Case Assignment: Health Leads

Case Assignment: Health Leads

Case Assignment: Health Leads

Case Assignment: Health Leads


Week 4 discussion Discussion 1 Watch the Ted Talk video, What if our health care system kept us healthy? Watch Video Rebecca Onie: What if our healthcare system kept us healthy? Duration: (16:35) User: TED – Added: 6/12/12 What role does your facility play in keeping people healthy? Would the Health Leads program work in your facility? Why or why not? Discussion 2 How do the nutrition and fitness goals in Healthy People 2010 compare to those in Healthy People 2020?

Health Leads is a national healthcare organization that connects low-income patients with the basic resources they need to be healthy.[1] Health Leads intends for healthcare providers to routinely take into account the social and economic reasons people get sick.[2]

Health Leads facilitates the treatment of underlying social and environmental causes of patients’ health problems by working with doctors in participating clinics on “prescriptions” for things such as food, fuel assistance, housing or other resources for their patients the same way they might prescribe medication. Patients then work with an onsite trained volunteer to access public benefits and community resources to fulfill these “prescriptions.”

Currently, Health Leads operates at 20 desks with 15 clinical partners in six U.S. cities (Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, Providence, and Washington, D.C.)

In 1996, Harvard College sophomore Rebecca Onie co-founded Health Leads (called Project HEALTH until November 2010)[4] with Dr. Barry Zuckerman, Chief of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center.[5] Onie reached out to Zuckerman while serving as an intern at Greater Boston Legal Services, where she was struck by the link between poverty and poor health.[6]

During her internship, Onie interviewed mothers of children who had asthma and lung infections, which were triggered by their housing conditions. Onie found that close to 70 percent of the patients at Boston Medical Center are considered poor and the children who were treated at the clinic would later be readmitted to the hospital because nothing was done to address the causes of their illnesses.

Onie served as Executive Director for Health Leads while she completed her undergraduate education.[7] She then attended Harvard Law School and later worked as an associate at Miner, Barnhill & Galland P.C. in Chicago, where her clients included civil health centers, affordable housing developers, and non-profit organizations. During that time, Onie served as founding Co-Chair of Health Leads’ Board of Directors. She returned to Health Leads as CEO in February 2006.[8]

Between 2012 and 2014, over 1,000 hospitals requested the Health Leads program.[9

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