Healthcare and community-based organizations, such as parks and recreation, share the common goal of improving the health of the communities served. Efforts to strengthen coordination and alignment between traditional healthcare (for example, hospitals and health systems, independent medical practices, health payors) and community-based organizations, collectively known as “Community Integrated Health Strategies”, is an increasing trend, and are beneficial because they:

  • Build on complementary skills and utilize expertise within the community to fill the gaps in needed services
  • Offer patients assistance outside of the healthcare setting in changing unhealthy behaviors
  • Coordinate and improve access to community-based preventive and chronic care services by assisting community programs and services in reaching people for whom their programs and services were designed

Since 2018, NRPA, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been working with several local park and recreation agencies in efforts to improve linkages between traditional healthcare organizations and parks and recreation through the development of an electronic health record (EHR) referral pathway. This referral pathway aims to identify patients with chronic conditions such as arthritis and refer them to physical activity evidence-based programs offered through local parks and recreation.

Download Electronic Health Record referral process Guide


Past Grantees: 2018

  • Shreveport, LA: Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport (formerly University Health Shreveport), Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Westminster, CO: City of Westminster Parks and Recreation, Arbor Family Medicine, St. Anthony North Family Medicine and Westminster Medical Clinic

Current Grantees: 2019

  • Liberty, MO: Liberty Parks and Recreation and New Liberty Hospital
  • Newport, OR: Newport Parks and Recreation and Samaritan Health Services


For more information, please contact


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