Providence Health System in Washington, D.C., is embarking on an innovative approach to best serve the healthcare needs of the community. The centerpiece is to transform the hospital campus into an integrated “Health Village” to encompass more than traditional healthcare services.
The Health Village will be a multi-use, walkable community inclusive of both health and non-health services. This vision includes a continued focus on providing compassionate, personalized care to the community — when, where and how it is needed.
“We have begun to see the impact of a changing healthcare landscape both locally and nationally. That’s why over the past several months, we engaged in discussions to thoughtfully explore how Providence can best contribute to meeting the variety of health needs of our community in a sustainable way,” said Darcy K. Burthay, President and CEO of Providence, which is part of Ascension, the nation’s largest non-profit and Catholic health system. “With a continued commitment to our Mission and recognizing the gaps in services that impact our community’s overall well-being, we considered the current and future availability of health services in the region in the context of significant income and health disparities, high population growth, and the continuing shift to outpatient and ambulatory care, along with continued economic pressures from payers and ongoing uncertainty related to healthcare reform. The outcome was an inspiring and exciting vision for Providence and those we serve.”
Participants in the discussions, led by Providence and Ascension leadership, included civic leaders, representatives of the District of Columbia Hospital Association, the DC Department of Health and Department of Behavioral Health, leaders of other healthcare providers, physician leaders, board members, and members of the Daughters of Charity, the historical religious sponsors of Providence.
“Transforming our Washington, D.C., health facility into a Health Village will enable us to sustain our Mission of serving all with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable,” said Steve Strazzella, Chair, Providence Hospital Board of Directors. “The new approach will create a campus that is better able to meet the needs of a changing and growing community, working in partnership with other community organizations and service providers to serve people’s needs in the ways that are most convenient and best for them as individuals.”
Working with civic and community leaders, as well as community members, the Health Village concept will be developed over time with a vision of creating an innovative plan consistent with the needs of the District, ensuring the health and overall well-being of the community continues to grow. Elements of the Health Village could include:
- A transformed approach to acute care delivery incorporating right-sizing of emergency care capabilities paired with the addition of urgent care services along with focusing on select medical and surgical services
- Primary care, specialty care, ambulatory surgery, telehealth/virtual care, diagnostic services and pharmacy services
- Expanded post-acute care working with Carroll Manor, Providence’s skilled nursing and rehabilitation center; Ascension Living, which operates senior living, assisted living and long-term care communities; and Ascension At Home, Ascension’s home care partnership
- Partnerships with other organizations to offer services not traditionally considered part of healthcare but that have an impact on the health of individuals and communities
- Recreation, green space and/or walking trails.
“Ascension and the Daughters of Charity have served residents of Washington, D.C., for more than 150 years, with a legacy that dates back to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln,” said Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH, Executive Vice President, Ascension, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascension Healthcare. “Through the years, Providence has adapted to the changing needs of the community. Our transformation to this Health Village concept is a continuation of that legacy and our commitment to serve the community where and how we are most needed. As the Health Village evolves, this innovative approach could serve as a model for care delivery in communities Ascension serves across the country.”
“We’re excited about the many possibilities the Health Village will offer to the community,” Burthay said. “We’re looking forward to continuing discussions with our physician partners, community organizations, local government leaders, philanthropists and donors to bring this important development project to life.”