News & Events

Taking it to the streets

September 6, 2013

Backus community outreach touches nearly 9,000 people this year

Community health partners were out in full force recently to promote health and wellness at the Greeneville neighborhood block party.

Organizations including Backus, United Community & Family Services, the Uncas Health District, the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, Thames Valley Council for

Community Action (TVCCA), Norwich Human Services, Greeneville Neighborhood

Revitalization Zone, and the Bully Busters, gathered to provide this Norwich community with access to health information and screenings, nutrition assistance, insurance eligibility, and more.

Aboard the Backus mobile health resource center, the Backus Community Health Education Department assisted 42 individuals with blood glucose and blood pressure screenings, Access to Care and My Health Direct appointments.

Striving to build and sustain a population health management program, the Greeneville block party is just one way Backus is working to provide the right care, where it is needed the most.

Participating in events like in Greeneville aligns with Backus’ strategic goals for Community Education. Greeneville, like other neighborhoods in our hospital’s service area, has been designated as a “hot spot.” Using special software to analyze Emergency Department data, Backus learned that a high number of visits to the ED are from Greeneville. As a result, Community Education’s goal is to provide focused health care resources where they’re most needed, before issues become emergencies.

“By bringing health care into communities like Greeneville, Baltic and Plainfield, we’re aiming to improve individual health, while at the same time, reducing crisis visits to the ED,” said Alice Facente, RN, MSN, Community Health Education Nurse. “By gathering relevant data and metrics, we’re better able to target at-risk populations.”

Led by Shawn Mawhiney, Director of Communications and Community Relations,  Community Health Education Nurses Alice Facente, Lisa Cook, RN, MSN, and newest addition, Jennifer Fetterley, RD, TVCCA, Backus strategic outreach activities are improving the health of the community.

Along with Backus partners, the team coordinates and makes regular visits to the soup kitchen at St. Joseph’s Church in Norwich, St. Mary Food Pantry in Jewett City as part of

“Get Healthy, Griswold!”, Norwich Farmers’ Market for Rx for Health, and Baltic Food Friday at the Sprague Community Center.

Whether it’s primary care services provided by Generations clinicians on the Backus Mobile Health Resource Center, Ms. Fetterley counseling a family about nutrition, or the Community Health Education nurses performing a screening, valiant efforts are being made to improve the region’s health.

Since Oct. 1, which began fiscal year 2013, the CareVan has made 36 visits into the community and the Mobile Health Resource Center has been out 68 times. This makes for a grand total of 104 outreach initiatives on a Backus van. In total, Community

Education has touched 3,171 individuals during this time period, and 8,951 people have been touched by at least one Backus community benefit.

“Managing population health is a team effort,” said Mr. Mawhiney. “We’d like to thank our partners for helping us make a difference.”

Outreach by the numbers

The Backus Community Education Department is making strides in improving population health in our region. The proof is in the numbers.

Since the beginning of fiscal year 2013:

  • The CareVan has made 36 trips into the community.
  • The Mobile Health Resource Center has been out 68 times.
  • Backus vans have participated in 104 outreach initiatives.
  • Community Education has touched 3,171 individuals.
  • Backus Community Benefits have touched 8,951 people.

Partners in kind

Backus is committed to providing targeted outreach efforts to make a healthier community. To help achieve this goal, our community health partners include, but are not limited to:

  • United Community & Family Services (UCFS)
  • Uncas Health District
  • Thames Valley Council for Community Action (TVCCA)

Generations Family Health Center