Public Health Directions: Spring 2012

As of Fall 2011, Public Health Management Corporation goes green with online-only publication of our newsletter and our annual report.

Subscribing to our online publications is quick and easy! Thank you for helping us improve our environment by reducing the use of paper.

There are two convenient ways you can read our online issue of Public Health Directions.

For this issue of Public Health Directions, we asked four clients of PHMC’s Community Health Data Base (CHDB) how their organizations strategically use data from CHDB’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, which captures key information about health status, personal health behaviors and access to and utilization of area health services.

Rickie Brawer

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University, associate director, Center for Urban Health; assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine; core faculty, Master of Public Health program, Jefferson School of Population Health

  • Who We Are: A hospital and university dedicated to health sciences education, research and excellence in clinical care
  • How We Use CHDB Data: “One of the major ways we use data is to inform our strategic planning about community benefit. Hospitals are mandated as part of their nonprofit status to provide community benefit, to improve the health of the community we serve. One of my roles is to create a strategic plan that is based on findings of a community health assessment and leverages Jefferson and community resources to address community needs. CHDB data help us identify those needs.

    “We also use the data for program planning and evaluation, specifically for designing interventions in communities of interest. Using the data, students conduct qualitative and quantitative studies for their capstone projects.

    “CHDB data also are part of our teaching, integrated into the coursework. Our university is a CHDB partner and the data are available to all of our students.”

Ellen Williams

Crozer-Keystone Health System, administrative director, Community Health Education

  • Who We Are: One of the largest providers of health care in the Delaware Valley
  • How We Use CHDB Data: “Crozer-Keystone Health System has been using CHDB data since 1994. We use the CHDB data to look at trends in health status across Delaware County and compare them with state and national trends using Healthy People guidelines. Having access to the CHDB data helps us to plan our health outreach strategies as we strive to meet our goal of improved health status for our community. We also use CHDB’s data to look at several different areas of health in the Delaware Valley, including maternal infant and child health, access to care, wellness and fitness, responsible sexual behavior, improving cardiovascular health, early detection of cancer and more. We produce a biannual community health report card based on the data.

    “CHDB is unique; it has always been a resource that no one else offers. I often use CHDB’s online tool to find health information about specific areas or health concerns. The information helps us make decisions about how to address specific public health needs by providing services or collaborating with others on initiatives. It’s been helpful for many other projects, including writing grant proposals specific to our community and working with community coalitions. I also appreciate that CHDB takes into account my feedback when creating surveys and assists with data retrieval requests.”

John Izzo

The Mazzoni Center, program evaluation manager

  • Who We Are: An agency located in Center City Philadelphia that provides quality, comprehensive health and wellness services in an LGBT-focused environment
  • How We Use CHDB Data: “Most recently, we were able to use CHDB data to apply successfully to the Health Resources and Services Administration for a Health Center Planning Grant, which will allow us to apply for Federally Qualified Health Center status in the future. As part of that application, we had to conduct a big community needs-assessment and collect data about Philadelphia. CHDB made that process incredibly easy. It was crucial in our application. We looked at people who were in same-sex partnerships and we were able to see how many reported having primary care physicians.

    “We’ve also used CHDB data for program evaluation and quality management across our agency. Through that data, we can actually see what health barriers there are, who we’re serving, what we’re missing and how we’re going to have to expand our services to meet needs.”

Allen Glicksman

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, director of research and evaluation

  • Who We Are: An organization that aims to improve the quality of life for older Philadelphians or people with disabilities and to assist them in achieving their maximum level of health, independence and productivity
  • How We Use CHDB Data: “We use CHDB data pretty much every day. We primarily use CHDB data for planning purposes and then share our findings with others in the elderly care network. It helps us see where the need for care may be. We also use data for evaluation; it helps us see who in the area can be served by us. We also use CHDB data for the formal planning for the population we are serving.

    “And we use it for research. Right now, we have a National Institutes of Health grant that is based on the 2008 PHMC data set. We also use it for agenda building; it helps us build alliances in the aging network. We have helped small organizations with CHDB data they can use in grant applications. CHDB data help with both developing new ideas and supporting projects based on those new ideas.”

