COVID-19 has contributed to a record number of layoffs and scarcity of resources. In light of today’s circumstances, the need to come together is more palpable than ever.
CVS Health and Unite Us have launched a digital social care network in Central West Virginia. The network provides essential services around substance abuse and mental and behavioral health. Additionally, it addresses other crucial needs such as employment, education, housing, and food security among communities.
“This network opens up a whole new world to people who have access to limited resources. It’s an extension of possibilities for so many people in need.”Jim Smallridge, RN, Manager, Community Development for Aetna Better Health of West Virginia
Michael Fields, a community member experiencing homelessness, found the support he needed through this network. The United Way, a local Unite Us member, helped him apply for housing, food assistance, as well as a grant that would allow him to attend a local technical college.
Michael’s story illustrated how social determinants of health can directly influence a person’s well-being outside a doctor’s office — with factors like affordable housing, food insecurity and education impacting up to 80% of health outcomes.
“As an extension of our traditional plan offerings, we’re helping vulnerable community members access the non-clinical resources they need to improve their everyday health,” says R.J. Briscione, Senior Director of Social Determinants of Health Strategy and Execution at Aetna.
According to Briscione, Aetna will also make the Unite Us network available to its Medicaid and dual-eligible Medicaid/Medicare customers in the region.
CVS Health and United Us are looking to provide similar networks in Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Information provided by CVS Health.