Advancing Life Quality with Objective Research and Action
Episode 453

Jenna LeComte – Hinely, CEO at HARC, Inc.

Advancing Life Quality with Objective Research and Action

Can data and numbers improve health and change lives? Jenna LeComte-Hinely, HARC’s CEO, proves that you can, especially when you have a partner organization who can and are willing to deliver change.

Get The Latest In Your Inbox

SUBSCRIBE

Advancing Life Quality with Objective Research and Action

Episode 453

Best Way to Contact Jenna:

HARC

Social Media of HARC:

Facebook

Twitter
Instagram

Advancing Life Quality with Objective Research and Action with Jenna LeComte – Hinely, CEO at HARC, Inc. transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Advancing Life Quality with Objective Research and Action with Jenna LeComte – Hinely, CEO at HARC, Inc. was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast, where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring health care leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the podcast. Today I have the privilege of hosting Dr. Jenna LeComte – Hinely. She’s the CEO of HARC, Inc. HARC’s stands for Health Assessment and Research for Communities. She obtained her PhD at Portland State University in the field of applied psychology with an expertise in occupational health psychology. And she strives to keep workers happy, healthy, productive. The idea of data and evaluation is something that we all tend to cringe when we hear. But today we’re gonna dive into why it’s actually good and how it could really appropriately help the health of communities. When we think about the topics of social determinants of health and how we each want to tackle these, whether you be a provider organization, a public health organization or just an entrepreneur trying to add value to the ecosystem. Today’s conversation is really going to dive into how we can take a look at that and evaluations as a positive thing. Dr. LeComte – Hinely has served on the board of many nonprofits, including Joslyn Senior Center, Borrego Health and HIV Aging Research Project, among others. Her passion for making the health care ecosystem and giving are really inspiring. And I think you’ll enjoy today’s conversation. So, Jenna. It’s a privilege to have you with us today.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Thank you for having me.

Saul Marquez:
So what did I miss in your intro that maybe you want to share with the listeners?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Pretty, pretty comprehensive. So HARC is a non-profit. So in addition to sort of serving on the boards of nonprofits, I also run one. And that I think that dichotomy that seeing it from both sides has been really important. So we’re really a nonprofit that serves other nonprofits and other health and human services agencies, which is a very rewarding thing to do.

Saul Marquez:
I love that. Now that’s key. So what is it that got you interested in in the health care ecosystem to begin with?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Well, I’d say we are more focused on health, not health care. Health care is only a small piece of your overall health. The county health rankings model shows that clinical care only accounts for about 20 percent of ultimate health outcomes. The length of your life and the quality of your life. The rest is all about those social and economic factors, the physical environment, your health behaviors. So I typically think of myself as in the health sector, not the health care, because it’s so much broader, but.

Saul Marquez:
It’s a good distinction.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Yeah, yeah. And I got into it through research. I started doing research when I was 19 and I just loved it. It’s so fun to find the systematic way to find answers to your questions. But I always wanted to do meaningful research. So not which candy flavor do you like best, but research that actually helps people. So I started off studying doing research in gender discrimination. And from there I got into the occupational health psychology. So that’s the how to keep workers happy, healthy and productive. So that’s what I studied in grad school. And my thesis and my dissertation were both on the topic of Work-Life Balance and its impact on your physical and mental health. And so after that, I was looking for a job and I found a job as a director of research at HARC initially, I was director of research for about three years and I became CEO about four years ago. And it was really exciting to me. If I like, I could not have crafted a better job because it’s so fun to do. We have so many different clients and to do research one day on a fall prevention programs for seniors and the next day on a literacy program for kids. It’s so diverse that we really get this wonderful full circle picture of what is health in our community.

Saul Marquez:
I love that. And I could hear the passion in your voice when you when you talk about the different topics. And I’m glad that at the beginning of our discussion, you prefaced it with, hey, you know how health is big thing. It’s not just the point of care that we’re so used to focusing on. And so as you’ve conducted the work that you do, what’s been an insight or an outcome that you’ve helped your your customers achieve? That’s different.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
So HARC is really where data geeks, all of us and we’re really designed to be that sort of outsourced. So many small nonprofits want to be Evidence-Based, but they can’t afford to have a researcher on staff full time. So that’s where we come in to customize. And so that’s how we have this diversity of clients. And honestly, I’m not doing anything that changes lives. My clients are using the data that we give them to change lives, which is magical. And we’re so happy to be a part of that.

Saul Marquez:
You’re enabling the life enablers.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
That’s sort of a negative connotation, but it’s accurate.

Saul Marquez:
In a positive way.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Yeah. Yeah. So one of the things we do actually what half was launched for us, we do this huge community health survey of the Coachella Valley in Southern California and we provide that data back to the community at no charge. So anybody can use it. And I think what’s most encouraging and exciting is how some people have used it to change lives. And one of my favorite examples is Desert AIDS Project is a federally qualified health center and which see here in the desert. And this really illustrates that we do the survey every three years and the first time there was no questions about HIV. And does it AIDS projects said, I think we need to add one. So at the next survey, we added a question whether an adult had ever been tested for HIV just ever in your entire life. And we found out that almost 70 percent of adults in our region had never been tested for HIV and they didn’t know their status. And that’s terrifying given that we have an HIV prevalence that’s twice the national average.

