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Augusta Health And Unite Us Partner To Improve Local Health Outcomes

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

A patient going over information while a nurse fills out a form.FISHERSVILLE, Virginia—Augusta Health has partnered with an innovative technology company, Unite Us, to create a coordinated care network to connect local healthcare and social services providers through a shared electronic resource platform. This partnership and network, Unite Virginia, will help provide more complete, wrap-around care to those in the community who need both healthcare and social services support.

Unite Virginia is a coordinated care network of healthcare and social services providers. All providers are connected through a shared technology platform developed by Unite Us. This platform allows its partners to send and receive electronic referrals securely, track outcomes, and address people's social needs to improve the health of the community.

"Promoting the health of the community through access to excellent care is the very core of our mission at Augusta Health," says Dan O'Connor, Vice President of Population Health at Augusta Health. "To put that mission into action requires going beyond the walls of the hospital and connecting with others in the community who share our mission. The Unite Virginia network and Unite Us Platform will allow us all to provide better, more coordinated services to individuals within our community."

The platform and network create an integrated and accountable system that helps identify needs, create referrals to other organizations, track and measure outcomes, understand the collective impact of community programming, and evaluate where gaps in services exist. The outcome data will also be available to organizations when applying for grant funding for programs. The information can help identify what programs and services need to be added, and more precisely, where they need to be implemented.

Krystal Moyers, Director of Community Outreach at Augusta Health, explains the benefits of the network and platform with an example scenario. She says, "When we are working with a community member through one of our programs or conducting a social determinants of health screening, we may identify several health and social needs. For example, while hosting a blood pressure screening at an affordable housing community, we might learn that someone has both diabetes and high blood pressure and provide them with a Food Box. That may lead to a referral to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Further conversation might identify that the individual could benefit from support groups offered through the Shenandoah LGBTQ Center and health services from the Augusta Regional Dental Clinic. All these referrals could be made securely through the Unite Virginia network, then tracked for follow-up and outcomes. Agencies will be able to connect more easily to provide community members with all the services they need."

Partnerships in the Unite Virginia network are free for local community-based and social service providers. Unite Virginia and Augusta Health will host a virtual, joint information session on Friday, June 11 at 12:00 pm. To receive a meeting link, contact miranda.byles [at] uniteus.com. Partner Registration Forms and the opportunity to schedule a 1:1 meeting to discuss specific questions and concerns are available.

"Unite Us is so excited to have Augusta Health join the Unite Virginia network," says Kathleen Banfield, Unite Us Network Director for Virginia. "Their participation ensures that more Virginians will have access to accountable social and health care providers that work together to address their most pressing needs," she adds.

Unite Virginia is built in partnership with several organizations including the Office of the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.

Augusta Health is an independent, community-owned, not-for-profit hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of its community through access to excellent care. Over the years, Augusta Health has been recognized by many external rating organizations: 100 Top Hospitals in America, HealthGrades' America's 50 Best Hospitals, US News and World Report Best Regional Hospital, and most recently Leapfrog Top Hospital 2020. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please visit the website, https://www.augustahealth.com.

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