family resource connection
When a family brings their child to the pediatrician, they may be concerned about a broken arm or a sore throat. But they are often facing other challenges in their lives – lack of food, a job or ways to pay their bills – which also impact their health.
Research shows that when basic social needs are not met, families can’t focus on health issues. Multiple studies reveal that only 20 percent of a positive health outcome is attributed to medical care, while 20 percent can be linked to genetics. The biggest portion, 60 percent, is based on social, environmental and behavioral factors.
To address these issues, Dayton Children’s Office of Community Health and Engagement Programs launched a program called the Family Resource Connection to screen patient families for unmet social needs – like food, housing and transportation – and connect them with community resources.
The Family Resource Connection uses a patient’s visit to the doctor as an opportunity to address the non-medical issues that have an impact on health. Student workers, called advocates, then reach out to families in need and connect them to community resources. Some of the most common needs identified in the program include out-of-school resources for children, food, school supplies and baby supplies.
The Family Resource Connection is modeled after and in partnership with the well-known and respected Health Leads program.
Health Leads is a national movement that mobilizes the nation’s undergraduates to provide high-impact services to low-income families and, in the process, to transform our healthcare system into one that is more effective and more just. Health Leads envisions a health care system that addresses all patients' basic resource needs as a standard part of quality care. Health Leads’ mission is to catalyze this healthcare system by connecting patients with the basic resources they need to be healthy, and in doing so, build leaders with the conviction and ability to champion quality care for all patients. Health Leads has over 19 years of experience building social needs programs in hospital and clinic settings.