An article crossed my desk this afternoon and I found the title to be very interesting. Hospitals and Community Health - Hospitals Partner with Local Organizations to Promote Healthy Lifestyles. I enjoy reading articles that are going to provide new ideas for better connecting with our community, especially those with the greatest needs.
The article used three examples of partnerships between hospitals and their respective communities. The first was a hospital providing scholarships in its community. A great idea; we have been providing allied health profession scholarships as long as I can remember.
The second example was a hospital providing a mobile garden of fresh vegetables in its at risk communities. We are embarking on a community garden concept and it will be operational by this Spring. We have held a Farmer's Market at WMHS for the last several years and recognize its success. We wanted our most vulnerable patients and community members to have that same advantage of fresh vegetables being provided to them. Through this initiative, there have been a host of partnerships that have evolved to ensure the program's success. Possibly, it will evolve into something much more after we get our first community garden going and just maybe we'll go mobile.
The third example was a Raising Readers program where physicians and nurses provide books to children at the time of their birth and throughout their well child visits. Each child receives 12 books by the time that they go to kindergarten. A great program, but one that pales by comparison to WMHS. At WMHS, we enroll every newborn in the Imagination Library. Every child receives a book each month until they go off to kindergarten. That's 60 books!
I guess that we are going to have to start providing our successes to the American Hospital Association's Advancing Health in American website. But, it was great to read about these programs and use it as an affirmation of what we are doing for our community in Cumberland.