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July 15, 2015
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!”
June 26, 2015
At the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 83rd Annual Meeting, Mayors adopted resolutions supporting three issues critical to advancing healthy homes for all. The resolutions support:
The Green and Healthy Homes Initiative and Efforts to Produce Sustainable Green, Healthy and Safe Homes
Federal Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Programs
Social Impact Financing and Pay for Success Models
After adoption, the resolutions become the official policy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
On behalf of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, I would like to express sincere appreciation to the Mayors for shining light on these important issues that affect millions of families’ health and ability to thrive. Additional healthy homes and lead poisoning prevention funding is needed at the federal level, and systems reforms are required at federal, state and local levels across the nation to advance the creation of healthy homes — which in turn produce health, economic and social outcomes for families. And we must not stop there; we must continue to find creative pathways to sustaining this work, through social impact financing and pay for success.
Special thanks to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter for submitting these important resolutions to the 2015 Conference.
June 19, 2015
For the entire month of June, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is celebrating Healthy Futures for Vulnerable Citizens. The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) is currently working with the Social Innovation Fund to promote healthy futures by breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families.
GHHI is proud to have been featured in this month’s Social Innovation Fund Spotlight for our Pay for Success program. Through our work, we help people live in safe, healthy, energy efficient homes while reducing overall healthcare costs and increasing their quality of life. Read more in our Grantee Spotlight.
May 19, 2015
I am delighted to announce—during the celebration of Asthma Awareness Month—that the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) has selected the following service providers to participate in our national, asthma-related Pay for Success (PFS) feasibility study:
Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. (HOCN) and Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo (CFGB), Buffalo, New York
Health Net of West Michigan (Health Net), Asthma Network of West Michigan (Asthma Network) and Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan (Healthy Homes Coalition), Grand Rapids, Michigan
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis (Memphis Habitat), Memphis, Tennessee
Salt Lake County Office of Regional Development, Salt Lake County, Utah
Partners for a Healthier Communities’ Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition (PVAC), Springfield, Massachusetts
Each awardee was selected from a pool of highly competitive candidate organizations, for their ability to execute housing based interventions with excellence and adhere to rigorous data collection processes. These organizations will work in collaboration with local health care organizations in their cities to conduct feasibility studies of PFS models that fund home-based asthma interventions, including remediation of asthma triggers and resident education.
We are grateful to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which—through the Social Innovation Fund—is providing GHHI and our partner Calvert Foundation with the grant funding to explore this project.
In the coming weeks and months, GHHI and Calvert Foundation will provide technical assistance to the ten selected service providers and healthcare organizations to assess viability of asthma-related PFS projects benefitting low-income children who suffer from the disease.
If these projects are deemed viable and successfully implemented, a significant number of children suffering from asthma as a result of poor quality housing will no longer require frequent hospitalization. Affected children will spend more time in the classroom, and their parents will spend more time at work. Asthma-related healthcare costs will be lower for healthcare organizations and for the families they serve.
Why It’s Important
We are forging a new path to improved asthma care and reduced healthcare costs, at local and national levels. PFS presents an ideal opportunity for transformational impact in the care and treatment of asthma. Research shows that 40 percent of asthma episodes are caused by home-based environmental health hazards. Much of this cost is born by medical and federal tax payer dollars, yet these programs provide little to no resources to eradicate the root causes of asthma. We have opportunity to use housing as a platform to reduce the high cost associated with repeated hospitalization and emergency department visits due to asthma.
This project will also enable GHHI and Calvert Foundation to establish the evidence necessary to move public policy and garner public support for similar, future projects across the country.
We are excited to get started and I look forward to sharing what we learn. I hope you will check back regularly or sign up for email updates on this groundbreaking project!
March 11, 2015
The Social Innovation Fund’s (SIF) Pay for Success (PFS) initiative has the potential to change the way government serves the public. It’s a new approach to funding social outcomes and addressing some of the country’s most pressing challenges across the SIF’s three priority areas: economic opportunity, youth development and healthy futures. As an inaugural grantee of the SIF’s PFS program, it allows GHHI to continue to lead the national effort in increasing the stock of affordable, healthy housing by exploring the feasibility of asthma-related Pay for Success projects benefitting low-income, asthmatic children.
Today we’re excited to announce our Pay for Success service recipients who will advance and evaluate new models of funding home-based interventions that produce measurable outcomes such as reduced hospitalizations, reduced emergency department visits and less missed school days.
In 2014, GHHI received $1.011M from SIF, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to help address childhood asthma by finding effective interventions and mobilizing public and private resources. So why did we engage in Pay for Success?
It’s innovative. Instead of paying for permitted activities, private healthcare payors pay for demonstrated results. This gives organizations the chance to bring proven interventions to scale.
It’s evidence-based. Investors are repaid once a rigorous, third-party evaluation determines that the program has achieved outcomes agreed upon by all parties.
It’s cost-effective. Preventative services are often the first to be cut from government budgets, even though remedial and emergency services are more expensive in the long run. By directing funds to preventive services, Pay for Success transactions have the potential to generate long-term savings for taxpayers.
It’s collaborative. By establishing public-private partnerships, Pay for Success transactions mobilize new sources of capital and minimize the financial risk to taxpayers. Social interventions benefit from additional funding, and “impact investors” and other private and philanthropic organizations can marry financial goals and public good.
I invite you to learn more about our service recipients, and the work we are doing together to break the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy children. With a healthy home free of asthma triggers, the opportunities for families can only increase—children are in the classroom ready to learn and parents are able to work.