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Available Projects

Defining the Benefits of Regional Healthcare Emergency Preparedness

In September of 2016 the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services adopted a new condition of participation rule that requires 17 healthcare provider types to prepare for disasters through community based emergency planning. Many of these provider types have historically planned for disasters at varying degrees on a voluntary basis for accreditation requirements, community benefit, or in some cases not at all. This project seeks to evaluate and demonstrate the financial return on investment for a subset of these provider types in community based emergency planning through evaluation of opportunity cost or other mechanisms. Defining the benefits of preparedness investments through community planning will aid healthcare providers, payers and healthcare systems in understanding impacts of these efforts to patient health, population health, and organizational financial solvency. Research will be applicable to national conference presentations, publications such as Journals of Disaster Medicine and Pubic Health Preparedness, healthcare coalition business planning and healthcare provider disaster planning.

Community Partner/Contact Person: Travis Nichols   

E-mail/phone: | 509-324-1465

Pathways Enhancement: Criminal Records and Associated Health Outcomes

Our goal is to implement a program that would help people remove criminal histories in order to facilitate their return to their communities. While we know that a criminal record significantly impacts potential housing and income, what isn’t as clear are the impacts on health: mental, emotional and physical, particularly from a longitudinal aspect. This information, and support on this project would really help us be in a better position to apply for and receive grants and support the program proposal. Currently there is only one agency that does this, Center for Justice. We would be the first to do this as a social service agency, with the hope that this could become standard case management protocol over time. Thank you for the consideration.

Community Partner/Contact Person: Connie Nelson

E-mail/phone: (prefer email) | (509) 455-9019 office | (509) 499-3401 cell

Explaining the Decline in WIC Participation

USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental food, nutrition education, and health care referrals to low-income, nutritionally at-risk pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women as well as infants and children up to age 5. In fiscal 2014, an average 8.3 million people per month participated in the program, 5 percent fewer than the previous year. This was the largest 1-year decrease since the program’s inception in 1974. Since peaking in fiscal 2010, the number of participants has decreased by almost 10 percent.

Community Partner/Contact Person: Kyle Unland  

E-mail/phone: | 509.324.1540

Quit Happens (Tobacco Cessation Campaign) Evaluation

CHAS Health is wrapping up a 2-year focus on tobacco cessation with our patients, over half of whom identified as tobacco users. Our data now shows excellent results with over 7% fewer tobacco users. Several interventions were used, including motivational interviewing training with providers and staff, increased use of nicotine replacement, awareness campaigns for patients and staff, and smoke-out events.

Contact Person: Mike Wiser

E-mail/phone: | 509.434.0427

Hospital ED Visit Avoidance: Calculating the Return on Investment of Treatment Services at SRHD

The Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) provides outpatient treatment, counseling and referral services for adults addicted to opioids (heroin, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc.). The program is state- and federally-accredited to provide medication-assisted treatment starting with the stabilization of the patient’s opioid addiction. OTP uses a pharmacotherapy approach to allow patients to experience decreased withdrawal symptoms and cravings normally associated with opioid use. Ongoing therapy, implemented and overseen by a team of medical and counseling professionals, assists each patient with setting and achieving realistic health and lifestyle goals. Program staff have data to indicate that utilization of services reduces unnecessary visits to the emergency department.  This project is assisting program administration to validate preliminary findings and, using cost modeling, calculate the return on investment of services to the health system in Spokane. This information could be used to advocate for additional resources to further expand the program in Spokane.

Community Partner/Contact Person: April Fairfield  

E-mail/phone: | 509.324.1682