The North Hartford Triple Aim Collaborative, the newest Wellville (as of October 2016), spent 2017 focused on establishing a strong, inclusive collaborative and investing in community-based efforts to address the social determinants of health.

With initial backbone support from Community Solutions (CS) and start-up funding provided by Trinity Health/Saint Francis, the local team worked together with Wellville advisor Rick Brush to launch the North Hartford Triple Aim Collaborative (NHTAC). The NHTAC includes the City of Hartford Health and Human Services, Trinity Health/Saint Francis, Connecticut Children’s Medical CenterUniversity of ConnecticutConnecticut Health FoundationUnited Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, the lead from the mayor’s North Hartford Promise Zone, and a neighborhood-appointed resident to keep the work grounded in community priorities. Gina Federico (contracted through CS) assumed the role of NHTAC director.

The NHTAC aspires to achieve three community-level outcomes – the North Hartford “triple aim”: longer life, greater well-being, and improved value of investment (impact per dollar spent). They identified these outcomes through an inclusive, multi-sector design process. After reaching out to a broad set of stakeholders to assess needs and build support, the NHTAC considered what top-level outcomes would make the greatest impact, who needs to be engaged, and how the work could be financed.

The collaborative also established a Leadership Council to further develop the NHTAC strategy, co-invest in the work, and make a public commitment to shared outcomes. The Council contracted with DataHaven, a regional data cooperative, to develop a shared data and measurement system that includes long-term outcome measures, leading health and social indicators, and ongoing tracking of neighborhood-level data.

Alongside the development of the NHTAC, its members initiated multiple health-related investments and projects in North Hartford in 2017. For instance:

  • Through its Well Being 360 initiative, Trinity Health/Saint Francis has committed to invest annually in community-based health improvement projects. In 2017, investments of more than $200,000 helped launch a diabetes prevention program (DPP) at the YMCA, improve food access and nutritionthrough the North End Farmers Market and Cooking Matters program, reduce the impact of gun violence by expanding the crisis response team at Hartford Communities That Care, and prevent opioid deaths by supporting community training and naloxone distribution by the Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition. In addition, Saint Francis also began to develop a community health worker program and social determinants of health assessment/referral process in its safety net clinics.

  • With funding from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Office for Community Child Health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center began training child care providers using a strengths-based approach to support local families. The goal is to improve outcomes for Hartford’s vulnerable children and families by strengthening the five protective factors known to enhance families’ capacity to promote their children’s healthy development: parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, parents’ knowledge of child development, and children’s social and emotional competence.

  • The NHTAC is working with residents, the Hartford Community Loan Fund, Hartford Food System, and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving on the “Healthy Hartford Hub” – a proposed mixed-use development to incorporate a full-service supermarket, health-promoting services, and potential housing or office space. This could be a transformative project in North Hartford, generating multiple social, economic and health benefits. It also responds to a significant need cited by community members; 75% of residents surveyed by the Urban Alliance last summer said they sometimes or often do not get enough to eat.

Overall, in 2017 the members of the NHTAC have built a trusting working relationship, establishing long-term outcomes and strategy as well as implementing shorter-term programs that make a difference today. The collaborative will build on this work in 2018, continuing to expand the participation, investment, scale and impact needed to achieve the triple aim over the long haul.