Connections4Health: Improving Patient Health through Addressing Social Determinants of Health
Connections4Health (C4H) is an innovative program of placing a social service help desk in the waiting area of underserved medical centers to assist patients in their unmet needs during, and as part of, their medical visit. Volunteer college students are trained as Community Health Fellows to work with patients while they are attending a medical appointment. These volunteers engage patients one-on-one to understand their unmet social service needs and create individualized action plans with referrals to relevant social service agencies. Student Fellows also follow-up weekly until the patients' needs are met to the patients' satisfaction. The students utilize an internal comprehensive database of local resources to connect patients with social services, and update this database regularly to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information to patients. This grant proposal allows for students to be trained in the use of MedlinePlus and other NLM resources to help patients better understand their own medical needs.