The Center for Care Innovations selected West County Health Centers as one of seven organizations to participate in Roles Outside of Traditional Systems, or ROOTS, a one-year learning collaborative focused on the role of community health clinics in addressing patients’ social needs.West County Health Centers (WCHC) started focusing more explicitly on social determinants of health (SDH) approximately five years ago, inspired by thought leaders like Victoria Sweet and Rishi Manchanda, who championed a different, more wholistic approach to medicine. In 2017, WCHC began implementing PRAPARE, a tool consisting of a set of national core measures used to collect and act on patients’ social needs. WCHC had also been using Purple Binder and Aunt Bertha (two online social service resource connection platforms) to refer patients to non-medical services since 2017. The ROOTS grant provided an opportunity to take their SDH work to the next level, while taking advantage of the health center’s strong data capacity.
The following case study was prepared by the Social Interventions Research & Evaluation Network (SIREN) at the University of California, San Francisco.