Underlying drivers of poor health outcomes in Trenton are many, varied, and related to poverty, structural racism, undiagnosed behavioral health, food insecurity, homelessness, childhood trauma and many other variables that a traditional medical entity is ill-equipped to address.
Professionals working with vulnerable populations in Trenton are aware how limited their influence can be when operating independently and addressing just one of their client’s challenges.
A systems approach to health improvement means understanding all the factors affecting health and well-being, including the environment, the economy, local and national policy, education, behavioral health, personal history, access to clinical care — and more.
Collaboration across sectors enables co-designed solutions, reduces duplication, grows community capacity and enables information sharing that ultimately benefits the community and individuals.
Having a neutral organization that is trusted, transparent, and has broad leadership is key. Having a dedicated administrative infrastructure to schedule meetings, take minutes and notes and keep people accountable with follow-up also is necessary for successful partnerships.
Community Advisory Board
THT’s Community Advisory Board represents more than 99 organizations and 220 individuals. We convene quarterly to share information, brainstorm solutions and co-design interventions enhancing health and well-being. (See list of CAB members)
CAB workgroups focus on specific topics, such as access to healthy food and maternal health; while affinity groups encourage partnerships among colleagues such as community health workers or communications directors. To learn more, please contact THT Partnership Coordinator Stephanie Doering.
Regional Heath Hubs
The Regional Health Hub concept envisions a statewide network of backbone organizations working on healthcare in their communities and creates a sustainable infrastructure funding for this convening, care coordination, and data-sharing work. THT is one of New Jersey’s first Regional Health Hubs created in 2020.
While there will always be a need to focus on and provide resources for the highest-need patients, a clinical focus cannot be the only strategy for addressing health status in Trenton.
Actively collaborating to improve safety, education, economic development and address other interconnected issues that no single organization or sector can resolve will lead to better outcomes.
Nemours Integrator Learning Lab
THT Executive Director Gregory Paulson served as an Integrator Learning Lab faculty member. The purpose of the Learning Lab is to provide teams of organizations with an opportunity to learn about promising strategies for launching, catalyzing and sustaining multi-sector population health networks, and to provide teams with technical assistance to apply learning within their own networks through guided action planning. In addition, the Integrator Learning Lab seeks to connect teams to a nation-wide network of peers and experts, which can be leveraged during and beyond the Learning Lab experience, advancing the field’s knowledge of the ways that health care can and should contribute to multi-sector networks that advance population-level health goals.
As one of the state’s first Regional Health Hubs, THT plays an integrator role for our community and state, moving partners beyond collaboration to explore system dynamics, expand perspectives and engage expertise in new ways to improve health and well-being.