Partnerships and people are at the heart of the Connect2 Community Network, a community information exchange (CIE) co-designed by organizations across King County, WA, with support from HealthierHere. Together, we are working to strengthen care coordination in our region, reduce health disparities, and equitably improve the health and well-being of our communities.
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Based on community input, our Network Partners prioritized the ability to send and receive electronic closed-loop bidirectional referrals, in order to improve cross-sector coordination, streamline referrals and information sharing, and allow access to outcome data for planning and assessment.
In March 2021, HealthierHere launched the Catalyst Fund, with support from Kaiser Permanente, to enable 49 partner organizations to pilot electronic closed-loop referrals via Unite Us technology. Awardees partnered with HealthierHere to achieve milestones so that each organization could use the referral technology to more effectively assist their diverse communities, many of which experience disproportionate health disparities. Click here to read some of our key lessons learned.
Milestones At A Glance
- 49 Catalyst Fund partners
- Over 1,900 referrals sent and/or received
- Over 1,400 community members served
- 95% of partners used Unite Us for closed loop bidirectional referrals
We are grateful for and inspired by our incredible partners for all that they accomplished through the Catalyst Fund! They consistently showed up to explore and implement new ways of serving community members and provide them with the support and care they need to be healthy and thrive. Read on to hear first-hand from some of the Catalyst Fund partners about their experiences and insights.
Arms Around You
The experience of incarceration is traumatic and inhumane. At Arms Around You (AAY), we foster a therapeutic, healing environment where individuals can learn how to process their experiences, talk about their experiences, and grow healthy mindsets. AAY staff model how to build healthy thinking patterns and healthy relationships, and they connect individuals to a wide range of services to promote healing.
“Participation in the Catalyst Fund allowed us to step up our ability to provide resources to support AAY clients in meeting their social, physical and mental health needs, connecting clients to culturally and linguistically appropriate service providers, and facilitating complicated care coordination.
We enjoyed identifying different approaches to utilizing the bi-directional referral technology and helping the participants communicate with providers and other community-based organizations.
We have only begun to skim the surface of what is possible with relationship building. Having the Catalyst Fund allowed our organization the opportunity to build effective relationships for the re-entry community. While this is something to celebrate, we know that with more organizations connected to the network, we can do much more.”
Avon Curtis, CEO, Arms Around You
National Alliance on Mental Illness – Eastside
NAMI Eastside is a nonprofit that offers education, support and advocacy for those impacted by mental illness in Eastern King County, Washington. We do this by sharing knowledge and helping to end the stigma associated with mental illness. We are creating a community of support and empowering those impacted by mental illness and making positive changes in the mental health care system through our advocacy work.
“At NAMI Eastside, we often get requests from individuals for mental health support and education, and many of them need additional services to help them lead healthy and productive lives. We are thankful for our Resource Specialist, Brenda Freeman, who has been using the platform to connect them with the resources they need. In the past, we would give these individuals the names of the organization and hope they would reach out to them, without any understanding if they were qualified or if the organizations were accepting clients. By using this platform, we are able to provide a warm hand-off to services that they are qualified to use. We have also been able to track the success of people getting the help they need.”
Barbie Collins Young, Executive Director, NAMI Eastside
“I have been grateful for the Unite Us platform. It has allowed me to better find assistance with and beyond Mental Health challenges. Connecting individuals to these services has been a much-needed addition to what we do. This platform is great with finding and providing helpful information in a timely manner. From personal experience, this is a great asset to any community in need of or providing services. The trainers/case managers are awesome, and great with shadowing, assisting with cases, and finding resources that may have been missed. I love the fact that lists of services can be emailed, texted, or shared in a link due to issues one may have with identity or privacy.”
Brenda Freeman, Resource Specialist, NAMI Eastside
Sound Generations is the largest provider of comprehensive services for aging adults, adults with disabilities and those who care for them in King County. For 55 years, we have been transformative in our approach to providing wrap around services focused on the unique experiences of those we serve. We provide these services through our four pillars, Food Security, Health & Wellness, Transportation, and Assistance Services. We are committed to providing services to those experiencing poverty and effected by societal harm.
“We have been able to increase awareness of our Pathways program’s scope of work. We truly believe in the ‘no wrong door’ approach to accessing our services and participating in the Catalyst fund provided us with one more method of entry for our services.”
Director of Assistance Services, Sound Generations
“My biggest Catalyst Fund takeaway is being able to contact the clients to expedite assistance. I’ve talked with many who had just gotten home from the hospital and was able to see if our program could assist. The process was enhanced by the direct notification from the social services organizations. Just being able to connect faster works out better for the client.”
Meals on Wheels Program Specialist, Sound Generations
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Thank you to all of the Catalyst Fund awardees for their partnership, hard work, growth, and feedback!
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