GHHI Pay for Success Projects Kick Off in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City partners convene to kick off the GHHI pay for success project.

Salt Lake City is buzzing with excitement over Pay for Success (PFS). The GHHI PFS team traveled to Salt Lake City on June 26 to kick off its asthma-focused PFS feasibility study and was met with a crowded room of interested community leaders. GHHI team members present were President & CEO Ruth Ann Norton, Vice President of Policy and Social Innovation Michael McKnight, Social Innovation Specialist Trent Van Alfen, Senior Associate for Research, Policy and Environmental Health Science Brendan Brown and Pay for Success Project Lead Eric Letsinger. GHHI is also conducting groundbreaking feasibility studies in four other cities with funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund.

Over the course of the next year, GHHI will work with awardees in the five cities to assess the feasibility of a PFS partnership involving home-based interventions to reduce asthma in low income communities and generate cost savings for healthcare organizations. By June 2016, GHHI will complete an analysis for project partners and investors to use in determining if they want to move forward with a PFS transaction similar to the one GHHI is developing in Baltimore.

The purpose of this kick off meeting in Salt Lake City was to establish a common understanding of the PFS feasibility study among all the project stakeholders—healthcare organizations, service providers, as well as government and university departments. The convening allowed everyone to get on the same page regarding roles, responsibilities, goals and potential resources for the project. The quality of discussion and amount of business cards being passed back and forth were good indications that the Salt Lake partners were taking ownership of the project, making connections and striving to make it successful. By the end of July, GHHI will have conducted similar kick off meetings with the other four PFS awardee cities.

University of Utah Health Plans and the Salt Lake County Office of Regional Development are the two PFS feasibility awardees in Salt Lake City. They brought in several professionals and organizations for the site visit who may potentially become involved in the project, including representatives from Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Salt Lake, University of Utah Department of Pediatrics, Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity, Salt Lake County Health Department, Utah’s Pediatric Improvement Partnership (UPIQ), the Policy Innovation Lab at the University of Utah and the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office.

It seemed to be perfect timing for this asthma-focused PFS feasibility study. The county’s Health Department recently received a grant to provide home- and school-based asthma education; UPIQ is developing its leadership in quality improvement for clinical asthma management; and University of Utah’s Department of Pediatrics is conducting studies fostering empirical evidence for the ability of home-based interventions to reduce asthma triggers. Representatives from all of these initiatives expressed that they would like to be involved with GHHI’s PFS work whether as direct partners in service provision or as resources in knowledge sharing throughout the project. Multiple people throughout the day said they were “so pumped up!” about this project and the feeling was contagious.

Utah is one of the leading states in Pay for Success—in large part due to the attention Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has given to the field. Mayor McAdams joined us for lunch on June 26 and offered several great insights. His office is currently conducting three PFS projects focused on maternal/child health, criminal justice and homelessness. Another one of the Social Innovation Fund PFS grant awardees, the Policy Innovation Lab, is located in Utah and is also conducting several PFS feasibility studies out west. A representative from the Lab discussed their work to the group and expressed their willingness to collaborate and share knowledge with GHHI as they both seek to advance the PFS field nationally.

One of the major highlights of the day was when GHHI President & CEO Ruth Ann Norton presented Mayor McAdams with a GHHI pin and thanked him for his support. The Mayor touted the outstanding reputation and track record of GHHI and discussed the enormous potential Pay for Success represents for improving social outcomes. He joined everyone else in saying that he was “pumped up!” 

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