Torrington, CT - Community Health & Wellness has signed on to Unite Connecticut, a statewide initiative of the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) that connects health and social services providers through a shared technology platform (Unite Us) designed to identify and address the social needs of patients through a closed-loop referral process.
“We’re very excited to bring Unite Connecticut to our clients in the northwest corner of the state,” comments Joanne Borduas, CEO of Community Health & Wellness.
“The system will allow us to screen and directly refer our clients for a wide variety of social and medical services, with the ability to track those referrals and follow-up as needed. It’s a way for us to be sure that our clients are getting the help they need with day to day needs that affect their health.”
Unite Connecticut was launched twelve months ago. It is a partnership between CHA and Unite Us, an outcome-focused technology company that supports the development of coordinated care networks. The Unite Us platform is being offered to member hospitals and community-based organizations across Connecticut free of charge by CHA.
Through this work, hospitals, health systems and community healthcare providers are integrating social determinants of health into healthcare practice to address patients’ social needs. Currently seven hospitals in Connecticut are enrolled, with five more in process. They are partnering with a growing number –currently about 200– of community-based organizations across more than 20 service types including food assistance, housing, transportation, mental health, substance use, etc.
These providers work together to address all manner of health-related issues. The network also includes the resource database of 211 Connecticut, a program of United Way of Connecticut.
“We understand that meaningful improvement in community health requires us to extend beyond the hospital walls and reach out to our partners in the community,” says Jennifer Jackson, the CEO of CHA. “Hospitals and social service providers are working closely together in a more organized network through Unite Connecticut to address elemental needs such as housing, healthy food, and transportation, and to enhance the overall health and well-being of our communities.”
Community Health & Wellness serves about 6,000 patients from its Torrington and Winsted locations.
“We have screened our patients for social determinants of health for a long time,” adds Borduas. “Unite Connecticut provides a more complete, uniform process for all providers to see and address the whole patient. That’s a scenario in which the patient is supported to make fundamental life changes that make them healthier for the long run.”