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Ascension’s Chief Community Impact Officer on Providing Care Outside the Hospital

Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee

Author: Samantha Liss  |  May 22, 2019  |  HealthcareDive

Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee is Ascension’s first chief community impact officer, which means she is in charge of helping guide the hospital operator’s new strategic vision to reimagine the best way to care for those in communities across the country. Duperval-Brownlee, a family physician, is responsible for helping Ascension pivot away from its focus on hospital campuses to better care for patients outside hospital settings.

The company’s new position comes as nonprofit healthcare organizations are under increasing scrutiny. Earlier this year, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote to the IRS requesting an investigation into whether nonprofit hospitals are living up to their charitable obligations and asking for more information on the agency’s oversight of the facilities.

Healthcare Dive asked Duperval-Brownlee a few questions about her new role.

HEALTHCARE DIVE: You’re in a very pivotal role in a very pivotal time in healthcare, especially for health systems as they transition away from traditional hospital campuses. How do you begin that transition?

TAMARAH DUPERVAL-BROWNLEE: My role isn’t necessarily to be the one to make the decision. Our markets are evaluating and doing their own discernment to understand what the right size needs of the population are, then I come in and provide the perspective to that. It’s about being able to leverage what we know from community health needs assessment, population trends, working with our strategy team and the like.

I’ve likened it to changing the solar system. The center of that has been the hospital and the ambulatory spaces and what we can do for people and to people. But what we’re entering now, and I think it’s articulated by our strategic direction, is that the center is the person that we’re serving and ensuring that we are the preferred health partner for them so when they need to come into a site of care, we’re there. Read more: