Network aims to address social needs such as housing and food as COVID-19 pandemic causes economic disruption
Kaiser Permanente, in partnership with Unite Us, today announces the expansion of the Mid-Atlantic Community Network in the Greater Baltimore area of Maryland. The new network will address vital social health through a comprehensive community resource linking social service organizations, health care providers and public agencies in the region. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create unmet economic and social needs that are barriers to health and well-being for many Americans. In Baltimore, the unemployment rate hit a high of 11.6 during the pandemic; many are now facing food insecurity, homelessness and other challenges. The Mid-Atlantic Community Network launched in Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland in June and has already made more than 560 referrals to connect community members for social service assistance. Now, the program expands to Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Howard and Harford counties and Baltimore City. The network will expand to Northern Virginia in 2021.
“We recognize that a person’s health is significantly impacted by what happens outside of a health care facility,” said Skelly Wingard, vice president of Care Continuum for Kaiser Permanente. “The Mid-Atlantic Community Network brings a vital connection and coordination between caregivers, social service organizations and community members as we work together to improve health and help the community thrive. We are pleased to expand this network into the Greater Baltimore area.”
Kaiser Permanente is providing free access to this community network for community-based organizations, safety-net clinics, and other eligible health and social services providers.
Using a shared technology platform, powered by Unite Us, the MACN offers critical health care and social services such as housing, food, employment, transportation, behavioral health and utilities assistance by connecting community residents (including Kaiser Permanente members) to service organizations, health care providers and public agencies that can address these needs. The network consists of three components:
- A network of organizations addressing social and health needs
- A technology platform for participating organizations to collaborate and communicate with each other
- An expansive resource directory of providers in the region
“As our Baltimore residents continue to reel from the impact of the pandemic, there is a growing critical need for assistance with food security, housing, and employment services,” said Celeste James, executive director for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente. “Already, hundreds of referrals have been made through the network in the DC area. We are pleased to now bring this important resource to the Baltimore area.”
In addition to supporting community members, the MACN also links participating partners throughout the mid- Atlantic region by providing a single, coordinated network available through Unite Us’ robust technology platform. This reduces time for staff working on social service requests by creating a more efficient referral system, and tracks services delivered and patient outcomes so it’s evident that people are getting the care they need.
“Unite Us is thrilled to expand this successful coordinated care network into Baltimore, where the need for care and assistance is great,” said Kendra Canty, Unite Us regional account director, Mid-Atlantic States. “As always, we are honored to partner with Kaiser Permanente and play a role in supporting our community providers who are already doing such important work in caring for our community members.”
To date, the MACN has more than 260 partner organizations, including the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment and Development, Maryland WIC, Center for Urban Families, Housing Authority of Baltimore City, NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore, and the Maryland Center for Veteran Employment and Training.
“We are excited about this platform because it solves a huge problem that we all face when making referrals to each other – the need to ensure our clients get the services we referred them to and track the outcomes of the referral. Through our partnership with Kaiser Permanente and Unite Us, not only will we be able to quickly connect and refer citizens to needed services, we will also be able to get invaluable insights through data, while being fully coordinated with our partners,” said Angel St.Jean, assistant director for strategic initiatives, Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. “The Mid-Atlantic Community Network offers the missing piece of our Vision 2020 effort to build an integrated workforce system that efficiently and effectively serves Baltimore City residents. MOED will be using this platform as part of our Access Point strategy.”
Thrive Local is Kaiser Permanente’s initiative to address social factors influencing the health and well-being of patients and members and to improve community conditions for health.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. https://about.kaiserpermanente.org/
About Unite Us
Unite Us is a technology company that builds coordinated care networks of health and social service providers. With Unite Us, providers across sectors can send and receive secure electronic referrals, track every person’s total health journey, and report on tangible outcomes across a full range of services in a centralized, cohesive, and collaborative ecosystem. Unite Us’ dedicated team builds authentic, lasting partnerships with local organizations to ensure their networks have a solid foundation, launch successfully, and continue to grow and thrive. This social infrastructure helps communities transform their ability to work together and measure impact at scale.