With a program as broad and encompassing as Live HealthSmart Alabama’s, the need for support from invested community partners is vital to ensuring long-term success and increased community buy-in.

In 2022, Baptist Health Foundation, a part of the Baptist Health System, signed on as a key partner to Live HealthSmart Alabama’s work, especially in the areas surrounding Princeton Baptist Medical Center.

“The healthcare needs that Live HealthSmart Alabama targets—diabetes, weight, high blood pressure, etc.—are big issues in our hospitals’ committees, especially around Princeton,” says Amy Allen, president and chief executive officer of the Baptist Health Foundation.

Partner spotlight

In considering supporting Live HealthSmart Alabama’s work, Allen says that the initiatives focus on the whole picture of health, from nutrition to diabetes screenings to sidewalk infrastructure, made it stand out.

“Other people have taken on bits and pieces, but there has never been an organization with such a coordinated approach. Their approach is all-encompassing: looking at built structure, looking at food insecurities and nutrition, etc. That’s what’s needed and what’s hard to achieve.”

Baptist signed on with Live HealthSmart Alabama to help augment the work being done, ensuring that residents have better and increased opportunities to take charge of their health in diet, exercise, and in health screenings and relationships with their local health providers.

“If you cannot afford your healthcare, and you’re going to the hospital for your care, it increases the overall cost of healthcare for the community,” explains Allen. “The hospital is the highest cost care setting that exists. The healthier you are, the lower the cost of your healthcare and the lower the cost of the healthcare for the community.

The work of Live HealthSmart Alabama and partners like Baptist Health Foundation looks to close that gap by ensuring that underserved communities are more aware of their health, through health screenings, and have the opportunity to address systemic issues like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity earlier rather than later.