Saul Marquez:
Oh really

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
So based on that Desert AIDS project launched get tested, Coachella Valley, which was this three year public health campaign, it was five million dollars. There were so many partners working together to get everybody tested. And for those who tested positive, connecting them to care. So they had us do some research on why are people getting tested and why are some others not. And one of the things that we found was super important. We talked to providers, we talked to people who had been tested for HIV and said, why did you get tested? And one of the top two answers was my doctor offered it. We talked to people who’d never been tested and said, why haven’t you been tested? And one of the top two answers was, my doctor never offered it. So it became clear that physician input is really important. So a really large component of the campaign focused on provider education rather than patient education. I mean, it’s always great if your patients are activated, engaged and asking for an HIV test, but it’s most important that the provider themselves is there offering HIV tests. So the campaign did more than 80000 tests. They identified more than 400 people with HIV and connected them the care. And they’ve seen a significant change in by the most recent survey, that number had dropped from about 67 percent of adults who’d never been tested to 53 percent, which is a good drop, but still very far away from the zero we’re hoping to get. So I think they’re one of my favorite ways that they use the data to really effect change. Identify people with HIV and connect them to care and reduce their chances of transmitting HIV to others.

Saul Marquez:
I think it’s wonderful. And listen, I mean, twelve percent or 13 percent drop is not anything small and high standards, Jenna because you’re like, you know, we’re still not zero. But I think it’s great.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
I’d just be happy that we’re conducting this survey again currently. And when the data comes back, I have my fingers crossed that it’s going to be less than half. There you go. And continued HIV testing is going to make such a difference that over half of our adults will have been tested at least once. That’s that’s my hope. I have my fingers crossed.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. I love it. Yeah. And, you know, having those those objectives that that you’re shooting for being clear about them is so critical. What do you think is the most common problem that that people run into when trying to address these types of challenges?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Well, I think one of them is if you’re truly going to affect community level change, it takes a lot of time and a lot of money. It’s something that doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen over a year. It doesn’t happen over two years. And often in terms of collective impact projects. People get discouraged that we’ve done all of this and nothing’s changed yet. But at a community level, it takes a very long time and sustained effort and sustained funding to make that sort of change. You can definitely impact the people in your program, the people you’re touching. That can happen right away. But to really change the fabric of your community doesn’t happen overnight. And I think people get discouraged because with evaluation, you feel like you’re doing all of these great things and then the needle hasn’t moved. And that’s very disheartening. But it’s a sign that you need to keep going. Not that you need to stop now.

Saul Marquez:
And who’s been somebody that’s that’s been influential in your life? And a guide that’s helped you find a way.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
That’s a very good question. I would have to say, my mentor from my undergrad days, she’s the one who gave me my first job in research and who encouraged me to go to graduate school and who encouraged me to stay in graduate school. When I called her crying about how hard it was an issue that if it was if it was easy, everyone would have a PhD.

Saul Marquez:
That is so true.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, I think, you know, she really put me on the refits path and I couldn’t be happier with where I am today.

Saul Marquez:
So now that’s great, Jenna. And so you’ve been making such a big difference for communities for, what, seven years now at the company?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Yes, they’ve been with HARC for seven years.

Saul Marquez:
So seven years, if you had to summarize your plan of how you get this done for the listeners, why would that make a difference? What’s the plan?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
I think. Often people come to me and say, we’ve been doing this great work. Can you evaluate it so that we have proof that we can show and share with other people because they have a stereotype, that evaluation happens at the end. And it makes me cringe because that’s not true. Evaluation is such an important part of any effort and it needs to be planned from the very beginning because otherwise you end up struggling to really measure meaningful change. And so I think having that data component in mind as you’re launching a project or an initiative or a quality improvement effort, you need to think about how are you going to measure the efficacy from day one and you need to be thinking about that throughout it so that you can measure because nobody wants to be. All of us are in this field because we want to help people. And nobody wants to be spending time and effort on something that’s not working. So you need to measure it in order to say, wow, look, this is really changing lives so that someone else can replicate it or expand it and change more lives. And to do all of that. You need data to tell that story.

