- On the Board of Directors for Qsource, a recognized leader in developing, implementing and evaluating programs designed to improve the value of healthcare systems.
- Board Chair of the Clark County Family YMCA and a volunteer at the Louisville Health Advisory Board Community Coordination of Care Committee.
- Enjoys traveling, seeing a good movie, participating in walk/run races and spending time with family and friends.
- 2019 Hosparus Health Leadership in Healthcare MediStar Nominee
Medical News: How have you made a difference in our healthcare community?
Teresa Couts: The UAW-Ford Community Healthcare Initiative and the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative (KHC) has made a difference in our healthcare community. I have created a sustainable funding source to ensure that the KHC’s quality reports are distributed to over 5,000 providers giving them a tool to compare their performance against local and national benchmarks.
I secured funding to create the KHC’s public transparency web site, GoHealthShare.com, giving the community a resource to find a provider, provide education and ultimately improve the overall health of our community.
I served as one of the contributing authors of the KHC’s opioid toolkit that is a resource for employers as a guide to assist them through the opioid crisis plaguing our state. Our local UAW-Ford team rolled out the Campaign of Hope, both as an employee and community-based program to address substance use.
I am working with other health organizations to address the essential needs of housing, transportation and food insecurity to affect health. I assist in planning community forums on relevant healthcare topics to inform and educate our constituents and the community.
MN: Please describe a specific result driven by your work.
TC: The Opioids and the Workplace: An Employer Toolkit for Supporting Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery distributed April 2019 gained national recognition. The toolkit is widely used among employers, governments and nonprofit organization. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, State of Alaska, The Cabinet for Health & Family Services Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities Division, Michigan Employee Resource Network and Greater Detroit Area Health Council have adopted the toolkit. Presentation of the toolkit at the Kennedy Forum, Rx Summit, KYSHRM, Benefits Forum & Expo and employers both locally and nationally. The toolkit is influencing the opioid crisis in our nation.
MN: How are you paving the way for future leaders?
TC: KHC has participated in practicum students learning in the workplace. Personally, by mentoring several young women who are in college obtaining their degrees. I have mentored several people working on their doctorate degrees. By inspiring, engaging, and supporting the people around me to fulfill their goals and vision. I connect people with others in the community that can assist them.
MN: Looking back on the past year, how has the healthcare system changed and what is the medical community doing to adapt?
TC: As some of the largest employers in our region, they are positioned to change the health culture of our entire community. The healthcare system is moving from a volume-based to value-based payment and delivery model.
Social factors and demographics are driving healthcare toward a patient-centered approach that prioritizes prevention. Patient hospital stays have been decreased. There is more focus on outpatient services. Technology advances have driven many of these changes. The physician community is focused on a positive patient experience. As more consumers get engaged in their healthcare, they are looking at physician ratings and what others are saying. Having a good reputation is important to physicians.
MN: What is the biggest challenge your organization will face in the upcoming year?
TC: The biggest challenge for the KHC in the upcoming year is having the bandwidth to address all the initiatives people would like for us to work on in the Greater Louisville area and across the commonwealth. The KHC is the only multi-stakeholder organization in Kentucky consisting of 65 diverse members. Our membership has a range of initiatives they would like KHC to address.
KHC has existed since 2003 starting with two executives and now has grown to two executives and four employees. To address the challenge of bandwidth the KHC Executive Committee during a strategic planning meeting narrowed the KHC’s focus to address healthcare affordability, mental health and substance use disorder, connecting these initiatives to the social determinants of health.