ThedaCare is launching a movement to reinvent health care by becoming a proactive partner in health, enriching the lives of all and creating value at every opportunity. It’s what the organization calls lifeinspired. The vision is ambitious, and one that is worthy of pursuit.
Seven out of 10 consumers feel responsible for managing their own health care, but feel they do not have the tools, according to a McKinsey’s Consumer Health Insights survey. People want to be inspired to live a healthier life and want to be empowered with the resources they need. They are also looking for health partners to come alongside them and share knowledge in an easy, convenient manner.
At the heart of lifeinspired is ThedaCare’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the communities served, empowering individuals to live their best lives. To achieve the vision, ThedaCare must understand the people in the population, be proactive in creating healthier lives, and provide care immediately when health issues begin.
“Most health systems were designed decades ago, for a generation since past,” said Imran A. Andrabi, MD, FAAFM, ThedaCare president and CEO. “The focus then was to reactively treat those who were sick or injured, with little thought to how to proactively keep everyone healthy.
Health care is not fit for the needs of today’s lifestyles. What we need today is something different and better – for our families and our communities. What we need is a movement to create a healthier future in the lives of every member of our communities.”
To achieve the vision, ThedaCare is committed to being a leader in Population Health, an approach central to lifeinspired. Population Health is about understanding the people in the population, getting ahead of health events before they occur, and providing care immediately when health issues begin.
Educate, Empower and Engage
ThedaCare started the lifeinspired movement internally in 2021 by uniting its team members in purpose and coming together around the vision to reinvent health care. To help expand the lifeinspired movement, ThedaCare is now offering ways for community members to get involved.
Some outreach efforts include:
- Opportunities to get directly involved as a volunteer or by attending an event.
- Being an advocate who shares the passion of creating a healthier future for all.
- Sharing empowering health and well-being tools and resources available to everyone.
There are also actions individuals can take to make communities healthier.
“If people take care of their health, it can be part of creating a powerful chain reaction,” explained Dr. Andrabi. “For example, if a person gets their annual wellness visit, does recommended screenings and is current on recommended vaccinations – all of that can help our communities. We can all help get ahead of health problems before they occur.”
To empower community members with tools, resources and information to find access to care, ThedaCare is launching ThedaCare.org/lifeinspired.
Expanding Health Beyond our Walls
“We understand about 20% of a person’s health and well-being is directly impacted by care that happens inside the walls of our clinics and hospitals,” said Dr. Andrabi. “By understanding and influencing the 80% that happens outside of our walls, we can help get ahead of health problems before they become serious issues.”
Approximately half of the 80% that influences health consists of the social determinants of health (SDOH), which can impact a person’s health, well-being, and quality of life. Examples of SDOH include:
- Safe housing, transportation, and neighborhoods
- Racism, discrimination, and violence
- Education, job opportunities, and income
- Access to nutritious foods and physical activity opportunities
- Polluted air and water
- Language and literacy skills
ThedaCare is looking to the community to join its team members and patients to lead the movement.
“Organizations throughout our communities are already doing incredible work,” said Dr. Andrabi. “We believe there is more help to provide, and more barriers to break down. It’s a collective responsibility of each one of us to create a healthier future for all, together.”
Food Boxing Event Shines Light on Food Insecurity
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, the leading local hunger-relief organization in the state,
estimates that 415,000 Wisconsinites regularly face food supply and hunger issues, with one in eight of those people being underage children.
“Food insecurity is about more than going hungry,” said Paula Morgen, ThedaCare director of Community Health Improvement. “It’s about the lack of easy access to healthy food or the inability to afford to buy it. It’s knowing where your next meal is coming from; that you’re going to be able to eat. It’s knowing that the food you’re eating and feeding your family is providing the nutrition you need to be healthy.”
Food insecurity can lead to malnutrition and chronic disease. The constant worry about where your food will come from can also cause trauma, mental health and social isolation issues that affect all communities.
After food insecurity was identified as a common, major concern for the people in our region, ThedaCare’s Community Health Improvement team explored ways to help address it. Last fall, ThedaCare teamed up with Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin and Volunteer Fox Cities to pack 1,000 boxes with non-perishable food for distribution throughout the ThedaCare system.
“We decided to engage ThedaCare team members to prepare the boxes as a way to increase their awareness of food insecurity and work toward improving the health of our communities outside of our hospitals and clinics,” said Morgen. “More than 200 ThedaCare employees, family members and friends came together at seven of our community hospitals to pack the food boxes.”
To continue addressing the need, and help more people, on Saturday, May 6, ThedaCare team members and community members packed 2,500 boxes with non-perishable food for distribution to patients in need throughout the area. Each box was filled with enough food for seven meals. The boxes contained items such as canned fruits and vegetables, spaghetti noodles and sauce, canned tuna and chicken and other staples. They also contained information about the various services that provide food assistance to people in local communities.
“Part of our goal of improving Population Health is working upstream of problems that cause health concerns,” explained Morgen. “That is the goal of these boxes – eliminate some food insecurity while helping our patients on their road to recovery. These boxes are relieving it temporarily, and we are providing information to people on where to seek help and letting them know it’s okay for them to reach out for help.”
The boxes will be provided to patients leaving ThedaCare hospitals and clinics to put food directly into the hands of anyone who needs help in the moment and a step up on the road to recovery.
“Each person plays an important role. And those positive steps can help individuals, and can lead to positive changes for the wider community,” said Dr. Andrabi. “We look forward to the future where every person has the opportunity to live their unique, best life.”
After food insecurity was identified as a common, major concern for the people in our region, ThedaCare’s Community Health Improvement team explored ways to help address it. On Saturday, May 6, ThedaCare team members and community members packed 2,500 boxes with non-perishable food for distribution to patients in need throughout the area. Each box was filled with enough food for seven meals.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including eight hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their unique, best lives. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts about a patient’s care. ThedaCare is proud to partner with Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network to enhance convenient access to the most advanced levels of specialty care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.
For more information, visit thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.