Saul Marquez:
I think that’s such a great call out. And so for all of you, listening the importance of evaluating first to make an impact and it’s not where you want to go initially, but it’s something that matters. So if there is a second and third step to the plan, what would those be?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
It’s a continuous cycle. Right. cell research just leads to more research. Oh, it’s you get some answers. We get more questions. So if you’re seeing a problem, though, for instance, say, you know, you’re in accuracy. And for example, if you see the problem that parents of young kids aren’t getting their kids vaccinated. Well, first, you need to do research on why what is going on there, because if you make assumptions like if you assume you’ve got some anti-vax or attitude, then you’d have to change some attitudes. That’s a whole one intervention. But what if instead it’s that they don’t have transportation to your clinic? Right.. That is an entirely different intervention that you need to do. And if you just assume instead of doing the research, you might be pouring all of your time and energy and money into the wrong intervention. And so you’re not going to see any change because you did the wrong intervention. So first you need to do research to see what is at the heart of why we have this problem. Identify the causes, do your intervention and think about evaluation when you start your interventions so that you can measure how your intervention has changed and evaluate again so that you can say, OK, this part of my intervention worked. You know, maybe we offered them all a free Uber to come to the clinic. Well, that can seem to work, but when we brought it to their church, that worked great. So let my stock component take out the component that didn’t work and try again and try something new. Does that work if we bring it to their grocery stores? Does it work if we bring it to their schools and continuing that cycle of measuring and acting and adapting?

Saul Marquez:
I love that. It’s such a clear plan. Jenna and it folks, good intentions don’t always lead to great results.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
And you are so right.

Saul Marquez:
All right. I’m sure you’ve seen it time and time again.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
I mean, think about the Dare program was huge, federally funded. All kids went to Dare and then they turned out some research that it wasn’t actually keeping kids off drugs. Yeah. You spent millions, you know.

Saul Marquez:
And that’s tragic. You know, I mean, it’s tragic and good intentions don’t lead to good things. But if you evaluate first, you get creative. And, you apply the, this is gold right here. The plan that Jenna has given us, there’s an opportunity. What would you say is the reason why people need to be more tuned in to this and do this?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Well, you know, it’s sort of exactly what you just said. You want to be making change. None of us wants to be working and working and working at something that’s not improving lives or improving quality of life. So if you’re going to do that, make sure that the efforts you’re doing, it’s not just a good intention, it’s a good plan. And you have evidence that it’s working. That’s the only way we’re really going to improve health.

Saul Marquez:
Well, you know, and I think the folks listening to this don’t enjoy the hamster wheel. You like being on track and we like moving forward. So the traction that that’s going to be available here to you all through the plan that that Jenna has offered is key. So tell us, Jenna, you know, you haven’t always had it figured out like this. Tell us.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
I still don’t have it figured out.

Saul Marquez:
But we’re always learning, right? There’s always iteration. What’s that moment that was critical in in your transformation in how you do things now?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
I don’t think there is a single moment. You know, I think it is continual. Part of what makes HARC unique is that we have no off the shelf products. So everything is customized for the client and everything even within a single project. Nothing ever really goes as planned. So you say, well, we’re gonna do community engagement in this. Like once we we decided we were going to do community engagement for this nonprofit hospital that we were we were doing their community health needs assessment. We said, OK, we’re going to do a Twitter chat. And they got so excited because it was very non-traditional. Most of the time it’s we’re going gonna have forums and the community. So we were we were all jazzed up and I think we got four people to participate. It was not a raging success. And so you go back to the drawing board and you say, OK, that didn’t work. Let’s try something else. So it’s that continual learning that helps us. Community engagement is our specialty and it’s really hard. It’s an honor for the committee members are busy. They don’t have time to continue to tell you what they need. That sort of thing. And it’s tough. And so I think we’re just honestly learning all the time what works, what doesn’t. And I have to tell you, if you want to do community engagement, you have to offer food and you have to offer babysitting.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. Straight to the point.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Nobody wants to go to an event without food.

Saul Marquez:
And don’t forget the babysitting. That’s key, too. How many people would not show up if you did not offer that?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Exactly. You know, you want their input. So you have to offer with what they want.

Saul Marquez:
I love it, folks. Again, you know, you’ve heard it directly that Dr. Jenna LeComte – Hinely from HARC Data. It’s just the incredible work that they’re up to. Jenna, if folks want to connect with you and continue the conversation and how you guys can help them, what’s the best place?

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Absolutely. Our website is ideal. It’s harcdata.org We also, despite the failed Twitter chat, are very active on social media.

Saul Marquez:
You keep going to the drawing board and you make it happen. Yes.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It’s all our tag is always harcdata, so connect with us there. Connect with us on our website. Shoot me an email. My last name is really long, so maybe just go to the website and send it through there.

Saul Marquez:
And then you know what we could do Jenna actually is well, if you share your email with me, I’ll leave it in the show notes so that folks can go to their show notes and if they want to directly contact you via email. That’s great. But as you mentioned, the website’s always great harcdata.org. Wow. This has been a blast. Jenna, I really want to say thank you for sharing your passion and these valuable, valuable plans that you’ve laid out for our listeners looking for to stand in touch with you.

Jenna LeComte – Hinely:
Wonderful. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity. And I hope everybody gets a little bit more excited about data.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.

Quickly and accurately convert audio to text with Sonix.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Thousands of researchers and podcasters use Sonix to automatically transcribe their audio files (*.mp3). Easily convert your mp3 file to text or docx to make your media content more accessible to listeners.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2019—it’s fast, easy, and affordable.

If you are looking for a great way to convert your mp3 to text, try Sonix today.