Kaiser Permanente is connecting health & social services
A new social health network in Oregon and Southwest Washington is creating connections between health care providers and social services agencies.
Kaiser Permanente's Thrive Local program is designed to address a person's pressing social needs, such as housing, food, safety, transportation, and utilities.
The healthcare company is partnering with local nonprofits and government agencies to create a true communitywide resource that can be replicated across the country.
It's also hoping to include other health systems and health centers.
"Social health is the next frontier in health care. This region, with its history of innovation in developing community-coordinated care, is well-positioned to create a social health model for the entire country," said Ruth Williams-Brinkley, regional president for Kaiser Permanente in the Northwest. "Addressing all the factors that influence health, such as good nutrition, safe housing, and childhood trauma, are critical in transforming our nation's health. We've seen positive results when we support patients with social workers and community health workers, and Thrive Local will help us take this approach to a broader scale and improve the health of not only our members, but the entire community."