Saratoga County’s health challenges historically center on social determinants contributing to health inequities affecting the community’s well-being. Saratoga’s social determinants include a high rate of income inequity and gaps in health, quality of life and education. Believing that tackling their community’s pressing health-related issues collectively could reduce health inequity, in 2020, Saratoga Hospital Community Health Center ventured into a new “systems thinking” philosophy, creating a framework with community partners to design sustainable solutions.
Saratoga Hospital CHC became one of four national cohorts in Communities of Excellence 2026. COE is based on the Baldrige Communities of Excellence Framework, the only congressionally recognized program for performance excellence at a community level. Together, staff established cross-sectorial systems opportunities to narrow gaps in understanding while identifying skills and resources to address health inequities.
Community leaders from economic, educational and environmental/social arenas participated in the COE steering platform. Innovative problem-solving and partnership became the cornerstone of their approach to tackling key health disparities. Saratoga COE identified community burdens in the arenas of accessible and affordable transportation, supportive mental health services for youth and transitioning people out of poverty with training opportunities for higher-wage jobs while exploring the burden of the childcare crisis.
Their collaborative partnership leverages the strengths of individual organizations for enduring health opportunities for all.
For more information, contact Kathy McNeice, BA, MHed, associate director, at 518.886.5606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.