March 17, 2016

University Hospitals and Health Leads Launch Multi-Year Partnership
to Address Social Needs

New services at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s and MacDonald Women’s Hospitals
connect patients to the resources they need to be healthy

CLEVELAND, Ohio and BOSTON, Mass. – Integrated healthcare delivery organization University Hospitals Health System (UH) in Cleveland and social enterprise Health Leads today launched a multi-year strategy to improve patient health by addressing social needs. The initial phase of the collaboration includes in-clinic social needs services in the pediatric and women’s health clinics at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (UH Rainbow) and University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital (UH MacDonald). These primary care clinics have grown significantly in the past decade and currently see more than 150 patients per day. Through Health Leads tools, technology and on-site direct services, the clinics are now equipped to connect patients to local resources – including food, utilities, transportation and insurance benefits – as a standard part of quality care.

“Without a doubt, healthcare providers today will be more effective and truer to our missions if we can better understand and address the non-medical factors impacting the lives and health of our patients,” said Patti DePompei, RN, MSN, President of ‎UH Rainbow and UH MacDonald. “Our strategic alliance with Health Leads gives us not only the tools and insights to deliver a comprehensive social needs program, but also the leadership and innovation to continually strengthen our commitment to keep our communities healthy.”

A dedicated social needs team – including a seasoned program manager, 24 dedicated student advocates from Case Western Reserve University, and a community associate with deep understanding of local neighborhoods, cultures, languages and resources – will work closely with patients to identify needs, make connections to resources in their area and conduct follow up. The team will be armed with Health Leads Reach™, a cloud-based solution to drive workflow, patient screening, case and community resource management, communication and reporting.

To recruit and support the dedicated student volunteers from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), one of the nation’s leading private research institutions, Health Leads worked closely with CWRU’s Center for Civic Engagement and Learning, which provides opportunities for students to get involved in their community while promoting civic education, awareness and leadership.

UH and Health Leads are hopeful that this initial program will lay the groundwork for the potential integration of a social needs strategy institution-wide, with  a goal to innovate around initiatives like technology and tools, program evaluation, clinician and staff education and new models of social needs service delivery.

“While CMS’s recent announcement of its Accountable Health Communities pilot has elevated patients’ social needs as a key driver of quality and cost, University Hospitals is several steps ahead in its commitment to spur the industry to adopt a new definition of healthcare – one that addresses the underlying, unspoken barriers to good health,” said Health Leads Co-founder and CEO Rebecca Onie. “We celebrate University Hospitals’ leadership in prioritizing patients’ social needs as a core element of its business planning and in realizing our shared vision to make addressing these needs a standard part of quality care.”

For UH Rainbow and UH MacDonald, the Health Leads partnership is an extension of its ongoing investment in new services and programs designed with a focus on prevention, total health and wellness including Healthy Harvest, CenteringPregnancy and the Rainbow dental clinic. The hospitals are preparing for the groundbreaking of a new health center, UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children, in Cleveland’s Midtown neighborhood.


About Health Leads
Health Leads is a social enterprise that envisions a healthcare system that addresses all patients’ basic resource needs as a standard part of quality care. For 20 years, Health Leads has worked with leading healthcare organizations to tackle social co-morbidities by connecting patients to the community-based resources they need to be healthy – from food to transportation to healthcare benefits. Health Leads is committed to leveraging its tools, expertise and direct services to change what “counts” as healthcare – and accelerate the leadership, best practices, incentives and research required to improve the health and well-being of patients. Learn more at, reach us at and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
Internationally renowned, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is a full-service children’s hospital and pediatric academic medical center with experts in 16 medical divisions and 11 surgical specialties who offer nationally ranked care not available at other institutions in the region, including a center dedicated to adolescent and young adult cancer treatment and Northeast Ohio’s only single-site provider of advanced maternal fetal medicine and neonatology services. As the primary pediatric affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in the region, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital offers access to novel therapies, advanced technologies and clinical discoveries long before they are available nationwide. Rainbow pediatric specialists – all of whom also serve on the faculty at the School of Medicine – are engaged in today’s most advanced clinical research and are widely regarded as the best in the nation – and in some specialties, the best in the world. Learn more at

About University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital
UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital is the only hospital in Ohio solely dedicated to the unique health care needs for every stage of a woman’s life – from adolescence through mature adulthood. A trusted leader in obstetrics and gynecology for 125 years, UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals nationally for gynecologic care. Part of University Hospitals Case Medical Center, UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital enjoys close relationships with UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, UH Seidman Cancer Center and UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists collaborate closely with neonatal specialists, creating the safest and most comprehensive care for pregnant women and their babies – all under one roof, so mothers and their babies are never separated. Today, more babies in Northeast Ohio are born full-term and healthy thanks to successful programs in collaboration with UH MacDonald and ground-breaking research to reduce pre-term deliveries. Learn more at

Among the nation’s leading academic medical centers, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is the primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, a nationally recognized leader in medical research and education.

About Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 4,900 undergraduate and 5,900 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.
Media Contacts

Susan McCarron
Health Leads

Katelyn McCarthy
UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital