ARCHI, ARC and Visiting Nurse Health System Awarded Funding for Community Care Hubs

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, July 10th, 2024

The Atlanta Regional Community Care Hub Development was selected as one of 20 grantees for USAging’s Center of Excellence to Align Health and Social Care (COE). 

With the funding received through the COE, Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI), Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and Visiting Nurse Health System will be able to establish this Community Care Hub (CCH) in Metro Atlanta, a crucial step to addressing challenges in health disparities, access and coordination of care. Led collaboratively by these backbone organizations, this initiative aims to coordinate services and leverage the partners’ expertise and networks to promote wellness and equity and drive an intentional process toward Hub activation. 

"We're honored to be the sole Southeastern recipient of this prestigious grant," said Jeff Smythe, Executive Director of ARCHI. "This funding enables us to engage directly with two vital demographics - our cherished older adults and individuals with disabilities - to understand their unique challenges. By actively listening and collaborating, we're committed to implementing solutions that genuinely enhance their healthcare experiences within our community and invert the burden of navigating a disparate system from the individual."

The COE is supported by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) and will support community care hubs to assess and address individuals’ health-related social needs and promote whole-person care.

These awards intend to provide infrastructure funding to the selected CCHs to support contracting efforts with healthcare organizations. The CCH will coordinate access and delivery of social care programs and services (including support for hospital-to-home care transition programs) that assess and address health-related social needs and improve health equity and inclusion for individuals, families and/or caregivers. These efforts will also enhance Georgia’s No Wrong Door access systems and coordinate with local and/or state public health departments.

“ARC is eager to begin this work with our long-time partners, ARCHI and VNHS, to foster the health of our region’s residents with this new initiative,” said Becky Kurtz, Director of metro Atlanta's Area Agency on Aging at the Atlanta Regional Commission. “We know good health isn’t only about access to medical services. Many individuals have poor health outcomes because they lack access to affordable, accessible housing or transportation, have inadequate nutrition or have a need for social services. ARC is committed to working with partners in healthcare, social services, local government and others, so together we can make our region work for people of all ages and abilities.” 

In the first year of the grant, the three organizations will build the CCH foundation by hosting conversations to identify and formalize the operational structure, gaining insight from lived experience, industry advisors, national partners and many stakeholders. The second year will focus on implementing workgroups to address the priorities identified, such as data management, payor contracting, governance, technology, etc. This phased approach ensures systematic progress toward the goal, with continual refinement guided by stakeholder input and data-driven insights.

“After serving Georgians in need for 75 years, Visiting Nurse Health System’s unwavering commitment to every Georgian having equal access to the care and resources they deserve has never been stronger,” states Dorothy Davis, Visiting Nurse’s President and CEO. “Joining forces with these core community leaders, Visiting Nurse is honored to work together towards a more equitable healthcare system in Georgia that not only addresses immediate needs but also sets the stage for long-term, sustainable change, paving the way to a more equitable, healthier future for all.”