A Closer Look at Our AF4Q Leaders
For more than 20 years, Robin Rohrbaugh has worked in the heart of the social service world, and for the past eight years, she’s been serving the community through her role as Executive Director of Healthy York County Coalition (HYCC).
With a mission to “improve the health and wellness of our community through an ongoing collaborative effort,” Robin continually works with individuals and organizations to resolve community issues and to help identify solutions.
In 2007, Healthy York County Coalition united with Aligning Forces for Quality as its grantee.
“We chose to be the grantee because the Coalition has a history of bringing diverse groups together to improve the health status of our community. It made perfect sense. The relationship has been very beneficial for everyone involved, including the community and the Coalition,” she said.
“Because of our involvement with Aligning Forces for Quality, the Coalition has grown in areas like health literacy. A 2007 survey of 500 York County residents indicated that between 25 and 43 percent of patients with diabetes or heart disease have low health literacy. This means a lot of people are struggling to obtain, process and understand basic health information that’s needed to make informed health decisions. As a result, the HYCC and Healthy Adams County created Health Literacy Task Forces. I think we’ve been able to increase the health system’s commitment to make health communication more clear and we have taught many, many patients in our community how to be more active partners with their health care team,” Robin added.
As Executive Director, Robin coordinates the Community Health Assessments in collaboration with Healthy Adams County and a variety of health and human service organizations. These assessments have influenced AF4Q efforts as well. Recently, the 2012 results were published, and through collaboration with community leaders, the Coalitions decided to focus on addressing six areas (overweight and obesity, depression, tobacco use, workplace wellness, avoiding care because of cost and access to prenatal care in the first trimester) - some of which AF4Q will be involved in. The 2012 results can be downloaded here: York and Adams County Community Health Needs Assessment.
According to Robin, “The fact that one in five people are suffering from depression in York and Adams Counties stood out significantly. I don’t think the HYCC steering committee was surprised to learn we have behavioral health issues in our community, but to quantify it made it a little more alarming.”
Robin continued, “I see a very big link with the focus on workplace wellness and AF4Q. With AF4Q working more and more with employers, I think we’ll be able to work hand-in-hand. As a community, we can review workplace policies and make improvements where they are needed. For example, we can improve the food selections in vending machines or during business meetings, or change tobacco policies.”
Robin challenges employers to think about what they can do in their workplaces. What are the processes in their workplaces that may be impacting health? What specific conditions are making the health care costs for their workplaces go up, and how can wellness programs address those areas?
Towards the end of the interview, Robin was asked to take a step back and think about everything she’s experienced through her involvement with AF4Q. What’s been the most rewarding moment for her?
“There have been quite a few rewarding moments, but I would relate a lot of those moments to patient empowerment. Seeing the light bulb go on for patients is really exciting. To hear patients share their stories about how they made a change, or hear one patient tell another patient about the steps they should be taking to be more engaged - that’s when I know we’re making a difference,” stated Robin.
Finally, Robin shared a little more of her personal side. She and her husband are usually kayaking, hiking, bike riding or camping this time of year. But, she did admit there’s some shopping in there too. She also thoroughly enjoys spending time with her little sisters through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Lastly, her favorite healthy snack is a banana with peanut butter.