Kaiser Permanente, in partnership with Unite Us, today will launch the Mid-Atlantic Community Network (MACN) in Northern Virginia. The network, part of Unite Virginia, will address vital social health needs that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic through a comprehensive community resource linking social service organizations, health care providers and public agencies in the region.
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 to service organizations, health care providers and public agencies that can address these needs. The MACN is fully integrated with Unite Maryland, Unite DMV, and Unite Virginia, which are larger social needs networks serving our region that are also managed by Unite Us.
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
Kaiser Permanente is providing free access to this community network for all non-profit organizations, local governments and community clinics. This effort is facilitated through partnerships with key Virginia stakeholders, including the Office of the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Virginia Department of Health, Optima Health, Partnering for a Healthy Virginia, Virginia Mental Health Access Program, Ballad Health, Virginia Department of Social Services, Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association and the STRONG Accountable Care Community.
“At Kaiser Permanente, we believe that food security, affordable housing, reliable transportation, and economic opportunity are the pre-requisites for total health,” said Ruth Williams-Brinkley, regional president, Kaiser Permanente. “Right now, communities across the region are looking for assistance to meet these social health needs for our most vulnerable populations. The Mid-Atlantic Community Network has already connected hundreds of residents in the D.C., suburban Maryland, and Baltimore areas to service providers. Now, we are expanding the network to cover Northern Virginia so we can help improve overall health across the entire region.”
The Mid-Atlantic Community Network launched in Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland last June, followed by Baltimore in October. To date, the MACN has more than 300 partner organizations, including Nonprofit Montgomery, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Serving Together, 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. There have been more than 640 referrals made through the network to date.
Earlier this month, Kaiser Permanente committed $175,000 to the Mason and Partners Clinics (MAP Clinics) and George Mason University’s Business for a Better World Center. The grant enables Mason to serve as the lead anchor partner in a collaborative initiative to remove barriers to health and expand access to the resources needed to thrive for residents in the Bailey’s Crossroads/Culmore neighborhood of Fairfax County, Virginia. The grant extends Kaiser Permanente’s partnership with George Mason University, which began in 2019 with a $500,000 investment to establish the Kaiser Permanente Community Wellness Hub in partnership with Mason’s College of Health and Human Services Population Health Center.
“Mason is committed to working with partners in our community to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families across the region,” said George Mason University President Gregory Washington. “Kaiser Permanente has supported Mason’s efforts and the Mid-Atlantic Community Network will deepen our dual commitment to community health. We serve best when we serve together.”
In addition to Mason, Kaiser Permanente works closely with community organizations like Columbia Baptist Church, the Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation, Culmore Clinic, St. Anthony’s Parish, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center and Just Neighbors, along with county leadership, local businesses and philanthropic organizations to support these initiatives.
Since 2018, Kaiser Permanente has led a collaborative, community-based effort in the Bailey’s Crossroads and Culmore communities involving healthcare providers, places of worship, non-profit organizations, schools and other community partners – all seeking to create access to the resources people need to thrive, such as healthy food, high-quality health care, good jobs and thriving schools. These efforts have included partnering with local food pantries to deliver hundreds of pounds of food to those in-need and connecting more than 200 Bailey’s/Culmore residents with low or no-cost medical care.
“When Wesley Housing learned of the MACN, we knew we had to lean into this initiative. The word ‘community’ is critical as it affirms the value of active engagement, celebrates the unique contributions of others and recognizes that interconnection is a strength,” said Darryl Leedom, a member of the Community Advisory Committee and director of resident services for Wesley Housing, a Washington, D.C., affordable housing organization, and member of the MACN. “Wesley Housing remains committed to our mission of providing service-enriched affordable housing in the Washington region. Through this network we can improve the quality of information available to families and increase collaboration across social service providers.”
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 coordinated care network into Northern Virginia, where so many people have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to get back on their feet,” said Kathleen Banfield, Unite Us state director, Virginia. “We are proud of our continued partnership with Kaiser Permanente, and eager to continue connecting and supporting community providers that are doing so much to serve others.”
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.
About Wesley Housing
Every person deserves more than just a roof over their head. They deserve a community. At Wesley Housing, we serve the greater Washington D.C.’s most vulnerable individuals and families by creating and operating service enriched affordable housing communities that help residents thrive. Since 1974, we have been providing residents with safe homes and promising opportunities. We’re committed to cultivating supportive communities and we’ll never stop “building up” the lives of our families.