Nashville School System, in Partnership With Vanderbilt Health, Receives National Award

The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) honored Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) with its Redefining American Healthcare Award at a ceremony in Nashville on October 20, 2023.

MNPS is one of the nation's largest and most diverse school districts, with 14,000 teachers and staff educating more than 80,000 students in Metro Nashville-Davidson County. Committed to the health and wellbeing of its employees, MNPS has taken steps to remove access and cost barriers for its teachers and staff. At no out-of-pocket costs to the employees, the school system partnered with Vanderbilt Health Employer Solutions (VHES) to offer MyHealth Bundles. The program addresses high-cost, high-incidence conditions such as weight loss, maternity care, hip and knee surgery, hip and knee osteoarthritis, shoulder pain, select spine surgeries, cochlear implants, kidney stones and substance use disorder.

"At MNPS we firmly believe that providing exceptional benefits is pivotal to truly valuing and taking care of our dedicated educators and staff,” said Board Chair Rachael Anne Elrod. “Their wellbeing is our success, and we appreciate the recognition of the Healthcare Leadership Council of the efforts of the MNPS Board and staff to create opportunities for our team to access high-quality support.”

“When we learned more about this program, it was apparent that it addresses multiple national health priorities,” said HLC Executive Vice President Michael Freeman. “It is showing dramatic results not only in pounds lost, but in the impact on illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. It is a shining example of what coordinated care should be, assisting patients with care navigation. It is enhancing health equity by making these services easy to access, and at no cost to employees.

"We believe that other organizations can replicate what has been done here,” he added. The HLC created the award to recognize best practices and programs that optimize care for vulnerable patients. Award recipients are organizations developing and activating cost-effective, measurable community programs promoting a patient-centered approach to care that considers outside social factors to achieve the best outcomes.

A Successful Collaboration

“MNPS worked to address critical health issues facing their workforce, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and prenatal care, in partnership with VHES. The success of that partnership cannot be overstated,” said Tennessee Congressman John Rose.

"We are grateful for our long-standing partnership with MNPS," said David Posch, executive vice president for VUMCs Office of Population Health. "It's an honor to care for the dedicated public school teachers and support staff in Davidson County. They deserve all we can do to help them be healthy and vibrant in their work; they are a backbone of our community preparing our children for the future."

Sarah Carpenter, a math teacher for MNPS, provided a testimonial of her experience using Vanderbilt’s MyHealth Bundles for weight loss. “I started looking into surgical weight loss a couple years ago but it wasn’t something offered through other employers,” she said. Carpenter was amazed to find out she was not responsible for any of the cost due to the school system’s partnership with VUMC. She was assigned a patient navigator and reported a seamless experience.

Learn more about the Vanderbilt Health and MNPS partnership in the Bundles Impact Report.

The recent ceremony to honor Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) with the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) Redefining American Healthcare Award included (L-R), Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell, MNPS Board Chair Rachael Anne Elrod, MNPS Benefits Director David Hines, VUMC’s executive vice president of Population Health David Posch, HLC’s executive vice president Michael Freeman and HLC’s Regional Director Brad Crone.