A look back on milestones from the past six months that exemplify our mission to help people – proof that doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive.
As we said farewell to 2019, we had no idea what lay ahead – six months into the new year, 2020 has pulled no punches. We find ourselves in the middle of an unprecedented time, all of us collectively navigating this pandemic that has taken far too many lives and left countless people in desperate need of help. At the same time, we’re grieving the racial injustice and pain that Black Americans have faced for decades. Our work today takes on new meaning and urgency as we continue to build upon our model and create solutions that will facilitate care delivery in the most seamless, effective way possible. Unite Us has never been more committed and dedicated than we are right now to fight against injustice, racism, and health disparities that have long impacted communities across the country.
Still, in the midst of the chaos, Unite Us was ready and up for the challenge. By the third week of March, our entire team had seamlessly transitioned to working remotely. We pivoted to align with our partners’ needs in the face of COVID-19. Within a week, we had a COVID-19 strategic plan in place. We were working around the clock to support our existing partners and networks – while simultaneously bringing new ones on board – to help their communities cope with the devastating effects of the virus. Since January, we have launched and starting building new networks in Cleveland, Louisiana, Florida, California, West Virginia, Nebraska, and New York (in both NYC and Syracuse) and began new collaborations with partners that share our visions and values likeLyft, CVS' Guardian Angels initiative, and Salesforce.
We’ve seen our core values – Think Big, Always Collaborate, Own It and Be A Good Human – exemplified in so many ways during the time our team has been sheltering-in-place. Our parents have become full-time teachers, childcare providers, cooks, and housekeepers while hitting deadlines and never missing a Zoom meeting. Some of our colleagues have donned masks and gloves and headed out into their communities to deliver much-needed food and supplies. Others have contributed through financial donations to the social care organizations on the frontlines every day. We’ve found ways to offer emotional support to each other, through daily check-ins and one-on-one calls, leadership office hours, and amazing team happy hours hosted by our inventive, creative People Ops team.
Unite Us keeps growing and we’ve brought on critical team members who make us stronger and better. 62 new team members have joined the company since January, including Christina Mainelli as Chief Operating Officer and Eric Beane as Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs.
As a company, we are humbled and grateful to be able to grow and thrive, even as we see the pandemic’s economic effects on the country. Knowing that advanced data capabilities would benefit our partners and networks, and strengthen our ability to help communities, we’ve recently acquired a SDoH data analytics company, Staple Health. Since 2013, we have been focused on a data standard that does not simply consider searches for resources, referrals defined as printouts of resources, or users that are only individuals searching a directory. Instead, our data illustrates actual service delivery between organizations who are engaged and part of a trusted network, and thus, electronically coordinating services together around shared clients and outcomes.
At Unite Us, we are driven by our mission to help people – it’s baked into everything we do. As we shared in TEDMED, "Imagine a world where people have access to quality care and services, regardless of socioeconomics, race, or zip code. In that world, everyone would have the opportunity to not only survive, but thrive." We have a reason to wake up each morning and get to work, knowing that we are helping people most of us will never meet – but it gives us purpose every single day.
Well before and since COVID-19, the industry was interested in what our leaders had to say about the future of health. Our President, Taylor Justice, was asked to share his expert insight for the New York City Healthcare Venture Capital Report. Since the pandemic struck, our CEO, Dan Brillman, offered a roadmap in HLTH for the industry navigating health and social care service delivery through the pandemic and beyond. Dan and Taylor shared their insights on addressing both community-based and cost-of-care outcomes as well as scaling assistance on a community level in this Covid-19 era in the Outcomes Rocket podcast.
At Unite Us, we always believed that health equity was an integral part of our work, we just didn’t talk about it enough. You’ll be hearing more from us in the weeks and months to come. Know this: we stand with communities of color and will work even harder to ensure that zip codes no longer dictate health outcomes.
We were built for this – and we’re ready for whatever else 2020 has in store. Together, we are stronger. Together, we continue to serve our communities across the country. Regardless of what the world throws at us, we’ll keep building healthier, more equitable communities.