Yamhill CCO selected as a “Bridging for Health” grant recipient

McMINNVILLE, Ore. — Yamhill Community Care Organization has been included among four health care organizations to serve as the inaugural models for community-based, collaborative efforts to improve population health by aligning public health, health care and other sectors.

“Bridging for Health: Improving Community Health Through Innovations in Financing” is a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

As a result of a thorough review process, Yamhill CCO was selected for the project by the Georgia Health Policy Center, which also selected:

  • Allegheny County Health Department in Pittsburgh, Penn.
  • Bexar County Community Health Collaborative, San Antonio, Texas.
  • Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville in South Carolina

The health policy center, which is affiliated with the Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, will coordinate the project, working with the four communities to further develop and evaluate innovations in policy, health care delivery and financing.

“We’re still working through the interim details of this new and exciting relationship,” said Jim Carlough, Yamhill CCO President and CEO.

“We were identified and invited by the Georgia Health Policy Center to participate in this Bridging for Health initiative, which is very rewarding and validates the community approach we are taking to solving a common goal and achieving outcomes. What this allows us to do is move our work forward with resources we may not have had otherwise. It’s also an opportunity to share what we’re doing here in Oregon, and specifically in Yamhill County, with other sites across the country.”

Carlough said that the Georgia Health Policy Center wanted to include an organization on the West Coast for the Bridging for Health project, and gravitated to Oregon because of the state’s long track record of health care innovation.

Yamhill CCO was selected because of its overall strength and success among the 16 coordinated care organizations that manage health care services for Medicaid in Oregon, and because of its unique formation by multiple community organizations, not just those in health care, collectively coming together with a common vision and mission.

According to the award letter, Yamhill CCO was selected based on “(a) strength, depth and diversity of membership as evidenced by the active engagement of the community’s major hospital systems, public health leadership, philanthropic and other important stakeholder groups, (b) current interest in developing and implementing a sustainable financing innovation, and (c) focus on health equity and efforts to improve the health of your community.”

“Yamhill CCO was really a grass-roots organization based on a community need to address access to health care and wellness opportunities,” Carlough said. “We started a brand new organization that really does have a diverse community board that makes the decisions about establishing and carrying out a new model of health care, and we carry the financial risk for those decisions.”

Yamhill CCO will receive about $70,000 per year, but participating in the program brings an even greater benefit for the community, in the form of technical assistance and interactive work among the inaugural sites that will advance our singular efforts.

“We know that social determinants, poverty and education among them, have a tremendous impact on health,” Carlough said. “Our opportunity here is to have access to national resources and consultation to help us move forward to address social determinants of health, particularly around health care financing, and how we pay for doing things together as a community.”

For information, contact Jim Carlough