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Priya Mammen - ERs as Community Centers

A summary of Dr. Mammen's project and ongoing progress updates

Professional Background: Priya Mammen is the Director of Public Health Programs and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. 

Project background: Priya will address how urban emergency departments can better position themselves to be a true community center, acting not only as part of a community health system, but as a tool for social justice and strengthening community fabric. Developing a model for community engagement, and initially focusing on the opioid crisis, this project will identify ways to decrease health disparities and redress inequities through the fulcrum of the emergency department. 

The research is aimed at answering the following question:

1. How best can we harness the power and position of the network of Philadelphia EDs to effect change and impact population health? 

Emergency Departments are an asset, and a safety net, and this research will support their position as such - using the lens of the opioid epidemic and focusing on South Philly and the Northeast, it will assess the community needs, gaps and barriers that may result in Emergency Department utilization, to develop a comprehensive approach on how to intervene.

The research will develop a programmatic approach to address social determinants of health for Emergency Department patients by adapting the concept of the community centered home to the acute care setting. Harm reduction concepts will be integrated with urban innovation techniques and social policy strategies to focus on the role of the Emergency Department in the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia.

The research will also examine urban focused industries, community organizations and social policy arms for whom partnership or collaboration with the Emergency Department could be mutually beneficial. The intention is to expand beyond the realm of the health system in which professionals have been working, to be able to impact effective and sustainable change through broader partnerships. 

The research completed in the Urban Innovation Fellowship will yield a robust report that enables Priya to pursue funding towards initial implementation strategies, exploring pilot projects and partnerships in conjunction with her findings. A shift of this magnitude is highly iterative, and the hope is to yield some starting points through in-depth, ongoing research. 

Project updates:  Check back for the latest outputs from the Urban Innovation Summit and ongoing throughout Priya's project.