Working for the Betterment of the Community


The Glendale Healthier Community Coalition (GHCC) has recently re-launched its organization after a hiatus due to the pandemic. The re-launch comes with some changes that organizers hope will increase its impact on the local community.

Among these, according to Justin Henderson, director of Well-Being at Adventist Health-Glendale, is bringing various leaders together to share information and support each other.

“For example, three collaborating local hospitals – USC-Verdugo Hills, Dignity Health-Glendale Memorial Hospital and Adventist Health-Glendale – are each required to prepare a community health needs assessment report,” he said. “They can now work together to create one report.”

A community health needs assessment provides an overview of the strengths and resources available in a community to meet the needs of children, youth and families. By working together, the hospitals won’t replicate their efforts and instead can focus on the best ways to address these needs.

Henderson pointed out that a “revamp” of the original goals includes the role that GHCC will play. It will now work to help other team members identify goals and then find ways to reach them.

“There are now three core functions that have been modified (from the original launch): networking, creating collaborative projects and [sharing education and information],” he said. “The evolution is less driven by finding funding and instead on how leaders and organizations can evolve to addresss these needs.”

The participating organizations have also changed. A new steering committee is in place at Adventist Health-Glendale and, recognizing that the public wanted a shift in leadership from hospitals to community organizations, the YMCAs of the Foothills and of Glendale are taking on a more involved role in the GHCC.

“I think it’s really our longlasting commitment to the community that provides an additional benefit to the coalition,” said Vincent Iuculano, CEO of the YMCA of the Foothills. “We’re ingrained in the community. We’re recognizable, well trusted and well known.”

He detailed how he sees the YMCAs’ involvement in the coalition.

“We bring people together,” he said. “The Y can give organizations a voice at the table. I think our piece of ‘healthy living’ is different from the hospitals.”

Because the organization in its current format is new, Iuculano said that having a solid, strong administration is essential.“The Y will help with planning the administration, be an organizational piece,” he said.

He added that the GHCC needs the “buy-in” from major medical organizations, like-minded partners to add to and take from the coalition.

“Our hope is to do the heavy lifting,” he said of the Y’s involvement, “but once it’s going we’re hoping to co-lead in moving forward.”

He added that the initial goals include involving more organizations and leaders in the GHCC, different sectors that will add to the overall abilities of the organization.

“GHCC wants to help connect the services to the folks who need them,” he said. “It’s a brave new world out there – we just hope there’s enough excitement from industry-perspectives that are as excited as we are.”

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