It’s no secret that navigating the health and social sectors in this country is challenging, even for the professionals working in them. There were a number of factors that drove us to want to solve this issue. Our founders and I saw organizations across communities struggling to do the jobs they were specifically trained to do while trying to do more and more to ensure their clients got what they needed. We felt the struggles our fellow Veterans and service members were experiencing once they transitioned out of the military and couldn’t find even the most basic resources like transportation and housing. This is when we said, “The system is broken, but as a community, we can fix this.” This is when Unite Us was born.
We know how important it is to address peoples’ individual needs, and we know that this requires a wide range of programs and specialties – from organizations delivering medically tailored meals to diabetes prevention programs to emergency housing assistance. That means stakeholders from different sectors have to work together to truly improve people’s lives.
Complex human needs can’t be solved with software alone. Connecting providers together is just the start.
Every person has their own story and every community has its own history. It’s in our DNA to understand your community’s strengths and weaknesses. Are certain populations slipping through the cracks? We’re continually improving a system in which the people expected to deliver services across the continuum of health are actually given the resources they need to do so. What would happen if the proper technology was in the hands of every person trying to collaborate around individuals seeking care? We set ambitious goals, and we’ve met them by starting local.
Unite Us can’t take credit for being the conveners in every community. We don’t replace the people in your community who know it better than we ever will. We’re here to build them up and empower them. What we bring to the conversation is years of expertise building accountable networks in different communities across the country and the secure technology that facilitates screening, electronic referral management, bidirectional communication, and transparent outcome tracking for people delivering every type of care. We know what’s required to keep partners engaged in our networks. Perhaps most importantly, we know that our approach works in successfully connecting people with the resources they need.
There are numerous structural and cultural discrepancies between clinical and community practices and metrics. As it stands today, linking these two sectors with technology accounts for the structural component. However, we’ve learned that we need to supplement technical interoperability with genuine human-to-human connection and understanding in order to drive real, lasting results. In the same way that our community engagement process can’t be described with a simple equation, the data each provider singularly collects cannot tell the full story about someone’s life. There are parts of our health that can’t be measured with a stethoscope, thermometer, or scale. We now know how to measure the effect of SDoH interventions. What’s next is to continue shaping how we integrate medical care and social care, drive innovative payment models incorporating social services, and help push policy to truly transform communities.
Partners in a cohesive delivery system need to work together; this means going beyond identifying shared goals and sharing information.
As a connected community, we have to continually follow up on actions we’re taking and progress we’re making. This also means giving people the support they need to effectively play their part in the partnership. We believe that when an individual’s entire community care team has visibility into all of the factors that impact their health, they are able to help them better and faster. Unite Us puts this theory into practice in more communities every month.
We’re guided by our mission to help people receive the services they need, and we’re doing this by empowering the people delivering those services. Every single member of the Unite Us team is committed to making our partners’ jobs easier. To all our amazing network partners, old and new: thank you. Thank you for working tirelessly every day to help real people with real problems. Thank you for believing in the power of collaboration and disruptive innovation. Together, we are changing the world and people’s lives, and we couldn’t do this without you.