2018 will mark the fifth year Connections4Health has been working to meet the needs of underserved people in our community. Looking back to see from where we came is a humbling and gratifying experience, and C4H Co-founder and Birmingham Clinic Clinical Director Mary Herbert speaks beautifully to this in our first installment of the Social Health Project blog.
Looking forward, we have just completed student recruitment for Spring 2018, there are 18 total Fellowship spots, spread between Birmingham Clinic (12) and Carnegie Library Downtown & Business (6), with the potential of adding two spots at the library this coming Spring. There are 12 Fellows extending their fellowship into the spring, opening an opportunity for 6 new students to become part of the program. We received 20 applications for these 6 open spots, which made for a competitive interview and selection process.
In an effort to deepen student recruiting, the program is in the process of developing a partnership with Duquesne University’s Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research (CETR). The CETR emphasizes student engagement with community organizations as part of their education. C4H has also added the Emergency Medicine Program at Pitt to its list of programs/schools who disseminate the Fellowship application each semester, widening our reach more potential fellows.
Also, in large thanks to the Health Fellow Leadership Team (Noah Krampe & Chandler Mitchell) we have established, or are in the process of establishing, new and stronger relationships with additional groups and departments at Pitt. A couple of which are the Office of Community Relations and Student Affairs, and we will also be exploring becoming a student organization at Pitt in the coming year.
C4H also had the privilege of being selected by Pitt's Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations (SCNO) Chapter. If you're not familiar with the group, please check them out. They are really wonderful, and provided the program with an analysis of how C4H integrates into Birmingham Clinic's workflow, got us started on how to effectively use social media campaigns, researched and provided a list of grants the program qualifies for, and... and someone from their group donated an iPad to the program! I'm not sure this last item is standard practice, but incredibly generous and a critical component for bringing to fruition our new partnership with BenefitMany.
BenefitMany develops web applications for nonprofits and small businesses. C4H has begun work a pilot project with them where they are donating their time to develop a beta web application for our Social Health Needs Screening Tool. What this means is patients at clinic or patrons at the library will be able to complete the screening tool before we meet with them, highlight their areas of need in a few clicks, and save this information in the app. It will also capture demographic information. Fellows will be able to access the saved information, and a future build-out of this application is planned to integrate with our database. Bottom line: we get more time talking with patients about what their real concerns are, not getting addresses and birth dates. You'll may also notice the screening tool notes which ICD-10 Z code goes with each item. We are currently working on the feasibility of Birmingham Clinic AmeriCorps members entering these codes into the EHR.
On November 1, 2017, Connections4Health entered its second year of the 3-year Hillman Family Foundation grant. During this year, the program will expand to partner with one more clinic/community organization. Mike is currently scheduling meetings with potential community partners, with the plan of entering into and beginning a new partnership in May 2018. Clinics being reached out to are East End Health Center, Cornerstone Care, and Northside Christian Health.
BY THE NUMBERS
Current site locations: 2
- Birmingham Clinic
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Downtown & Business
No. of Student Health Fellows: 20
No. of Initial Encounters (in 2017): 211
No. of Referrals Made (in 2017): 730
No. of Follow-ups Calls/Emails/etc (in 2017): 816
No. of Health Fellow Volunteer hours (in 2017): 1,116