There are several factors that have helped with the success of this long-running collaborative group. One of the assets of HIA is the regularly scheduled monthly meetings with the decision makers of our partner organizations at the table. This regular interaction, around a shared mission, helps keep the work of the three task forces as a top priority of each organization involved. In order to keep this group active for so many years, we have found that these regular monthly meetings help to keep all of our partners engaged in the work.
The monthly HIA meetings are also a way for organizations to share resources and connections which is seen as a valuable resource and a reason to stay involved. In a time where many organizations are facing budget constraints, the sharing of resources is now more important than ever. Another asset to the structure of HIA is that our mission is directly tied to the CHIP/CHNA process that hospitals, health departments and federally qualified health centers are required to complete. This helps all partners feel they have stake in the work being done and keeps them engaged year after year.
Another key component of the success of HIA has been the backbone organizations of Bridgeport Hospital and St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Senior leaders from both lead organizations help co-chair HIA and convene the monthly meetings. Both hospitals dedicate staff time to the work of HIA, the task forces and the CHNA process. In addition, Bridgeport Hospital has staff from their Community Health Improvement Department that help support each of the three task forces and they play a key role in helping each group actively track progress towards their CHIP goals.