Navigating Care. Connecting Resources
Health Net of West Michigan is a non-profit agency working to improve community health by bridging health care and social service systems with strengths-based, client-centered navigation services. Their programs support the health and well-being of our community by increasing access to and effective use of healthcare and community services.
We work as a bridge organization that helps clients navigate between the formal health care system and the network of community-based organizations that provide services to address social determinants of health needs. Working in an interconnected way with other human services organizations as well as with health care providers has the potential to increase efficiency and have an effect on health outcomes.
The G.R.A.C.E. Network has helped by getting families connected to some type of housing service faster than before. Families have expressed comfort in knowing that all the organizations interacting to assist them are looking at the same information and assessment of needs.
“They don’t have to wait for a phone call, they know they are connected.”
Health Net of West Michigan
It is very helpful to be able to see the details of other service providers that are working with the family – it speeds up services and increases efficiency. It also empowers families – they can go themselves to Community Housing Connect, for example, to take charge of their own services. It also helps us keep track of which organizations the clients are working with – often clients have trouble keeping track of all the agencies they have interacted with.
This effort matters because of the increasing requests from health care systems for “closed loop referrals” – having a platform that can be interoperable with electronic medical records and CBO client databases is a huge step forward in terms of the ability to serve more clients and see who actually is able to be helped. It also has the long term potential to decrease duplication of services as more agencies are onboarded.
Creating a community where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.