RWJF Grants $350K to Effect Alignment of Social Care and Health Care

Last Updated January 18, 2022

PRESS RELEASE – Partners in Care Foundation Receives $350,000 Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Effect Alignment of Social Care and Health Care Systems

Los Angeles, CA – The Partners in Care Foundation has received a one-year, $350,000 award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support a multi-disciplinary group known as the Partnership to Align Social Care. Members of the Partnership are collaborating to co-design a plan to build the full capacity of community-based organizations (CBOs) to deliver health-impacting social care.

According to June Simmons, MSW, Partnership to Align Social Care Co-Chair and Partners in Care Foundation CEO, “This group offers a unique collective commitment to transformation and to seize upon this opportunity to effect meaningful alignment of health care and social care systems. The synergy of this collaborative will ultimately impact positive health outcomes for the neediest in communities across the country. “

Timothy P. McNeill, RN, MPH, Co-Chair of the group and a principle at Freedmen’s Health went on to state “The shift to Value-Based care will not be achieved unless sustainable models of SDOH delivery are implemented.  The work of the Partnership to Align Social Care, supported by RWJF, is an essential component of the CMS Strategy Refresh to achieve Health Equity for all vulnerable populations.”

“Social and environmental factors have a profound effect on long-term health, and interventions to address social determinants of health are essential to achieve better health outcomes and an equitable health system,” explained Partnership member Ji Im, MPH, System Senior Director, Community and Population Health at CommonSpirit. “Underinvestment in these interventions has led to a rise in unmet needs and resulting disparities, particularly among older low-income adults in underserved communities. This is the problem the Partnership aims to solve.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant will support the Partnership to Align Social Care in designing a framework for a vision, guiding principles, and attributes of an equitable social care system that builds and sustains the capacity of community-based organization (CBO) networks to provide social services by:

(1.) co-designing common standards for effective and sustainable partnerships of CBO networks, health plans, and health systems;

(2.) identifying core attributes and competencies for CBO network credentialing;

(3.) identifying and encouraging widespread use of existing billing codes and the essential elements for a streamlined contracting process between health systems, payers, and CBOs; and

(4.) making recommendations for infrastructure capabilities and financing that lead to sustainable CBO network infrastructures.

This work is dedicated to advancing health equity and dismantling the systemic power dynamics that perpetuate marginalization of historically underserved and under-represented communities. By centering the needs and priorities of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities the co-design process will produce a framework that embeds diverse community voices in the development of a strong CBO social care delivery system with mechanisms for accountability across payer, social service, and government sectors.

Current members of the Partnership to Align Social Care include:

Aetna CVS Health
Luke Barnhill, Manager of Strategic Planning
Aetna CVS Health
RJ Briscione, Senior Director, Social Determinants of Health Strategy and Execution
Anthem, Inc.
Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, Chief Health Officer
Anthem, Inc.
Merrill Friedman, Regional Vice President, Inclusive Policy and Advocacy
Anthem, Inc.
Lisa Watkins, Health Policy Director
Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
Lauran Hardin, Sr. Advisor of Partnerships & Tech. Assist.
Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
Mark Humowiecki, Senior Director
Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
Kathleen Noonan, CEO
Centene Corporation
Chris Priest, VP, Medicaid Solutions
CommonSpirit Health
Ji Im, System Senior Director, Community and Population Health
Jennifer Raymond, Chief Strategy Officer
Freedmen’s Health
Timothy McNeill, Project Co-Chair, Healthcare Consultant
Dr. Andrew Renda, Vice President, Bold Goal and Population Health Strategy
Humana Dr.
Will Shrank, Chief Medical Officer
Independent Living Research Utilization
Richard Petty, Co-Director
Mid-America Regional Council
James Stowe, Director, Aging and Adult Services
Ohio Association of AAAs
Larke Recchie, Chief Executive Officer
Partners in Care Foundation
June Simmons, President & CEO – Project Co-Chair
Partners in Care Foundation
Ester Sefilyan, VP Network
Dr. Alexander Billioux, Vice President, Social Determinants of Health
Andy McMahon, Vice President, Policy / Health and Human Services
Marisa Scala-Foley, Director, Aging and Disability Business Institute
Kyle Allen
Federal Liaison
Kelly Cronin, Deputy Administrator, Director, Center for Innovation and Partnership (ACL)
Federal Liaison
Kristie Kulinski, Team Lead, Office of Network Advancement (ACL)
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