grand Rapids. Courtesy Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health’s Core Health Program is one of five such hospital programs to be selected for the 2013 Nova Award from the American Hospital Association.

The award honors AHA member hospitals and health care systems for effective, collaborative programs focused on community health, according to an announcement by Spectrum.

Core Health is a part of Spectrum Health’s Healthier Communities and is being honored by the AHA for its efforts in providing education and resources necessary for the underserved community to live a healthy lifestyle. The award will be presented at a ceremony during the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit on July 27 in San Diego.

“We are honored to receive this award and be recognized by the American Hospital Association which represents our peers,” said Erin Inman, director of Spectrum Health Healthier Communities. “It is a reflection of the commitment of our community health workers and registered nurses, along with our partners, to remove culture and language barriers that may otherwise prevent our patients from receiving the care they need.”

The Core Health Program is a free, 12-month program that reaches low-income individuals with chronic disease, including diabetes and heart failure, through home visitations from a registered nurse and community health worker. It is sustained though collaborations with primary care providers, clinics, the Visiting Nurses Association, food pantries and community centers.

Since the program began in 2009, 871 patients have participated in Core Health, averaging about 300 a year. As a result of better self-management of their disease, program participants lower their risk of adverse outcomes and reduce the total costs of hospital visits. Spectrum Health estimates that every dollar invested in Core Health over the past three years yielded a savings of $2.54 by preventing unnecessary emergency department use and re-hospitalization.

The four other hospital systems receiving the AHA Nova award this year are in Maine, Kentucky, Indiana and Wisconsin.

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