Responding to our Communities’ Priorities: Equity and Social Health Needs

To recognize a national best practice, Iowa Healthcare Collaborative invites members of Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS) to share successful community engagement tools that inform the system’s Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) initiatives. This includes a collaborative Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) that integrates patient needs and community voices as well as a consortium of clinical providers, community service agencies, front-line workers, multi-sector groups and government representatives who conduct continuous quality improvement in SDOH work. Lessons learned during implementation and expansion phases of Presbyterian’s enterprise wide SDOH efforts (including the infrastructure necessary to implement universal SDOH screening across all sites) will be highlighted. This webinar will feature the importance and benefit of data from the CHNA process that drives the Community Health Implementation plans, equity approach, programming and use of community health workers (CHWs) and peer support specialists. Presbyterian team members will discuss the impact of addressing social needs and how CHWs and other programs are moving the needle in healthcare.


Funding for this course was provided by the Health Resources Services Administration, Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) 93.241).

Target Audience

  • Hospital leadership
  • Hospital/clinic care coordination staff
  • Social workers
  • Population health or quality improvement leads
  • Community coalition leads
  • Community partners
  • Public health stakeholders

Learning Objectives

  • Describe effective community engagement techniques to inform community health priorities and resource needs.
  • List the benefits and potential uses of data derived from a CHNA to steer SDOH efforts.
  • Summarize the implementation steps for assessing and addressing patient’s social health needs in the healthcare setting.
  • Discuss the role of CHWs in contributing to positive patient outcomes.
Course summary
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Meredith Root-Bowman, MPH, MPA 

Meredith Root-Bowman, MPH, MPA is the director for community health improvement with PHS. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch College and a master’s degree in both public health and public administration from the University of New Mexico (UNM). She is an institute for healthcare improvement (IHI) certified improvement coach. Her efforts focus on social epidemiology for population health management and improvement, integrated system and community responses to social determinants as well as behavioral health treatment and prevention needs.

She oversees the CHNAs and community health implementation plans in each of the ten communities in New Mexico where PHS has hospitals. Meredith also oversees evaluation and data collection for community benefit reporting and quality improvement of Community Health activities and programs. She continues to strengthen collaborations with multi-sectoral partners, including local and tribal health councils and governmental public health agencies. She chairs the LGBTQ+ Steering Committee at PHS and helps design and implement equity and social determinants of health strategies for the enterprise. 


Valerie V. Quintana, MA, PTP 

Valerie V. Quintana, MA, PTP is the director of community and clinical linkages with PHS. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communication studies from New Mexico State University. She has eighteen years of experience in the field of behavioral health and created her own business providing on-site wholistic care for social workers.

Valerie orchestrates linkages between Presbyterian, federally qualified health centers, CHWs and peer support specialists with community-based organizations and community wellness programs. Her goal is to create shared operations models that improve access to all aspects of healthcare, including behavioral health, for Hispanic, LatinX and Native American residents of New Mexico. She leads teams that are building innovative integration models for CHWs and peer support specialists, as PHS strengthens how it addresses health related social needs and behavioral health in their communities.


Kaitland Valencia, MS, CCHW

Kaitland Valencia is the manager of community and clinical linkages and is a CHW, specialist I for PHS. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and family studies as well as a master’s degree in health education at UNM. Her previous experience includes roles as a CHW at Presbyterian Kaseman Emergency and Behavioral Health Unit, a community support worker at UNM Psychiatric Hospital and a case manager with Youth Development Inc. 

With staff in both the Emergency Department and Presbyterian Medical Group settings, the CHW initiatives span across four priority areas: behavioral health, social needs, access to care and healthy eating/active living. Kaitland applies her previous experience in frontline service to relate, connect and support her team. 

No continuing education is provided for this course. The user will receive a certificate of completion upon completing the course.

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