Collaborating to Reach Vulnerable Populations: Explaining Akron’s Progress on Health

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<p>The residents of Akron, Ohio, face health problems seen in many other Rust Belt cities: high rates of obesity and other chronic conditions, a persistently high infant mortality rate among African Americans, and an epidemic of opioid addiction. But as with the other U.S. regions we’ve been examining in our case study series, the Akron area has made some impressive health gains in recent years even while facing a host of challenges.</p><p>Along with Stockton, California (which we profiled last month), the area of northeastern Ohio centered by Akron stands out in The Commonwealth Fund’s <em>Scorecard on Local Health System Performance </em>for having improved on more measures than any other U.S. region.<em> </em>Akron dramatically expanded access to care by successfully leveraging Ohio’s Medicaid expansion, and local health systems have achieved reductions in potentially avoidable hospitalizations and unplanned readmissions by strengthening primary care.</p>
<p>Profile authors Martha Hostetter, Sarah Klein, and Douglas McCarthy describe efforts by local government agencies to mobilize health care providers, health plans, nonprofits, and others in efforts to improve health care and inject health considerations into decisions on education, transportation, and other key issues.</p> Read the case study