OAHHS Hospital Voice Fall/Winter 2019

10 » A magazine for and about Oregon Community Hospitals. Not long ago, a Kaiser Permanente Northwest patient called in to talk to a nurse case manager. The patient had just received word that her cancer had returned. She sounded anxious, as might be expected. What was surprising, however, was that the patient’s anxiety wasn’t all about her cancer. After talking to the nurse, it came to light that the patient had also just received an eviction notice. Her money was running low and she was getting short on food. The nurse consulted a directory of social services that’s part of Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s newThrive Local social health network and made referrals for the patient to a senior citizens support group, a rent assistance organization, the Oregon Food Bank, and a transportation provider. The goal, according to Nicole Friedman, a department administrator at KP and national operations lead for Thrive Local, was to connect the patient not only with the medical services she might need, but also with the social assistance COMMUNITY BENEFIT PADDLES UPSTREAM Oregon Hospitals Embrace Social Determinants to Improve Health in Communities They Serve By Jon Bell