This week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced their $16 million award to Health Leads. This is a important step in linking health outcomes with social safety net services to address social needs and quantifying the impact of this on health outcomes (as measured by morbidity and mortality). This award is part of a larger movement within the health care system in which public health stakeholders are collaborating to find solutions to advance preventive measures by removing social barriers to accessing health care.
Also this week, we closed out the 2014 National Public Health Week learning about America’s progress in improving the nation’s health in one generation with unique programs like Health Leads. As part of this movement, partners associated with The CommUnity Commitment are advancing their efforts in this area through the HealthConnections program and their efforts to quantify the referrals while assessing the sustainability of the very network that provides those services – the social safety net – under the leadership of WellCare. Our collective efforts are shaping the industry to improve the health of Americans physically, emotionally and socially.
There is more needed to advance our work to link social services to health outcomes while sustaining the social safety net. But, this week represents significant advances. This time next year, we hope to hear about more advances and strong outcomes data at the 2015 National Public Health Week.