Thursday, November 17, 2011

City and Cigna Collaborate to Host Richmond Communities of Health Forum

Through a collaboration with Cigna, the city of Richmond hosted a Communities of Health Forum - Better Together: Collaborating to Achieve a Healthy Richmond, yesterday at the Omni Richmond Hotel. The goal of the forum was to identify and prioritize high-leverage and sustainable actions to further enhance existing programs and eliminate key barriers to health, including social determinants of health.

“Upon taking office, I quickly became aware of the disparity in health care resources and outcomes for many of Richmond’s most economically challenged residents. The discussion and information gathered within this health forum will further aid my administration’s focus on the specific needs of Richmond residents,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I would like to thank Cigna and Dr. Frank Brown for their partnership with the city of Richmond and their commitment to improving communities by addressing health disparities.”

“We know that it is important to work closely with communities and local leaders to identify problems and work together to find solutions that will lead to improved health for the citizens of Richmond,” added Frank Brown, M.D., market medical executive for Cigna's Mid-Atlantic region. “We are pleased that we can collaborate with the city on this dynamic social initiative to change healthcare.”

During yesterday’s forum, attendees discussed the top five recommendations from Mayor Jones’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy and explored opportunities of building support and engagement amongst residents, businesses, and non-profit communities. The forum detailed the next steps of developing and sustaining a healthy Richmond to include the detailing of needed resources, importance of preventative healthcare and expanding the capacity of service providers. Forum participants will discuss the implementation of these action steps during future meetings.

The Communities of Health Forum is part of Mayor Jones continued effort to improve the health and well being of city residents. The Mayor has launched several city initiatives, commissions, and task forces including the Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Commission; Breast Feeding Commission; Food Policy Task Force; and the recent Healthy Richmond Campaign.