Advocate Health Care joins effort to improve health in low-income communities

Report provides new recommendations to reduce illness, lower health care costs

Advocate Health Care joined nearly 40 U.S.-based health systems last week in Washington, D.C. to discuss potential ways to address persistent health problems in communities challenged by poverty, poor education, inadequate housing, racism and other “social determinants of health” that are beyond the ability of any single provider-institution to address. Advocate is the largest health system in Illinois and based in Oak Brook. 

The meeting of the Health Systems Learning Group (HSLG) – composed of health systems with a mission to improve health in low-income and other vulnerable communities – was co-hosted by the White House Office and Health and Human Services Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The effort is consistent with Advocate's mission, values and philosophy. 

It focused on a new HSLG report that provides new recommendations on how non-profit and faith-based health systems can work with public health, businesses, community groups, and other providers to reduce chronic disease and improve people’s quality of life. 

The HSLG’s first-of-a-kind study comes at a critical juncture as U.S. Governors decide whether to accept the expansion of Medicaid dollars as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Attendees addressed opportunities through the health care law to establish more effective population health practices within community environments which produce complex health challenges and needs that result in frequent costly treatment and high hospital readmission rates. 

The HSLG members have committed to continue exploring approaches to dissolve the walls between healthcare and health, between hospital and community, and to find true cost savings in the process. 

Vincent Pierri, manager, public affairs, Advocate Health Care


About Advocate Health Care

Advocate Health Care, named among the nation’s top health systems, is the largest health system in Illinois and one of the largest health care providers in the Midwest. Advocate operates more than 250 sites of care, including 10 acute care hospitals, the state’s largest integrated children’s network, five Level I trauma centers (the state’s highest designation in trauma care), two Level II trauma centers, one of the area’s largest home health care companies and one of the region’s largest medical groups. Advocate Health Care trains more primary care physicians and residents at its four teaching hospitals than any other health system in the state. As a not-for-profit, mission-based health system affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ, Advocate contributed $571 million in charitable care and services to communities across Chicagoland and Central Illinois in 2011.