In Memoriam

PHMC affiliate The Bridge joins friends and family members in remembering its founder, Peter P. Quinn, who passed away March 3. A former transportation specialist, corporate public affairs manager and director of The Bridge, Quinn launched his effort to create a residential treatment facility for adolescents in 1970. He succeeded in 1971 with The Bridge and later started similar drug rehabilitation programs in West Philadelphia and, with the help of the US Department of State, in Thailand. The Bridge works to decrease substance abuse, promote recovery and healthy lifestyles and encourage successful community and family involvement among its adolescent clients. Quinn is survived by his wife Maryanne, daughter Maryanne, son Peter, two sisters and five grandchildren.

PHMC affiliate Joseph J. Peters Institute (JJPI) mourns board member Stephen Berk, assistant professor of psychology at Chestnut Hill College, who passed away February 2. He served on the board of JJPI for the last year. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and two sons, Jason and Matthew.

Staff Achievements

On February 24, Lee Carson, a research associate in PHMC’s Research and Evaluation Group, joined leaders across the nation at the White House for a policy briefing for emerging black LGBT leaders. Carson conducts PHMC research related to the LGBT community and has served as the president of the Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council for the last six years. The policy briefing provided the opportunity to interact directly with senior administration officials, identify opportunities to collaborate, and provide the White House and agency staff with feedback. Carson has worked in the areas of HIV prevention and substance abuse rehabilitation in the LGBT population for the past 13 years.


In January, Health Promotion Council (HPC), a PHMC affiliate, received a $30,000 grant from Susan G. Komen Foundation for the breast cancer Navigating, Educating and Supporting Together (NEST) project, which targets medically underserved Latina and Indonesian women in the Philadelphia area. HPC has actively provided health education and disease prevention programs to low-income and underserved Latina and Indonesian populations in the Delaware Valley since 1991. NEST’s community health navigators provide information, personal guidance, interpretation, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate support and transportation assistance, as well as follow-up assistance for women who need additional diagnostic treatment.

PHMC’s Interim House West, a residential substance abuse program for pregnant and parenting women, received a two-year $149,899 grant in January from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to implement a dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) program for adult residents. A research-based cognitive behavioral treatment, DBT helps participants learn to better understand, regulate and settle their emotions, to develop better interpersonal skills and to better tolerate negative feelings and feelings of distress.

Health Promotion Council received a grant in December for $93,000 from the North Penn Community Health Foundation for the continued support of the Wellness Initiative for the School Environment: Smart Nutrition and Activity Collaborative (WISE SNAC). WISE SNAC addresses childhood obesity by fostering collaboration among schools, parents and community partners to create opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity for students. The foundation awarded grants to seven local nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the health and well-being of low-income and at-risk populations in the North Penn community.

On February 2, Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of Independence Blue Cross Foundation, visited Mary Howard Health Center to present its staff and patients with a $50,000 check to support the Center’s work as part of the foundation’s Blue Safety Net program. The initiative supports nonprofit, privately funded health clinics in medically underserved communities in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Mary Howard Health Center opened in Center City in 1997, responding to a crucial need for comprehensive primary care, including behavioral health and social support services, for people experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.

On November 1, 2011, PHMC announced the creation of a new structure that works hand in hand with the organization’s strategic plan. The leadership includes five chief functions–operating, strategy, finance, human resources and communication–that report to President and CEO Richard J. Cohen and share leadership responsibility across the corporation. “As we created a new strategic plan for the organization, we needed to have a structure that could executive and deliver on that plan,” says Cohen. “We solicited input from the board and leadership at PHMC, particularly young leadership, and created a new structure focusing on a combination of strategic innovation, sound business practices and high-level services in order to grow and better serve more people in more communities.”

