Hometown Heroes: Organizations launch first social care network in state

  • Local organizations interested in joining Unite Hawaii can learn more by visiting https://hawaii.uniteus.com. (Kaiser Permanente Hawaii/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, West Hawaii Today is publishing a story about individuals, groups or organizations that have helped make life better for others in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unite Us, the enterprise technology company providing the digital infrastructure to power integrated health and social care ecosystems, on June 30 announced partnerships with Kaiser Permanente, a leading health care provider, and AlohaCare, a nonprofit health plan in Hawaii, to implement the first coordinated care network throughout the state: Unite Hawaii.

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As social services such as food, employment, and housing continue to be strained due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Unite Hawaii will bridge the care gap statewide for individuals in need, enabling real-time service delivery for communities, and secure, trackable social service referrals.

The Unite Hawaii network is available to all community-based organizations at no cost to them, offering features that allow providers and care coordinators to connect mem-bers to participating organizations and receive real-time data on fulfillment of services.

Hawaii consistently ranks as one of the healthiest states in the nation. Hawaii residents live longer than their counterparts on the mainland, due in large part to its near-universal health insurance system. Still, the pandemic has made its mark.

“Like many communities nationwide, Hawaii is still experiencing unprecedented needs for social services during this recovery phase, and the Unite Hawaii network will make an already good system even better,” said Taylor Justice, co-founder and president of Unite Us.

“Connecting vulnerable populations to the health resources needed is an import-ant part of providing quality care,” said Greg Christian, Hawaii market president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. “Unite Hawaii is an in-depth, innovative digital network for providers to connect and secure such resources out-side of the clinic or hospital setting. We are delighted to partner and implement these wonderful tools.”

“AlohaCare has always connected our members to community services by referring them to local nonprofit organizations; the Unite Us Platform, will provide transparency into utiliza-tion and outcomes of these services,” said Francoise Culley-Trotman, CEO of AlohaCare.

The Unite Us Platform will be available for Hawaii providers statewide by the end of this year. AlohaCare is already sending referrals for their Oahu members, and neighbor island referrals will commence this fall when additional social service providers join the network. Kaiser Permanente will send referrals on behalf of its plan members statewide later this year or early next year.

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There is no cost for nonprofits and community-based organizations to participate in Unite Hawaii. Local organizations interested in joining the network can learn more by visiting https://hawaii.uniteus.com.

Know a Hometown Hero who should be highlighted next Wednesday? It can be anybody, from a youngster doing good for the community, to a professional helping with the COVID-19 pandemic, or even a kupuna! Please send your nominations to cjensen@westhawaiitoday.com with the subject: Hometown Heroes Nomination. Please include the hero’s name, contact information and what makes them a hero.