In early 2021, OCH encouraged contracted partners to take additional steps toward improving the determinants of health – those conditions in which people are born, grow, live, and age that affect a wide range of health, functional, and quality of life risks and outcomes. This built upon initial work OCH facilitated in 2020 to raise awareness and understanding about the importance of addressing the determinants of health.
OCH collected project proposals from partners and partners reported on their progress in December 2021. Most projects focused on access to care and care coordination. As COVID-19 rates continued to wax and wane throughout the region, partners adapted projects to best meet community needs. Despite ongoing challenges many partners saw successes in what they set out to do.
“Effective collaboration takes time and nurturing of relationships. We have definitely seen improved relationships with long time partners through this collaboration...These improved partnerships have allowed creative interventions to improve client outcomes, such as warm handoffs with pediatric patients.” – Behavioral health partner
Partners reflected on lessons learned. Building trusting relationships, communication, and an openness to outside of the box or creative solutions were the most frequently mentioned lessons learned.
“Communication and teamwork are a vital component to Care Coordination.” – Primary care partner
Many partners were surprised to learn of new resources available to individuals and many new connections and referral pathways were formed this year.
“The great thing is that we are meeting together, we are learning about each other, we are making referrals that work in real time, we are planning other things together where we will share resources and expertise.” – Community-based organization
Perhaps most exciting is what comes next. Many partners have plans to continue these efforts in 2022 to build upon the foundations they have established over the past year. OCH looks forward to supporting partners as they continue to explore opportunities to support individuals achieving their healthiest potential.