Flagler Health+ recently announced key milestones and expansion plans for Care Connect+, the health enterprise’s social health organization that connects area residents with a single access point to services that address social determinants of health in a coordinated way across communities. Care Connect+ has made significant strides to improve circumstances such as housing, income, education, food adequacy and other factors tied to social determinants of health, which research has shown affects 80% of health outcomes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the important role that Care Connect+ continues to play in building healthier communities across Northeast Florida,” said Flagler Health+ President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Barrett. “With an emphasis on collaboration, innovation and seamless care navigation, the team at Care Connect+ is closing the gap in healthcare disparities and helping area residents and communities thrive. This would not be possible without our growing base of community partners.”
In 2020, Care Connect+ helped decrease the unsheltered homeless population by 39% and increase access to youth behavioral health resources by 20%. Programs such as BRAVE, a partnership with St. Johns County School District that connects students across 39 schools with behavioral health providers, saw a 160% increase in the number of students proactively working with providers. The alliance also helped more than 1,300 residents affected by COVID-19 secure housing and utility payment assistance, food and other critical needs.
“The collective effort of our partners and supporters helped individuals and families navigate some of life’s most challenging circumstances,” said Care Connect+ Executive Director John Eaton. “As we work to increase coordination and access to the resources people need to keep their families safe and healthy, we are working towards realizing our vision to advance physical, social and economic health in Northeast Florida.”
Care Connect+ has grown tremendously in recent years, expanding to include more than 60 community-based organizations that serve nearly 5,000 clients in both St. Johns and Flagler County. Key expansion plans for 2021 include:
■ Expanding BRAVE to Putnam County (January 2021)
■ Launching BRAVE 2 Speak, an online community to promote mental health and wellbeing by connecting youth with providers and access to peer support (January 2021)
■ Establishing the first permanent supportive housing program for veterans in St. Johns County in (June 2021)
To learn more about Flagler Health+ Care Connect and its resources, go to stjohnscareconnect.com.