ATLANTA, Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Hospital Association (AHA) today unveiled a report outlining a menu of options for communities, hospitals and policymakers to ensure that vulnerable rural and urban communities have access to essential health care services. As the hospital field engages in its most significant transformation to date, one out of three hospitals is fighting to survive - potentially putting communities at risk for losing their access to local health care services. Grady Health System was enlisted by the AHA to serve on the task force that developed today's report. "As one of the nation's leading safety net providers, Grady has always been committed to ensuring access to care for all. As a member of the AHA Task Force, Grady supports these efforts to enhance access and bolster the stability of the many hospitals in our state and country who face uncertain futures," said John Haupert, President and CEO, Grady Health System. In recognition of the challenges facing vulnerable rural and urban communities and the need for new integrated and comprehensive health care delivery and payment strategies, the AHA Board of Trustees created the Task Force for Ensuring Access to Vulnerable Communities. Comprised of 29 hospital and health system leaders and state hospital association CEOs, the task force held meetings, heard from policymakers and conducted field hearings to speak with hospital and community leaders during a 15-month period. "Many hospitals face challenges maintaining access to health care services in their communities and this report provides a pathway to ensure every hospital has an opportunity to be an access point and an anchor of service," said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. "The strategies outlined in this report can serve as a roadmap for all communities as hospitals begin to redefine how they provide more integrated care." The taskforce report outlines nine emerging strategies that can help preserve access to health care services in vulnerable communities. These strategies will not apply to or work for every community and each community has the option to choose one or more that are compatible with its needs.