Our health innovations department focuses on population health innovations to improve the health and well-being of our patients, communities and members of the Geisinger family.
As innovators at the forefront of health, our efforts aim to supplement conventional medical care by incorporating screening solutions to determine risks that include unmet social needs, environmental impact, chronic health issues, age-appropriate health screenings and preventive care with recommendations, programming and services tailored to the individual.
With the help of our partners, we have deployed innovative pilot programs to:
- Impact health outcomes
- Identify technology-based solutions for assessing the social determinants of health, replication and scalability of programs
- Select vehicles for measuring health outcomes
- Create a Universal Health Risk Assessment that includes environmental factors, social determinants of health and lifestyle medicine.
Featured health innovation:
Fresh Food Farmacy®
National and local media have featured the Fresh Food Farmacy, including CNBC, CBS News, NPR, USA Today, Harvard Business Review and the Times Leader. For more information, visit Fresh Food Farmacy.
Fighting the opioid epidemic
Death rates from opioids in our region are four times greater than that of New York City. Here at Geisinger, we are changing that.
Since 2014, Geisinger has reduced opioid prescriptions by nearly half – slashing prescriptions from 60,000 per month to 31,000. Instead, we help patients achieve lasting pain relief with alternative options, including physical therapy and behavioral health treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy. All of our work focused on the opioid epidemic fall into three core work streams: prevention, pain management and treatment.
Currently, Geisinger has 43 workstreams focused on solving the opioid epidemic. The Steele Institute has been working to align all workstreams under one umbrella, to organize and measure them for success, and to reduce duplication when necessary. Our goals are to catalog all current initiatives based on an established framework of prevention, pain management and treatment, and to ensure the initiatives are consistent across all regions.
- Prevention. Our teams have developed 21 workstreams spread across our footprint, with a focus on minimizing risk. This comes through opioid alternatives, rigorous monitoring of opioid use and community education.
- Pain management. Eleven workstreams have been deployed across our footprint, with a focus on treating pain. This comes through appropriate use of evidence-based, comprehensive and compassionate acute and chronic pain management treatments. When possible, opioid alternatives should be used; when not possible, rigorous monitoring of opioid use should be in place.
- Treatment. We have 11 workstreams in place devoted to optimizing recovery. By linking patients to evidence-based treatments in both specialty and non-specialty settings and through close monitoring of those with opioid use disorder (OUD), we are recognizing epidemiological trends to progress recovery.
Our teams’ work, which continues to evolve into the future, includes screening methods; defining clear, standardized measures of success; and translating initiatives across all levels of care.
Free2BMom™ helps mothers and their newborns thrive and succeed during recovery from opioid use disorder. The program supports women in Columbia, Montour, Northumberland and Luzerne counties who are in recovery during pregnancy and two years after childbirth.
The program provides counseling, social support and medication-assisted treatment, empowering the mother and her baby to thrive physically, psychologically and socially. We work with community organizations to help patients with health and social needs such as transportation, job training, legal service, nutrition and exercise.
The program is open to all pregnant women or those who’ve recently given birth and who are enrolled in medication-assisted treatment, regardless of ability to pay.
Our leadership team:
Allison Hess, Vice President Health Innovations
- Maria Welch, Senior Wellness Specialist