Collaborative Opportunities to Advance Community Health (COACH)

Funded by the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania and participating hospitals and health systems, COACH is an initiative that brings together hospital/health system, public health, and community partners to address community health needs in southeastern Pennsylvania. Facilitated by HCIF since launching in 2015, COACH has provided a structure for participants to explore collaborative implementation strategies as hospitals/health systems complete the most recent round of community health needs assessments (CHNA) and implementation plans mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Support for COACH has been provided by the Leo & Peggy Pierce Family Foundation from October 2018 – October 2019.

Goals & Objectives

In its first 18 months, COACH participants worked towards consensus on a shared strategy for collective adoption to address a specific need identified through the CHNA process.

The next 18 months through mid-2018 will be focused on implementation of that shared strategy by participating hospitals and health systems, supported by diverse community stakeholders.

COACH seeks to ultimately demonstrate the potential for significant population health impact through coordinated, collective action to establish effective systems for addressing the social determinants of health.

Key Successes & Outcomes

1. Sustained engagement of initial participants and continued engagement of additional stakeholders from consensus-building through implementation phases of the initiative.

2. Through a structured process, COACH participants have adopted the following shared strategy:

In coordination with partners in the region, implement a healthy food access pilot that

a. Institutes screening for food insecurity through a validated two-question survey tool administered in the clinical setting

b. Tests interventions to improve healthy food access for vulnerable populations and processes for referral to community resources

c. Tracks and shares common impact measures

3. COACH has established initial workgroups to develop the healthy food access pilot’s framework, facilitate better identification and connections to appropriate food resources, and explore interventions to be tested through the initiative.


Susan ChoiSenior Director, Population Health

Kelsey SalazarProject Manager