We hope you’ll take a minute to see where we’ve been and get to know some of the people and organizations who’ve paved the way for us. Just to name a few…
- Our Inspiration
In 1948, the World Health Organization defines health as “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
In 1965, the Community Health Center program is launched in the United States, based on an approach to care developed in South Africa that directly addressed the community conditions that drive health outcomes. It’s also when Dr. Jack Geiger famously said: “The last time I checked my textbooks the specific therapy for malnutrition was, in fact, food.”
In 1978, healthcare and public health leaders meeting in Alma Ata declare that primary healthcare is an essential human right, and define it to include, among other elements, “all related sectors and aspects of national and community development, in particular agriculture, animal husbandry, food, industry, education, housing, public works, communications and other sectors.”
- Our Journey
Rebecca Onie launches Project HEALTH at Boston Medical Center, where college volunteer advocates staff “Help Desks” to fill patient “prescriptions” for essential resources like food and housing assistance.
Project HEALTH incorporates as a 501 (c)3 non-profit.
In a landmark moment for the “whole person” care movement, several of the country’s most prominent healthcare foundations jointly define coordinated care to include integration “across the patient’s community (e.g., family, public and private community-based services).”
American healthcare puts patients and quality at the center of care with the introduction of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim.
Foundations and individual supporters invest $13 million to test, improve and expand elements of the Help Desk.
With an evolved mission and body of work, Project HEALTH rebrands as Health Leads.
The Affordable Care Act - the largest effort to date to make healthcare more affordable and accessible - is passed.
Health Leads founder Rebecca Onie urges us to “redefine what counts as healthcare.” Her TED Talk has been viewed over a million times since.
From binders and clipboards to desktops and the ‘net. Health Leads Reach™, one of the first social needs software solutions combines a resource database, patient and staff case management and deep analytics.
Health Leads publishes the first standard, skills-based training for social need volunteers — the Advocate Bootcamp.
5.2M new people enroll in health insurance via the Affordable Care Act.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation commits $16M, their largest single organization philanthropic committment to date, to advance Health Leads' vision.
Expanding its focus to knowledge-sharing, Health Leads begins translating 20 years of experience designing and managing hospital-based social needs programs into widely available educational offerings, tools and resources.
CMS, the world's largest purchaser of healthcare, introduces the first government-funded, clinic-based social needs interventions — Accountable Health Communities and Comprehensive Primary Care Plus. The programs are expected to drive the number of people screened for essential needs from tens of thousands to ~ 15 million per year.
One of the first clinically-validated studies of a social needs program (Health Leads at Massachusetts General Hospital) identifies a significant link between meeting patients’ resource needs and improved health outcomes.
The Health Leads call center pilot at Kaiser Permanente Southern California begins proactively calling and screening high-utilizers for social needs.
Upper Peninsula Health System and Bronx Lebanon Hospital System become the first organizations to implement Health Leads Reach to support addressing social needs within its own system.
Health Leads hosts its first Social Needs 201 Workshop.
The Health Leads Social Needs Screening Toolkit surpasses 3,000 downloads.
A group of 23 health system leaders co-creates and launches The Essential Social Needs Roadmap to help guide health systems on the path to addressing patients’ essential needs.
The first Health Leads’ Patient Advisory Councils gather in California and Boston.
In partnership with NYC Health and Hospitals, Health Leads launches a first of its kind WIC connection initiative deploying community health workers.
Health Leads launches comprehensive and searchable library of the industry’s leading resources.
Across the years, we’ve had the pleasure of working in and learning from 19 health systems across the country.
|St. Agnes Healthcare||Hasbro Children’s Hospital||Chicago Family Health|
|University of Maryland Medical||New York Presbyterian||Comer Children’s Hospital|
|Boston Medical Center||NYC Health + Hospitals||Friend and Family Health Center|
|Massachusetts General Hospital||Johns Hopkins University Medical Center||La Rabida Children’s Hospital|
|Codman Square Health Center||University Hospitals|
|Nassau University Medical Center||West Coast|
|Children’s National Health System||Kaiser Permanente|
|The Dimock Center||Contra Costa Regional Medical Center|