Our Power in Partnership series highlights our national and regional community-based organization (CBO) partners and the work they do to build healthier communities.
Tell us more about your organization.
San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS) is the local health jurisdiction for San Joaquin County. Through various health programs, our goal is to protect, promote, and improve health and the conditions that impact well-being for San Joaquin County residents.
What are the greatest needs of the individuals and families you serve?
Since we started using Unite Us, we have served over 300 constituents and have made over 620 referrals through our program. The greatest needs of the people we serve include benefits navigation, food assistance, housing and shelter, and individual and family support. Through our partnership with Unite Us, we are able to easily find these critical resources for clients and ensure their needs are met.
What are the main programs or offerings that your organization provides?
In addition to our ongoing health offerings that primarily focus on encouraging healthy lifestyles and disease prevention, one of our newer initiatives is a Community Health Worker (CHW) program designed to address high risk residents’ vaccine and testing hesitancy, improve access to preventive health care services, increase management of underlying health conditions, and improve social determinants that serve as life barriers to care. To kick off this effort, PHS received a large grant from the CDC in 2021 to fund CHWs throughout the county. So far, 35 CHWs across 13 health and community-based organizations have been trained on the core competencies of this work. Another 35 will be trained in the third year of our program, as we continue to build our CHW network.
We have also worked closely with the Unite Us technical assistance team to train program staff. Many of the organizations in this program already utilize and are familiar with Unite Us. In addition, we have onboarded and trained six community and faith-based organizations to the network and continue to use the Unite Us dashboard daily to securely send and receive referrals.
How has working with Unite Us impacted the work that you do?
Unite Us has become a one-stop shop for PHS and our sub-contracting organizations, as well as many other organizations in San Joaquin County. PHS is one of the first local health jurisdictions in California to become part of the Unite Us network. Because the platform is so user-friendly, our CHWs are able to send and receive referrals connecting clients to services in a timely manner. Thanks to Unite Us’ closed loop referral capability, we are able to track client progress and, ultimately, drive toward better population outcomes.
“Unite Us provides client-centered care coordination and a quicker and more efficient connection to the services clients need. Their client-centered approach gives a sense of importance to the clients because organizations/agencies are reaching out to them, instead of them reaching or calling the organizations for their needs.” – Maria Argayosa, Community Health Worker at San Joaquin County Public Health Services
The Unite Us staff who we have worked with have been amazing. They are very attentive, responsive, and easy to work with.
Our program CHWs continue to go above and beyond for their clients, ensuring their needs are being met. The best thing about Unite Us is that it makes it so much easier for our community health workers to do what they do best.
How does collaborating with other community-based organizations play a role in your work?
Community and faith-based organizations play a huge role in the work PHS does. Over 80 organizations are using Unite Us in San Joaquin County. Each of our partners plays an essential role in connecting our most vulnerable community members to free services and resources via the platform. They are continually helping us reduce social and health disparities and address social determinants of health to improve our community members’ overall well-being.
What’s next for PHS and Unite Us?
We are excited to continue onboarding the many different PHS programs and services onto Unite Us. As of right now, we have worked to onboard five different departments within PHS but will continue to add more in the near future. This will ultimately help raise awareness of PHS resources and connect residents to services.
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.