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ACO & Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition® Spring 2017
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Difficult, but Rewarding Work of Public-Private Partnerships to Address Health Issues
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Difficult, but Rewarding Work of Public-Private Partnerships to Address Health Issues

Laura Joszt
Panelists on day 1 of the ACO & Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition® discussed the challenging work of creating public-private partnerships, and how these initiatives can address issues to improve the health of a population.
A public-private partnership in Northern Nevada is combining genotypic, phenotypic, and environmental data to improve population health for an area that had poor health outcomes. In a presentation and panel discussion at the ACO & Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition®, held May 4-5 in Scottsdale, Arizona, attendees learned about successful public-private partnerships that are improving population health and the challenges of setting up and implementing these partnerships.
Anthony Slonim, MD, DrPH, president and CEO of Renown Health and chair of the Coalition, moderated the panel discussion, which included 2 speakers from Renown. In September 2016, Renown implemented a unique partnership with the state’s Desert Research Institute and DNA testing company 23andMe.
Within 48 hours of opening enrollment, 10,000 people had signed on to have their genetic information collected at no cost as part of this initiative, .
The area where Renown and DRI were located was perfect to implement a population health and genetic study, explained Joe Grzymski, PhD, senior director of the Applied Innovation Center at DRI. Nevada is a mostly empty state and in Northern Nevada, Renown is the only tertiary facility in 11 counties. The area that Renown covers is equivalent to New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
In addition, this area has very poor health outcomes with significant instances of malignant cancers, such as pancreatic and liver cancer, and a high age-adjusted death rate for cardiovascular disease.
“It was the ultimate strategic planning process,” explained Slonim. For example, with higher rates of cancer in the area, Renown could tell if it might need more surgeons in 5 years to care for the population.
More than that, though, the participants are getting something back, Grzymski said, because they are receiving the results and being engaged with to modify their behaviors as a result of what the test finds.
The next step in the initiative is to expand to 100,000 people in 5 years and add a genetic counseling focus.
“This is something that we hope will end up going back into the community through investments in everything from rural access to care to new R&D given our own specific problems,” Grzymski said.
He then joined a panel discussion with his colleague Christos Galanopoulos, MD, MBA, MSc, FACS, vice president and medical director for the Renown Institute for Cancer; Ross Owen, health strategy director at Hennepin County, Minnesota; and Susan Mathieu, program manager for the Accountable Care Collaborative at Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

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