HealthNet takes its message to the White House


On Tuesday, September 20, HealthNet President/CEO Booker Thomas traveled to the White House to share ideas with a group of health system and health policy leaders about crafting successful community partnerships and programs.  Along with Booker, Indianapolis was represented by Dan Evans, President/CEO of IU Health, Steve Ivy, Senior Vice President Values, Ethics, Social Responsibility, and Pastoral Services for IU Health, Matt Ewer, Owner of Green B.E.A.N Delivery, and Stuart Lowry, Director of Indy Parks & Recreation.

Improving Health Outcomes Through Faith-Based and Community Partnerships was a one-day conference intended to identify models and best practices that allow local partnerships to produce genuine improvements in health and discuss how those models can be replicated in health systems nationally.

A chance to hear what has worked in other communities, Booker learned that Indianapolis is facing a lot of the same problems as cities around the nation.  Community partnerships between health care and faith-based organizations are trying to work toward one goal—preventing the overuse of hospitals’ emergency rooms. They realize how important it is for people to have a medical home for their ongoing health needs.

Another issue that was brought up during the conference was how to best address the needs of patients and members of congregations who may suffer from mental illness. 

“We need to better establish and nurture our relationships with all faith-based organizations located in our communities,” Booker said.  “The populations whom they serve, we serve, and offering more health education opportunities for administrators as well as their congregations can go a long way.”

Learn more about the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the United States Department of Health and Human Services.