Leaders in York County are trying to make the local healthcare and human services coordination systems better and easier to navigate, but they need help from residents of York County.
The project, funded by the County of York, aims to find new ways to work together to improve community health and well-being, said Kevin Jackson, a consultant working with Family First Health.
“We have all navigated health and human service systems, and during COVID we saw that organizations both large and small were more innovative to get to needs quickly, but coming out of COVID people are settling back into old inefficient and siloed ways,” he said. “We want to make sure we don’t lose this innovative spirit with how we serve community members.”
Jackson said that a person’s overall health and well-being requires a connected and coordinated network of systems and services. Where we live, what we have access to, what we can afford and how we socially connect all matter. Many community members continue to find it challenging, frustrating and inequitable to access essential resources such as food, housing, transportation and healthcare.
“Everyone wants to be healthy and have access to what they need to be healthy,” he said. “So that’s why everyone needs to work together to make sure referrals, hand-offs, resources and funding go where they need to go in York County. We can and must do better.”
Jackson said the goal for this project is to bring together health and human services from various healthcare systems and community organizations to create a better experience for community members as they move through these systems.
To do this, Healthy York Coalition brought together over 130 health organizations, government officials, and community-based organization leaders to discuss ways that everyone could work together for better health in the county.
“There are no shortages of people who care, so we brought them together and out of this meeting we created three teams to help us understand the community member experience, their journey as they go through our systems, where communication and process breakdowns happen, and how we can make a positive impact in their experience,” Jackson said. “But you can’t do that without asking for the experience of the community member, so that’s where we need help. We want to know their candid experiences, what they would suggest, what their ideas may be. We want to engage them in the process, not have directors and executives solely make decisions for them.”
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