01/06/2015

Washtenaw County Team attends Social Innovation Fund Convening

CSH convened its third annual Face-to-Face gathering in Los Angeles this October for sub-grantees of the of the Social Innovation Fund demonstration project continuing the cross-site learning opportunities that have been critical to the success of each team. The project, now entering its fourth year, is focused on high utilizers of healthcare.

The Washtenaw County FUSE team was well represented at the event, with leadership from University of Michigan Hospital, Community Support and Treatment Services, Avalon Housing and the program lead, Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County (CSSW).  The team joined other sites as well as CSH staff and national leaders for two days at the California Endowment, engaged in discussion guided largely by the four community teams who have been implementing their SIF project on the ground for three years. This year’s gathering centered on the theme of sustainability beyond the five-year grant program, with each site presenting a detailed financial sustainability plan for feedback from an expert panel including representatives from HUD, the Technical Assistance Collaboration, Health Management Associates, and the Hilton Foundation.

300_SIF-Face-to-Face-border_14Other sessions addressed strategies for programmatic sustainability, building on the sites’ collective body of experience and expertise. The Washtenaw team presented to the group on their collaborative service model.

Laurie Ingram, the Program Lead from CSSW, noted that “The SIF convening was a great opportunity to further engage our community partners and stakeholders in our local initiative.  It gave us the chance to hear what other communities are doing in regard to funding sustainability, scaling, and services best practice.  Finally, it gave us an opportunity to learn about how other sites have been affected by ACA and Medicaid expansion, and Medicaid funding for supportive housing programs.”

One of the key emerging lessons of the work on the ground with high-utilizing cohorts is that the majority of individuals being served have an array of medical, behavioral, and social challenges resulting in a need for support that is both acute and complex. Participants engaged in rich discussions on innovations and best practices in harm reduction, cross-sector coordination, and nontraditional models for engagement with healthcare.

The Skid Row Housing Trust graciously hosted the SIF group for dinner on the garden terrace of a new supportive housing residence for medically vulnerable high-utilizers, the Star Apartments. To learn more, click here.

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