Foundation’s Community Health Collaborative receives Dr. Ron Anderson Innovation Award

Dr. Sushma Sharma

The North Texas Community Health Collaborative was announced as the winner of the Dr. Ron J. Anderson Thinking Progressively for Health and Innovation Award for its report detailing Type 2 Diabetes disparities in Dallas during the 93rd Annual Texas Public Health Conference on March 29 at the Hilton Hotel in Fort Worth.

Led by Dr. Sushma Sharma of the DFW Hospital Council Foundation, the North Texas Community Health Collaborative (CHC) includes 32 members representing health systems and community organizations with expertise in public health, health disparities, strategic planning, advocacy and policy. The CHC’s goal is to provide North Texas citizens with information to identify health disparities in the community to inspire the proper allocation of resources as well as create action plans to improve regional health.

Dr. Sharma and the CHC received the award for crunching numbers on hospital visits and community health data to identify Type 2 Diabetes disparities in individual Dallas zip codes while developing programs to address the disparities.

“We have been focusing on local collaboration among health systems by creating comprehensive, data-driven programs to address health disparities in our community,” said Dr. Sharma. “Our work combines teamwork and hospital data-sharing to develop evidence-based solutions to decrease the numbers of residents impacted by diabetes. This was a data-driven report rendering the community transparent, which was critical when establishing project goals to meet the healthcare needs of our residents.”

Programs inspired by the CHC report included educational meetings, informational pamphlets and community health fairs located within the specific zip codes.

“Any way we can spread the word to help residents learn more about diabetes and disease management is always a benefit to the community,” Dr. Sharma said. “This report allowed us to identify a target, create goals and educate the community to reduce preventable hospitalizations.”

The DFWHC Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to continually improve the community’s health by promoting safe, high quality, cost effective, accessible and equitable healthcare and by strengthening the healthcare workforce through education and research.

The Texas Public Health Association (TPHA) is a non-profit, state-wide association of public health professionals dedicated to public health in Texas. TPHA was organized in 1923 and is an affiliate of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Its mission is to improve the health and safety of Texas through leadership, education, training, collaboration, mentoring and advocacy.