Florida | 50 states of population health

DAVID STRONG. President and CEO of Orlando (Fla.) Health

On the top challenge

"Access to care is a pressing concern throughout Florida, including the central region."

On the hospital's response

"We are embracing several new, innovative initiatives to help expand access to healthcare, especially among some of our most vulnerable populations. In the six months since Hurricane Maria devastated the islands, an estimated 300,000 refugees from Puerto Rico have moved to Florida, nearly half of whom came to the central region. Our initiatives take into account this sudden influx of new residents who may need healthcare services. We are establishing partnerships with successful community organizations that operate sustainable, outcome-driven programs — some of which we help support through a new competitive grant process.

For example, we currently fund two care navigators in our EDs; one from a federally qualified health center and another from an Orlando-based medical home for the uninsured. The navigators assist patients who might be inappropriately using our EDs by immediately connecting them with a primary care physician. This bi-directional relationship generates a cost savings for the patient, the healthcare system and ultimately, the state. It aligns with our specific system goals by providing high-quality care, measurable outcomes and increased efficiencies. It's a win-win scenario for the patient and for Florida's overall healthcare system."

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