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Atrium Health Invests $10M in Affordable Housing Plan

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   June 05, 2019

The Charlotte-based health system continues to push for care improvement by addressing the social determinants of health.

Atrium Health committed $10 million to affordable housing initiatives in the Charlotte area, seeking to counter the "lasting negative impact" of poor housing conditions on patient health, according to a press release Tuesday.

Like other healthcare organizations, the North Carolina-based system is angling to address the social determinants of health (SDOH) affecting its patients, referring to stable housing as "one of the most important prescriptions for a healthy life." 

"This $10 million commitment towards affordable housing builds upon Atrium's existing efforts to enhance the quality of life for those in our community, including our own teammates," Atrium Health CEO Eugene A. Woods said in a statement. "This is what our mission of health, hope and healing is all about."

Related: Kaiser Tackles Social Determinants of Health Through EHR Interface With Community Organizations

Despite the collapse of Atrium's merger plans with UNC Health Care last spring, the Charlotte-based system has remained active pursuing business partnerships in recent months, finalizing a 'strategic combination' with Navicent Health at the start of year and forming an academic health system with Wake Forest Baptist Health in April.

Tuesday's announcement also comes two weeks after the system announced plans to incorporate health services into its housing investments through the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund (CHOIF).

Atrium's primary partner is Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the fund manager for CHOIF, which has set a goal to raise $50 million for 1,500 affordable housing units in Charlotte.

The planned initiative was greeted by Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and other community leaders in press statements.

Related: Health Plan Addresses Social Issues With Data

Affecting SDOH has come into focus in recent months as health systems and payer organizations seek to provide care options to patients outside of the traditional hospital complex.

An initiative launched by Health Care Service Corp. and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Institute in February seeks to assist residents in Chicago and Dallas who live in "food deserts."

Similarly, as part of its continuing push into healthcare, Lyft announced the expansion of its grocery access program to more than a dozen cities across the country in late April.

Related: 5 Ways Social Determinants of Health Affect the Revenue Cycle

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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