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.