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 respond to community health needs assessments (CHNA) through implementation plans mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Support for COACH has been provided by the Leo & Peggy Pierce Family Foundation from October 2019 – October 2020.

COACH leverages a multi-stakeholder collaborative by planning, implementing, and evaluating coordinated strategies to address key community health and social needs.

COACH provides a forum for continual shared learning across member institutions, allowing members of the COACH “collaboratory” to test novel approaches and share emerging best practices with one another in real time.

Current priority focal areas for COACH’s shared implementation strategies include addressing food insecurity and advancing trauma-informed care and organizational practices.

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, Population Health