Scanning the Horizons: Issue Briefs

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities began developing this collection of issue briefs to the Scanning the Horizons family of knowledge products in March 2012. These guides provide concise information for understanding the strength and vitality of the nonprofit sector. They articulate why human service organizations are valuable, critical partners in efforts to strengthen families and communities.

Issue Brief 9: Appreciative Inquiry
(September 2014) Download Issue Brief 9

Key Message: Appreciative inquiry is an interview method that serves as a strengths-based approach to analysis, decision making, and planning. It can be used to strengthen relationships, fuel innovation, and increase productivity by uncovering and maximizing the assets of individuals, organizations, or communities. Appreciative inquiry is applied across many situations, industries, and sectors. Additional Resources.

Issue Brief 8: Implementation Science
(November 2013) Download Issue Brief 8

Key Message: Implementation science, or implementation research, is a field of study dedicated to establishing best practices in the adopting of proven practices. Knowledge of implementation science and its methods will aid the nonprofit human-serving sector in its replication of proven practices, adapting and modifying existing programs to specific community needs, and in expanding or scaling up of established programs and services. Additional resources.

Issue Brief 7: Adaptive Leadership
(October 2013) Download Issue Brief 7

Key Message: Because nonprofit leaders are operating in unstable times, they need to devise creative approaches for solving difficult problems while still delivering essential community services. Instead of relying on the leadership styles of the past, nonprofit organizations should embrace adaptive leadership, as it can guide their organizations through future uncertainty. Additional resources.

Issue Brief 6: Patient-Centered Care
(May 2013) Download Issue Brief 6

Key Message: Patient-centered care promotes the achievement of health and wellness goals by prioritizing the wants, needs, and active engagement of patients in health care. While this end-user focused concept has been developed in the context of primary care, many human-serving organizations have long operated patient-centered programs. However, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the changing landscape of health care puts the nonprofit human services sector in an important and challenging position. The role of the nonprofit sector in patient-centered outcomes research is just emerging while their role in delivering patient-centered care is more important than ever. Addtional resources.

Issue Brief 5: Electronic Health Record Systems
(November 2012)
Download Issue Brief 5

Key Message: The implementation and maintenance of electronic health record (EHR) systems is vital to the success of behavioral health care providers. Further, because implementing an EHR system is also crucial for accountable care organization (ACO) participation, it is no longer a question of whether it is feasible to forego such upgrades, but how and when they will happen. The lack of well-implemented EHR and data management systems in behavioral health organizations will only serve to highlight the digital divide between themselves and other health care providers. Additional resources.

Issue Brief 4: Medicare and Medicaid Dual Eligibles
(October 2012)
Download Issue Brief 4

Key Message: New health care strategies to coordinate care, improve quality and control costs for dual eligibles are being implemented at the federal and state level. Managed care demonstration projects are being designed in over half of the U.S. Through their work with vulnerable populations, nonprofit human service organizations are uniquely positioned to collaborate with integrated health programs serving the dual eligible population. Additional resources.

Issue Brief 3: Patient-Centered Medical Homes
(September 2012)
Download Issue Brief 3

Key Message: The patient-centered medical home model emphasizes holistic, integrated primary care in order to improve patient outcomes and decrease health care costs. Human service organizations are valuable partners in providing this type of care because of their experience in serving populations with complex needs, employing a community-based approach, and reducing negative impact of social determinants of health. Additional resources.

Issue Brief 2: Social Determinants of Health
(March 2012)
Download Issue Brief 2

Key Message: Medical care is a relatively small contributor to health outcomes. Social and behavioral factors account for more than 50 percent of a population’s health outcomes. Nonprofit human service agencies are critical partners in efforts to bend the nation’s health care cost curve because they address vulnerable populations’ social and behavioral factors through the provision of a wide range of services. Additional resources.

Issue Brief 1: Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Health
(March 2012)
Download Issue Brief 1

Key Message: The Adverse Childhood Experiences study is a large-scale population study that points to a strong relationship between childhood exposure to abuse and trauma and lifelong negative health outcomes. Investments in child abuse prevention can yield long-term savings in health care costs associated with depression, addiction, heart disease, and teen pregnancy. Additional resources.

For additional statistics or resources, contact the Alliance Severson Center.

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