Ten years ago, in February of 2010, a collaboration between Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the City of Trenton Department of Health and Human Services, resulted in the creation of the Trenton Health Team — an organization that was born out of a necessity to aid people who lacked access to primary care.
“THT was, and is the organization that unites, integrates and accelerates community health work in Trenton,” said Christy Stephenson, former CEO at St. Francis Medical Center and a founding THT board member. “THT’s convening of, and coordination of, grant efforts has brought dollars to Trenton that no one organization could ever have achieved on its own.”
The Trenton Health Team’s earlier work addressed more general issues such as acute health episodes leading to ER visits. However, their work as of late has helped lead statewide effort to create Regional Health Hubs. As one of the state’s first helth hubs, the Trenton Health Team will expand its work with community organizers to align, integrate, innovate and coordinate disconnected services.
“THT is making sure we’re all moving in the same direction, like rowers in a crew to augment what we are each doing across the city. In doing so we can maximize manpower and resources to the best of our ability, especially when resources are so limited,” said Kemi Alli, chief executive officer at Henry J. Austin Health Center and a founding THT board member. “THT is the heart of making this happen.”
Through the integration of both cutting edge health data and hands-on community meetings, THT has revolutionized how healthcare and social services interact. For example, The Trenton Health Information Exchange is a database which allows more than 1,250 clinical users across central New Jersey to share medical information on nearly 700,000 patients. In turn this will lead to better coordinated healthcare, fewer repeated services, better informed clinical decisions and ultimately improved patient care.
Trenton has become a model for integrated health and well-being services and, as the country continues to argue about the future of healthcare what has been learned in Trenton over the past ten years offers a way forward.
“THT faces the future with renewed energy, financial stability, and an expanded understanding of what a healthy Trenton would mean for our community and state,” Paulson said. “We look forward to sustaining our partnerships, building new relationships and continuing this important work.”