Health Leads

Health Leads

Connecting patients and their families with the resources they need to be healthy – beyond medicine

Health Leads envisions a healthcare system that addresses basic resource needs as a standard part of patient care. By providing a transformative experience for hundreds of college volunteers, Health Leads is producing a pipeline of new leaders with both the conviction and ability to champion a new model of healthcare delivery. Health Leads mobilizes college volunteers to connect patients and their families with the basic resources they need to be healthy. With Health Leads, doctors can “prescribe” resources such as food, housing and heating assistance – just as they do medication. Patients take their prescriptions to the clinic waiting room, where volunteers help “fill” them by connecting patients to community services.

Health Leads represents an innovative yet practical approach to removing social barriers to good health. By addressing patients’ non-medical needs as part of health care delivery, Health Leads helps change the circumstances affecting the lives of vulnerable people. With RWJF support, Health Leads is building capacity to spread its model for addressing the social factors that contribute to people’s health, reaching more patients in more cities across the country.


Health Leads National

2 Oliver Street, 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02109

(617) 391-3633

Health Leads

6 cities. 21 sites. 1,000 volunteers. 9,000 patients. Learn more about @HealthLeadsNatl.

Research Documents

Health Care's Blind Side

Four in five physicians say patients’ social needs are as important to address as their medical conditions, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For physicians serving patients in low-income communities, nine in ten physicians believe this is true.

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Quick Facts From This Study

A physician in scrubs reviewing paperwork
  • Eighty-five percent say that patients' social needs are as important to address as their medical conditions.
  • Eighty-seven percent indicated the problems created by unmet social needs are problems for everyone, not only for those in low-income communities.

Health Leads Videos

Health Leads is working to integrate social needs into health care delivery.

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