Each year, the American Hospital Association honors hospital-led programs that improve community health with the AHA NOVA Award. Winners are recognized for looking beyond patients’ physical ailments, rooting out economic or social barriers to care, and collaborating with other community organizations.

Baton Rouge General Medical Center; Ochsner Medical Center; Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center; Women’s Hospital, Baton Rouge. The Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative connected 70 community organizations to focus on obesity, HIV/AIDS, mental and behavioral health, and emergency department overuse. A mobile farmers market, cooking classes and a patient navigator program are a few of the program’s successes.

Florida Hospital, Orlando. Turning around a small town known for poverty, illiteracy and dangerous environmental conditions has been the goal of the Bithlo Transformation Effort since 2009. Florida Hospital joined the team in 2010, providing donations, engaging health providers and leveraging its community, business and vendor relationships.

PIH Health, Whittier, Calif., and Kaiser Permanente Downey (Calif.) Medical Center. When the two health systems learned that 27 percent of adults and 25 percent of children were significantly overweight in their community, they launched Activate Whittier to encourage healthier lifestyles. Successes include 22 smoke-free parks, healthful choices in vending machines, and a 5-mile recreational trail.

Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Albuquerque, N.M. With its Community Health: Healthy Eating program, Presbyterian helps residents in a low-income, semirural area to access healthful, affordable groceries. While getting fresh fruits and vegetables into the hands of families, the program also supports local farmers in building an economically stable community.

University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center and Rochester Regional. When a survey found that half of area adults age 35 and older had high blood pressure, the two systems launched the Blood Pressure Advocate Program. Local residents trained as community health advocates work with patients to lower their blood pressure through diet, exercise and smoking cessation.