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Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron Begins Work on Roadmap for First U.S. Accountable Care Community
Date:6/22/2011

AKRON, Ohio, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the intent to create a healthier community and lessen the burden of disease in Akron, the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) has launched its Accountable Care Community initiative at the conference "Healthier by Design: Creating Accountable Care Communities" held today.

Led by national and regional health and wellness thought-leaders, the strategic discussion is the first step in building a plan of health promotion and disease prevention that determines how to best deliver and provide access to quality care and services for the entire community. The ABIA initiative, known as Accountable Care Community (ACC), integrates area assets into a shared responsibility framework among regional institutions to enable improvement in population health, to close gaps in healthcare delivery, and to measure impact as innovative health strategies are implemented, according to Dr. Janine E. Janosky, Vice President of ABIA's Center for Clinical and Community Health Improvement.

"The purpose of creating an ACC is to develop a sustainable health model for the Akron region that will lessen the burden of disease, and achieve a level of success that can be replicated across the country," states Dr. Frank L. Douglas, ABIA President and CEO. "In implementing an Accountable Care Community, we will reduce health care costs and improve lives and the productivity of our community."

The ACC effort is at the forefront of developing healthier communities and has great significance in light of recent healthcare reforms at the national level and increasing prominence of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO).  An ACO is a network of doctors and hospitals that share responsibility for providing care to patients.

Taking this concept one step further, an ACC uses a collaborative, multi-institution approach that emphasizes a shared responsibility for the health of the community. By focusing on chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, asthma and hypertension, and integrating the efforts of health-focused community organizations, community wellness and quality of life increases. Additionally, ACCs lower healthcare costs and increase productivity thus benefitting the local economy.

The development of an ACC speaks to the principles that ABIA was founded upon, which includes the aspiration to be nationally distinct in improving health outcomes with a focus upon the medically underserved.

"The goal of the ACC is to create a sustainable health model in Akron that can then be adapted and delivered in other communities," says Janosky.

The initiative's steering committee continues to develop a white paper to further guide Akron's development of an ACC that will further expand the efficiency of budgets and resources, and develop research to improve health through community and practice-based interventions.

About the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) – an exceptional collaboration of Akron Children's Hospital, Akron General Health System, Northeast Ohio Medical University (formerly Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy), Summa Health System, The University of Akron and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation – is focused on patient-centered innovation and commercialization at the intersection of biomaterials and medicine. The strategic alignment of public and private support, accompanied with Akron's rich legacy in materials science, is working to pioneer the next generation of life-enhancing and life-saving innovation that will transform Akron into a model for biomedical discovery and enterprise and move the region toward a secure economic future by accelerating the creation of over 2,000 jobs during the next decade. For more information about ABIA, please visit www.abiakron.org.

Media Contact:
Scott Rainone
Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
330-572-7581, srainone@abiakron.org


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SOURCE Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
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