- Strategic Planning - HAI was initially formed to help establish a single, integrated strategic health plan for the the region. The Southwest Virginia Health Authority and HAI participated in the development of The Blueprint for Health Improvement and Health-Enabled Prosperity, adopted by the Authority on May 13, 2009. HAI has also assisted other organizations, such as CareSpark and OneCare of Southwest Virginia, in strategic planning.
- Resource Development - Essential to the vitality of HAI, to community partner programs and to overall program sustainability, is our work to develop resources including funding for improving health within the region. This effort includes the review, development and submission of appropriate grants and requests to foundations and other sources for private gifts. These efforts are made on behalf of HAI and also partner organizations, such as a successful HRSA grant to the Health Wagon. To move towards sustainability, a fund has been established within the UVA-Wise Foundation, Inc to accept private gifts on behalf of HAI.
- Data Collection and Analysis - A central function of HAI is the continuous development and management of data and information that can be used by the Institute, the SWVHA, and organizations and communities across the region as they seek to develop programs, and improve health outcomes. HAI works with partners such as the University of Virginia's Division of Public Health Sciences and Weldon-Cooper Center.
- Outreach Programs - An analysis of the region’s health reveals the need for the continued development of screening and prevention programs, health outreach and education events, health workforce development as well as efforts to extend specialty care in many underserved regions. To that end, HAI has been a part of efforts designed to increase cancer screening and prevention efforts, physician, nursing and pharmacist professional development, the expansion of telemedicine capabilities and regional efforts to increase specialty clinics in remote locations.
- Community-based Participatory Research Standards – Improving health outcomes within Central Appalachia requires advancing opportunities for applied research based within Appalachian communities. Too often in the past, research was extractive with data, credit and resources leaving the area. To ensure new standards of applied research within Appalachia, HAI is exploring models for participatory research that include: listening to communities, the joint formation of research questions, a strength-based approach, clear partnerships within the region, equitable grant allocations and a defined process to share outcomes and credit among partners. The challenge for HAI is to work with national models and engage researchers in new ways to advance scientific inquiry within the region.
- Communication – As a think tank, sharing ideas is a value of the highest priority to the HAI. In order to stimulate dialogue, build collaboration and promote innovative thinking, HAI sponsors a number of communication vehicles, including an annual hospice roundtable and spring research symposium.