Gerber Memorial Builds Stronger Communities by Connecting Neighbors in Need
Fremont- September 13, 2017 – Neighbor2Neighbor is a new community partnership between local organizations and Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.
Neighbor2Neighbor (N2N) connects Gerber Memorial resources with community organizations to create a support structure for members within the organization. The program educates and empowers community partner volunteers to provide basic support for members within those organizations who are in need, so they can focus on healing rather than worry about everyday duties.
N2N is an adaptation of the Congregational Health Network out of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn. After 4 years of growth, early hospital research data showed a 50-percent decrease in mortality rate, a 20-percent decrease in hospital readmissions, and a savings of over $4 million in billable cost to the hospital.
Once an organization partners with N2N, the organization appoints a liaison who enrolls members and volunteers to provide such things as mowing the lawn, taking care of pets, providing a meal, driving and other non-medical needs the member may have. If the community partner organization has a N2N member admitted into the hospital, SHGM can connect with the member to see if they have any individual needs that need to be met.
“People simply heal better when they feel a sense of connection, compassion, and care from people within their own community,” said Stephanie Kooistra, community health program specialist at Gerber Memorial. “The more we can engage patients to be partners in their own care, the evidence shows that the better and faster their recovery. Neighbor2Neighbor is one way Gerber Memorial and our staff are helping bring our community together so we can better connect with families in need.”
In addition to member support if a hospital stay should be necessary, Neighbor2Neighbor also provides free screenings and monthly health education classes for community partner organizations. These sessions cover topics chosen by the community partner organizations such as CPR training, diabetes education, blood pressure screenings, healthy eating, etc.
“Gerber Memorial’s Community Health team is on a mission to support interested organizations or groups in improving the health of their community members as well as strengthening their network,” Kooistra said. “We are excited and passionate about serving as a resource to Newaygo County. By working together, we can build a stronger community.”
To join Gerber Memorial’s Neighbor2Neighbor network or for more information, call 231.924.3073.