As part of a shared commitment to improving health in Northern Virginia, the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) and Kaiser Permanente have entered into a collaboration to address social determinants of health, particularly for medically underserved and underinsured populations.
Kaiser Permanente, the region’s leading integrated nonprofit health system, awarded a $500,000 grant to the university to develop a resource hub that co-locates three community partners—the Partnership for Healthier Kids, NOVA Scripts, and Northern Virginia Family Services. Each organization will work to address both clinical and social aspects of health by providing clients with referrals to medical care, food assistance, prescription medications, housing, and other social services that have been shown to impact health outcomes.
The hub will be housed within the CHHS population health center, slated to open on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus in fall of 2019.
“Kaiser Permanente is an ideal partner for the College of Health and Human Services to address the many factors that influence health in Northern Virginia, as we jointly strive for public health. We look forward to a strong partnership that improves health throughout the region,” says Dr. Germaine Louis, dean of the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University.
Currently, more than 240,000 people in Northern Virginia are underinsured or do not have health insurance, while nearly 160,000 local residents live in poverty, 45% of which are in minority groups. This grant award comes as CHHS moves toward becoming a global college of public health. This is the most recent commitment by Kaiser Permanente in Northern Virginia to improve access to affordable, high-quality health care and to address conditions that affect community health in the region.
In addition to providing underinsured and underserved communities with social services, the resource hub will complement other research and workforce training planned for the population health center. The organizations co-located in the hub will offer opportunities for students across all health disciplines to experience hands-on learning and to observe as professionals engage with clients.
“As a part of our approach to care and our deep belief that good health requires more than clinical care, we are committed to creating opportunities and connections to health where the community needs it—in traditional as well as unexpected settings,” said Celeste James, executive director, Community Health for Kaiser Permanente. “Our collaboration with George Mason University allows us to deliver on that promise in the heart of Northern Virginia where we are proud to care for our members and the many communities we serve.”
May 20, 2019
CONTACT: Shana Selender, Kaiser Permanente, 202-215-4821 / Shana.Selender@kp.org
CONTACT: Michelle Thompson, College of Health and Human Services, 703-993-3485 / firstname.lastname@example.org