Hearst Health Prize

Nationwide Children's Hospital Named Winner of the 2020 Hearst Health Prize 

$100,000 Prize Awarded to Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families for Oustanding Acheivement in Population Health.

October 6, 2020

Hearst Health, a division of Hearst, and Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Population Health today announced Nationwide Children's Hospital, Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families program as the winner of the 2020 Hearst Health Prize for outstanding achievement in population health. The program is recognized for its improvements in health outcomes for children and families impacted by neighborhood effect syndrome in the South Side community of Columbus, Ohio.

The $100,000 award was announced by Gregory Dorn, MD, MPH, president of Hearst Health, and David B. Nash, MD, MBA, dean emeritus of the Jefferson College of Population Health, during the 20th annual Population Health Colloquium. This award marks the fifth consecutive year of the Hearst Health Prize and adds Nationwide Children’s Hospital to a distinguished list of past winners, including: Community Care of North Carolina (2016), Intermountain Healthcare (2017), Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (2018), and Sharp Transitions (2019).

Kelly J. Kelleher, MD, MPH, vice president for community health at Nationwide Children’s Hospital commented: “It’s an incomparable honor to be recognized by Hearst Health like this, and I appreciate the thoughtful consideration that the judges gave to all the entries. It is our hope at Nationwide Children’s that new thinking like that behind Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families can be brought to population health so that children and families living in communities that have been economically marginalized and traumatized can experience their best health outcomes. Part of the Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families value proposition is its unique way of approaching the neighborhood like we would a patient, which naturally means it requires many partners to succeed. Rev. John Edgar and Community Development for All People, the city of Columbus, the United Way, my colleagues at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and especially the South Side residents are the heartbeat of this effort. The other finalists’ inspired efforts are impressive and transformational. They are lifting the work of population health and I applaud their dedication and ingenuity as we all move forward in this important mission.” 

Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families works to create positive health outcomes for children by targeting affordable housing, education, health and wellness, safe and accessible neighborhoods, and workforce development. It has improved the health status and reduced unnecessary health utilization and costs for South Side neighborhood children. Relative to two propensity matched neighborhoods, those in the program experienced greater decreases in rates of emergency department use and probability of inpatient admission, as well as a smaller increase in the average length of stay for those admitted. 

“We are proud to present the 2020 Hearst Health Prize to the Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families program from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in honor of its exemplary efforts to improve the health outcomes of children and families in its local community who have been economically marginalized,” Dorn said. “Nationwide Children’s Hospital has demonstrated that the collaboration across community services and resources can make a profound impact on addressing health disparities in vulnerable populations of children.”

Hearst Health Prize applications were evaluated by Jefferson College of Population Health faculty and a distinguished panel of judges. The applications were scored based on the program’s population health impact or outcome demonstrated by measurable improvement; use of evidence-based interventions and best practices to improve the quality of care; promotion of communication, collaboration and engagement; scalability and sustainability; and innovation. Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families was the highest scoring across these criteria.

“While each program was distinct and proven to be invaluable in their respective communities, Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families proved to be an outstanding pillar of resilience for the South Side community of Columbus,” Nash said. “Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families has transformed the lives of the children in these neighborhoods in a way that will positively impact Columbus as a whole, and leads by example for other communities.”

In addition to the $100,000 award for the winner, $25,000 awards were given to each of the two finalists: 

Working in partnership with Native American (NA) communities, the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health has developed, implemented, and evaluated promising solutions to reduce health disparities facing Native Americans through its Family Spirit program. It is currently the largest, most rigorous, and only evidence-based home visiting program designed for pregnant and parenting Native American families. The program has been proven successful across three randomized controlled trials to improve parenting knowledge and self-efficacy; reduce parenting stress and maternal psychological risks that could impede positive parenting; and improve children’s social, emotional, and behavioral development.

The Project Dulce program of Scripps Whitter Diabetes Institute is designed to improve health and access to care for underserved, ethnically diverse people with diabetes. It provides interpersonal and digital clinical management support while trained peer educators deliver culturally appropriate diabetes self-management education and support. Studies evaluating the program have demonstrated positive effects on clinical, behavioral, and cost outcomes, including greater improvements in hemogloban A1c and  blood pressure across 10-months relative to standard care. Project Dulce has served more than 20,000 ethnically diverse (65% Hispanic) patients in San Diego County. Alameda County Public Health Services and Adventist Health in Central Valley have successfully replicated the model in California.