Aligning Forces for Quality grant continues focus on health care improvement in region

July 22, 2013

Aligning Forces for Quality—South Central PA (AF4Q-SCPA) has been awarded a grant of $1 million over the next two years for the final phase of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality initiative, a national effort to lift the quality and value of health care in communities across America.

AF4Q-SCPA is one of 16 organizations across the country designated as an AF4Q community. It has been participating since 2007.

The Aligning Forces for Quality program was originally launched by the Foundation in 2006. It remains the largest effort of its kind ever undertaken by a United States philanthropy.

Through the program, AF4Q-SCPA works to improve health care in Adams and York counties by engaging patients in their care, publicly reporting on the quality of care provided by local physicians and hospitals, implementing quality improvement programs in doctors’ offices and hospitals and exploring new payment methods to promote high-quality care.

In the fourth and final phase of the program, AF4Q-SCPA will accelerate its work, leveraging processes in these focus areas and striving for sustainable progress in meeting the goals of a reformed health care system: better value, greater transparency and improved care coordination.

“This grant allows us to continue to collaborate with community leaders, patients, doctors, nurses, employers and insurers so everyone in Adams and York counties can receive the right care at the right time,” said Chris Amy, project director of AF4Q-SCPA. “We are committed to finding new ways to improve our health care system so we can have a healthier community.”

In the next two years, AF4Q-SCPA will expand on the cutting-edge changes already underway to achieve sustainable improvements in the quality of health care that local hospitals, practices and doctors deliver, while continuing to focus on developing and testing models that encourage highquality care and use dollars more wisely.

“The final phase of this program is not so much an end as a beginning,” said Anne F. Weiss, MPP, team director and senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Our goal is not just lasting change in these 16 communities, but also to provide models of reform for the rest of the country to follow.”

In the past year, AF4Q-SCPA has continued to achieve great results through its patient-centered community initiatives.

Its Patient Partner program has enrolled 56 patients who have provided insightful feedback regarding provider communication, how patients think and ways to teach patients to self-manage their care.

Additionally, AF4Q-SCPA’s I Can! Challenge program, a 12-week series focusing on improving the health of residents with chronic diseases through healthy eating, exercise and stress management, has graduated more than 100 participants since 2009. Participants have achieved significant weight loss, medication reduction and lower A1C levels.

For more information about AF4Q-SCPA and its work, visit www.aligning4healthpa.org.