Florida system's new health equity policies extend 'beyond the hospital walls'

For Hollywood, Fla.-based Memorial Healthcare System, 2023 saw transformative changes brought on by embracing a comprehensive approach to address health equity and social determinants of health. 

Through strategically standardizing its practices and policies, the health system is prioritizing accessibility and inclusivity, to ensure all community members are provided with the healthcare services they need, Vanessa Nazario, chief belonging and equity officer of Memorial Healthcare System, told Becker's.

"This includes targeted interventions to overcome barriers to healthcare access, culturally competent care delivery, and initiatives to eliminate health inequities that disproportionately affect certain demographic groups," Ms. Nazario said. 

The system's holistic strategy in addressing social determinants of health is the initiative that Ms. Nazario said she is most excited about heading into 2024.

"The healthcare system has forged partnerships with community organizations, educational institutions, and local government bodies to create a network of support that extends beyond the hospital walls. By collaborating with community stakeholders, Memorial Healthcare System aims to create sustainable interventions that uplift the overall health and well-being of the population it serves," Ms. Nazario said.

Ms. Nazario said the system's dedication to improving individual health through addressing social determinants of health and health equity helps contribute to its broader goal of developing a community that is healthier and more resilient.  

"This transformative initiative exemplifies Memorial Healthcare System's commitment to a future where healthcare extends beyond traditional boundaries, fostering a society where everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve optimal health," Ms. Nazario said. 

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