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Community Health Network receives more than $2 million grant to address unmet health-related needs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Community Health Network Foundation received a more than $2 million grant to address the unmet health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries on the east side of Indianapolis.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the $2,560,494 grant that will help bridge the gap between clinical and community service providers.

Community Health Network Foundation is the only organization in the state and one of 32 nationwide to receive the grant.

Disbursed over a 5 year period, the grant is expected to impact more than 70,000 individuals. 40 percent of that population received Indiana Medicaid services in 2015 and a significant number of adults and children in that area live below the poverty line. Their average life expectancy is 7.5 years less than the north side of Indianapolis.

CMS’ three-prong Accountable Health Communities Model is steering this grant that consists of assistance, alignment and awareness tracks. Community Health will have the financial resources to improve clinical-community collaboration by screening high-risk beneficiaries, identifying social needs that may impact their health and connecting them with the right community resources.

“This funding is just another one of the many exciting things happening on Indianapolis’ east side,” said John Kunzer, MD, senior vice president and regional physician executive for Community’s East Region “The Accountable Health Communities model is a perfect fit with our mission to enhance the health and well-being of the communities we serve. It helps expand the definition of ‘health’ to include things such as access to food, adequate housing and social support systems. It will advance the collaborative efforts between Community Hospital East and our community partners to address well-being by moving care beyond the four walls of our hospital and doctors’ offices and into neighborhoods.”

The grant will enable Community Health to partner with the Eastside Redevelopment Committee, an organization that represents 50 businesses and community-based organizations focused on improving health through high-quality support services, educational programs and workforce development.

Work will begin under CMS guidance on May 1.

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