The strategic plan, which took effect January 1, 2011, includes six main areas of focus: public health issues, service to community, quality of service, infrastructure, financial viability and growth and organizational vitality. The structure supports that plan. “PHMC always evaluates anything it does with respect to its overall vision and mission,” says Jo Surpin, a consultant from Strategic Health Alliance who helped in the planning and restructuring processes. “We looked at the future direction of the organization with respect to the strategic plan, how the organization as a whole was evolving, and found that a lot of the issues were tied to structure.”

In keeping with the plan’s purpose, PHMC created the positions of chief operating officer and chief strategy officer. “The new roles were really based on how the programs and services being offered would come together,” says Surpin. Wayne Pendleton joined PHMC as its chief operating officer and Tine Hansen-Turton, a PHMC employee for the last 13 years, was promoted to chief strategy officer. (Read our Q&A with Hansen-Turton in this issue, and see the winter 2011–12 issue for a Q&A with Pendelton.)

“Chief operating officer and chief strategy officer roles help PHMC operate in a new and unique way,” says Anne Saporito, senior manager of organizational development at PHMC and the staff coordinator of the change processes. “They allow PHMC to clarify our organizational development goals and strengthen the scope of our services and impact on the community.”

The new model also includes an incentive structure for managing directors to develop internal opportunities for collaborative, integrative growth. “Our overall objective was to make change to meet the needs, not just for the sake of change,” says Surpin. “This new structure reflects PHMC’s practice of always evolving and looking at needs.”

PHMC Team Mission Statements

Operating Team Mission
To advance an expanding array of accessible, high quality, evidence-based public health and support services to an internal and external customer base through a commitment to growth, excellence, partnership, integration and entrepreneurship, as demonstrated by self-sustaining clinical and financial outcomes.

Strategy Team Mission
To work with the rest of the organization and innovate together to make sure PHMC keeps ahead of the curve and remains competitive locally, regionally and nationally.

Financial Team Mission
To bring capacity and financial strength to help PHMC fulfill its overall mission of creating healthier communities.

Human Resources Team Mission
To provide leadership for PHMC today and the future through a customer-focused and results-oriented approach.

Communication Team Mission
To tell the story, internally and externally, to help PHMC achieve its objectives of smart growth, leadership reputation, driving partnerships and a positive perception as strategically and intelligently opportunistic.

We introduced PHMC’s new strategic plan and structure in the last issue of Public Health Directions. Now, you get a chance to dig in more deeply to strategy at PHMC—something we call “strategy for all stakeholders.”

We are effective because, in all we do, we strive to consider and deliver to all the players. I’ve written here before about our win-win outlook, and considering every stakeholder’s role in our strategy fully embodies that perspective.

Who are those stakeholders?

Our employees are the 1,400 people who go out there every day to meet our clients’ needs. You’ll read about all we do to attract, retain and develop our employees, with a commitment to equity, opportunity and growth.

Those 1,400 folks come to work each day because of our clients. Learn about the cutting-edge initiatives to help ensure we know our clients, understand their situations, and refer them to the many PHMC services that can wrap around their needs. We know that the more our clients tap into PHMC, the more we can strategically respond to give them the full benefit of PHMC’s capabilities, so we are building new and innovative ways to give them easy access to our network of services.

The myriad organizations with which we work comprise our partners. In our Targeted Solutions column, we discuss how our portfolio of technical assistance capabilities represents—as a whole—the strategic foundation for an organization’s infrastructure. And our Community Health Data Base feature brings you four stories from partners who use our data to enhance their strategic work.

Finally, the organization as a whole is a stakeholder, represented by the structure that helps move PHMC forward. PHMC has a new organizational chart, but it’s not about how it looks on paper. It’s about a team that’s designed to respond effectively to meet our goals and make our mission come to life. When you read our cover story, and the accompanying interview with our Chief Strategy Officer Tine Hansen-Turton, you’ll get of sense of how this all comes together.

If you are reading this, you are one of our stakeholders, which means that you are a part of our strategy. Thank you for the critical role you play in helping PHMC do so much for so many.

Yours in public health,


Richard J. Cohen, PhD, FACHE
President and CEO of PHMC