The Jefferson Regional Foundation awarded the single-largest grant in its history to Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) Jefferson Hospital. The $1 million, 4-year grant will be used to establish the “Front Door Initiative for Social Emergency Medicine” at Jefferson – a comprehensive effort to better understand and address the social determinants of health among patients who visit the hospital’s emergency department.
“Our experience tells us that frequent emergency department visits often have as much to do with challenges faced in a patient’s social environment as they do with underlying medical issues,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, AHN President and CEO. “At AHN, we believe in a holistic approach to improving the health of our patients and communities. This incredibly generous grant from the Jefferson Regional Foundation will better enable us to fulfill that promise for the residents of Jefferson Hills and the surrounding area.”
Louise Urban, the President and CEO of Jefferson Hospital, said the initiative’s name is appropriate given the important role emergency departments play at community hospitals.
“The emergency department often serves as the front door to the hospital; it is the initial experience many patients may have with us,” Urban explained. “But serving our patients can, and should, mean more than just treating their acute health care needs and sending them home. We want to better understand what may be influencing their health and what further steps can be taken to improve it. Are they exiting our doors properly positioned to get better, to stay well? This program will help us to more clearly see the whole picture so that we can direct patients to the resources that may help prevent the need for an emergency room visit in the future.”