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Better Together: How Health Alliance for the Uninsured is Safeguarding the Health and Well-Being of Uninsured Patients


The Better Together series highlights some of our most dynamic partnerships across Unite Us’ first decade. For over 10 years, we have been expanding what’s possible, bringing sectors together to achieve whole-person health for every member in our communities. Hear from those partners here and learn how you can join us to unlock the potential of your community.

Health Alliance for the Uninsured is a community collaborative that makes quality health care available to Oklahoma’s underserved, uninsured, and under-insured populations. Partners include physicians, safety-net clinics, hospitals, and other public and private partners. The HAU Healthcare Services Navigation Program uses Unite Us for patient referrals, both within their free and charitable clinic network and with other community agencies that meet basic needs. The Navigation Program has seen a significant increase in referrals over the past several months following a recent partnership with a local hospital system. They are leveraging these recent successes to expand partnerships with other local hospital systems.

One Client’s Story

Transportation is always a challenge for HAU’s patients, but the organization has found a great solution. The Navigation Team has recently started using Uber Health to ensure patients can get to partner clinics for their appointments. They now offer free rides for any new patients in need of transportation to access care. This transportation assistance removes a major barrier to health care for so many struggling Oklahomans.

The following patient story highlights how Unite Us is instrumental in all HAU programs, with every HAU client. The HAU Bi-Lingual Navigator, Diego, recently received a call from an individual who learned about HAU from their booth at a health fair. The patient needed primary care services and hadn’t seen a provider in a very long time.

After speaking to Diego and providing their consent, the patient was referred to a clinic through Unite Us. When the patient arrived at the clinic, Diego happened to be there assisting with HAU’s Prescription Assistance Program. The patient spoke only Spanish and didn’t have an interpreter, so they needed assistance communicating with the provider.

Diego quickly stepped up to translate the patient’s healthcare needs and, in turn, translate the provider’s findings, recommendations, and treatment plans. During the appointment, the provider recommended that the patient see a specialist. Diego helped the patient complete an application for a Care Connection specialty referral in Spanish.

Through the Unite Us Platform and Diego’s help, the patient got connected to the basic and specialty care they needed—what a success! This story shows the continuity of care HAU’s patients receive, and their dedication to closing the loop. They will always go above and beyond to help their patients.

For this series, we asked the HAU team about our work together and their vision of how cross-sector collaboration creates lasting change for pregnant and parenting people.

As we reflect on a decade bringing sectors together through technology to ensure people’s needs are met, what do you think has changed the most for your organization since the start of our partnership?

Unite Us has enabled HAU to track the outcomes and progress of patients receiving services from HAU and our free and charitable partner clinics. This has been a critical turning point for our Healthcare Services Navigation Program. Using the closed-loop referral system has allowed our navigators to ensure every individual who requests services is tracked until a successful outcome has been achieved.  We can also quickly provide comprehensive data reports and statistics to our supporters and financial partners.

How does HAU think about or approach collaboration with other sectors? What are the benefits to your patients?

At its core, HAU is a convener—connecting organizations, programs, and people with similar missions to maximize impact within central Oklahoma’s healthcare safety-net network. Our work creates opportunities for partnerships that benefit our entire community, especially those citizens who are most at risk and facing difficult circumstances. Most recently, we are working alongside the Regional Food Bank to help free and charitable clinics create food distribution programs so that no children go hungry during the summer months. Additionally, the Regional Food Bank is now including information about HAU and the services we offer in each of the food boxes they distribute, which increases awareness of HAU programs among the populations that need our services the most.

Are there any upcoming programs or initiatives related to drivers of health and community health at HAU that you are excited about?

This year, over 300,000 Oklahomans are expected to lose their Medicaid coverage (OHCA) due to the expiration of the COVID public health emergency (PHE). The increased burden on our healthcare safety net will be massive, and HAU is working closely with state and local healthcare leaders—and our clinic network—to prepare for the surge in demand. HAU Navigators have already seen a major uptick in calls from newly uninsured Oklahomans seeking healthcare services, and the Unite Us system is enabling us to ensure that every new client can find a new primary care home at one of our clinic partners.

Looking another 10 years into the future, what is your biggest hope for cross-sector collaboration to improve community health?

The challenges of our time—health care, education, poverty—are complex; each challenge impacts and intensifies the others. It is increasingly evident that these drivers of health are intertwined, and we need to address these challenges utilizing holistic strategies and solutions. Successfully meeting the needs of marginalized individuals will happen not with piecemeal solutions, but through a coordinated, intentional effort made by multiple stakeholders who share a common vision. Public-private partnerships will be critical to successfully relieving the suffering of those who are living on the edges of society and improving the health of the next generation of Oklahomans.  

A great example of this holistic approach is our effort to connect our clients with other services and organizations that address drivers of health. HAU currently has two embedded community health workers who use Unite Us to facilitate referrals for clients who need help with food, housing, child care, and other basic needs. Unite Us enables us to make these referrals seamlessly and track the outcomes of those referrals. For instance, we had one patient whose daughter and granddaughter had both recently moved in with her. After meeting our client’s healthcare needs, we were able to connect her daughter with a food pantry and secure a backpack and school supplies for her granddaughter. 

What thoughts would you share with Unite Us leadership as they look out on the next 10 years?

As alliances between nonprofit, government, philanthropic, and business sectors work together to address critical issues, we hope our shared approach upholds the dignity of the individuals we serve. We are proud to be a Unite Us champion, and we consistently encourage other organizations in our safety net community to join Unite Us so that we can achieve our shared goals.

“I believe we are setting a high standard nationally on how to utilize Unite Us for connecting individuals to healthcare first, and then other resources as needed. We are so grateful for our partnership with Unite Us as we work together to positively transform our community.” – Jeanean Yanish Jones, PhD(c), MA, CFRE Executive Director, HAU

Learn more about Health Alliance for the Uninsured.

Interested in learning more about how to bring Unite Us to your organization?

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About Unite Us

Unite Us is the nation’s leading software company bringing sectors together to improve the health and well-being of communities. We drive the collaboration to identify, deliver, and pay for services that impact whole-person health. Through Unite Us’ national network and software, community-based organizations, government agencies, and healthcare organizations are all connected to better collaborate to meet the needs of the individuals in their communities.