The Action Teams of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia are industry and subject matter specific initiatives designed to create deep engagement within Chamber member companies. These focused cohorts of outcomes-oriented, industry leaders collaborate on substantive work that directly impacts their businesses and our community.

Guest Commentator:  Barry R. Freedman, President and CEO, Einstein Healthcare Network

How has Einstein’s Health Enterprise Zone been shaped by the national focus on population health and how will it impact the North Philadelphia community?

Greater Philadelphia is a knowledge-based economy, rich in top-rated academic and institutional research, renowned healthcare delivery and life sciences clusters. These important players in our economy have perfectly placed the region for continued development and expansion in health care innovation.

Yet, despite the region’s global position as a healthcare leader, there remains communities among our patient population that are living with significant health disparities and life expectancies well below the national average. There are nearly 300,000 Medicaid recipients in North Philadelphia, which represents 13 percent of Pennsylvania’s entire Medicaid population. These residents are more likely to experience deep poverty that affects not only their health but also their education, employment and income. About 31 percent of this population lives under the federal poverty line, twice the national average. The life expectancy of children in North Philadelphia is as much as 20 years shorter than counterparts in wealthier areas.

There are five hospitals, four health systems and two universities in the North Philadelphia area. These resources present a tremendous opportunity to address the health and socioeconomic disparities in North Philadelphia by fostering collaborations between government, health care providers, businesses and community stakeholders.

That is why Einstein Healthcare Network has formed a unique partnership between the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania Department of Education, the City of Philadelphia, Hahnemann Hospital, and Temple University to organize the North Philadelphia Health Enterprise Zone (HEZ).

HEZ’s innovative community-based approaches to healthcare will serve the population differently than in the past by developing and coordinating resources to improve and elevate the social, economic, and health outcomes for North Philadelphia. Doing so can help reduce service duplication, improve quality, and drive down healthcare costs.

Einstein Healthcare Network is a private, not-for-profit organization with several major medical centers and many outpatient care centers throughout the region, and is the largest independent academic medical center in the P