Disparities in hospital access across DC

HEALTH | The stark differences in health outcomes and life expectancy based on income, race, and geography across the District are reflected in varying levels of access to hospital care, with hospitals that primarily serve low-income residents facing business challenges. (Atlantic, 7/29)

Under the conditions of the Affordable Care Act, nonprofit hospitals that are tax-exempt and organized for charity are required to conduct a community-needs assessment at least once every three years… This year’s findings weren’t unlike those in the previous assessment. Residents of D.C.’s low-income communities are in need of four major things, the report suggests: mental-health resources, better coordination between various health services and care providers, more convenient and culturally attuned care, and greater health literacy.

Meanwhile, many facilities whose mission is to serve these communities find it hard to remain profitable enough to stay open and keep up with the latest technologies and treatments. Just as the demographic and economic landscape of D.C. has shifted over time, so too has the city’s healthcare industry. “When you’re in an urban area there’s a lot of competition,” Michael Masch, the CFO of Howard University—which owns and operates Howard Hospital—told me.

The full community health needs assessment conducted by a coalition of health care providers can be found here.

Related Events:  For funders interested in the social, economic, and other factors that contribute to wellness, consider participating in WRAG’s Healthy Communities Working Group’s annual retreat on August 29. And for all those interested in better understanding the root causes of health disparities in our region, register to attend the final Brightest Minds event of 2016 on October 21, featuring VCU’s Dr. Steven Woolf. Details here.

YOUTH/COMMUNITY | In light of Latino communities increasingly moving to the suburbs, the Inter-American Development Bank has shifted its philanthropic focus to include Maryland and Virginia, and has consolidated its giving to fewer, larger grants for organizations that serve Latino and Caribbean communities. (WAMU, 7/29)

– At their annual conference last month, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers announced a plan to expand their membership umbrella to include all philanthropy-serving organizations. WRAG’s Tamara Copeland explains why that’s a really big deal for the country’s philanthropic sector. (Daily, 8/1)

– CharityWorks, a longstanding fund at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, has announced that it is winding down. (WBJ, 8/1)

JUSTICE | Are The Hot Temperatures In D.C.’s Jail Violating Inmates’ Rights? (WAMU, 7/29)

JOBS/IMMIGRATION | Md. mistake could cost some immigrants their commercial driver’s licenses (WaPo, 7/31)

NONPROFITS/RACIAL EQUITY | Opinion: How Nonprofit Workers and Leaders Can Make a Difference as Racial Tensions Flare (Chronicle, 8/1)

One serious gravity fan became the first, and hopefully last, person to free fall 25,000 feet into a giant net this weekend.

– Rebekah