CSH and the Texas Homeless Network (THN) welcomed over 100 guests to the BIG Partnerships conference in Austin on March 31. This three day long conference featured two keynote speakers, Kay Ghahremani, Texas Medicaid Director and Jennifer Ho, HUD Senior Advisor on Housing and Services. BIG Partnerships focused on building existing relationship and creating new relationships among primary and behavioral healthcare leaders, philanthropic funders, and experts and decision-makers within supportive housing.
“It is clear from the conference presentations and discussions that supportive housing equals health care,” said Katrina Van Valkenburgh, CSH Central Region Managing Director. “Experts from around the country told us more and more evidence suggests integrating stable housing and health care improves health outcomes and lowers costs.” The conference also promoted supportive housing as an effective solution for frequent users while reducing costs to health systems and improving patient outcomes. The collaboration between CSH and THN allowed for clinics, hospitals, Medicaid managed care organizations, federally qualified health centers, affordable housing providers, housing finance agencies, policy makers, and philanthropy to partner with supportive housing experts. Also, BIG Partnerships provided evidence-based guidance on how best to serve frequent users while, sharing information and recommendations from Regional Health Plans and Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) project. “Our presenters delivered powerful messages on the community benefits of building on Medicaid eligibility to enhance services within the community and how doing so can maximize the healthcare options available to supportive housing residents,” said Lisa Castro, CSH Director in Texas. “Every participant left with ideas for improving our communities by creating affordable housing and strengthening partnerships with healthcare providers to deliver better services across the board.”