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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Florida International Faculty Part of Team Winning GE Health Challenge

Two faculty from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work are part of a collaborative that was recently awarded funding through the GE HealthCities Leadership Academy’s Open Innovation Challenge.

A part of GE’s healthymagination commitment, the HealthyCities Leadership Academy is a new program to mentor and support leaders in their communities as they develop and support new strategies to tackle population health challenges. The goal of the initiative is for community and business leaders to work together to help the cities, towns and communities where they live and work to address significant health challenges.

ben-amick tianyan-hu

[Photo: Dr. Benjamin Amick (left) and Dr. Tianyan Hu]

Nine winners were selected throughout the country, each receiving an initial award of $25,000 in prize money to help develop population health improvements through partnerships with public and private entities. Each will also be eligible for a final prize award of $250,000 after a year of collaborative learning and support.

The winning proposal focuses on reducing diabetes in West Kendall, a growing area in the Miami suburbs. More specifically, it strives to enhance the role of the Healthy Hub, a free, one stop screening and referral-to-care kiosk. The Hub uses the American Health Association’s Life’s Simple 7 assessment to generate a health score using biometric information gathered by a nurse. Currently many of the Hub visitors are at risk for diabetes and this proposal aims to intervene with those pre-diabetic patients to improve both their clinical and personal health outcomes.

This collaborative is led by West Kendall Baptist Hospital, which is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization in the region. Situated on a 30-acre property adjacent to the proposed Kendall Town Center development, the hospital supports a vision of West Kendall as a convenient central hub where area residents can live, work and play. Through its “Healthy West Kendall” initiative, the hospital encourages residents to achieve the goal of becoming the “Healthiest Community in Florida.” Other partners in this collaborative include LifeWallet, the Health Council of South Florida, and the Health Foundation of South Florida.

The FIU Stempel College faculty working on this project are population health researcher Dr. Benjamin Amick, Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, and health economist Dr. Tianyan Hu, Assistant Professor in the same department. Their role is to help with the pilot project evaluation and to help build the engagement with the business community in West Kendall to support population health improvement.