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City, County Partner with Unite Us to Connect Residents to Social Services

Digital platform launching this summer will bring greater connectivity and coordination of care.
July 10, 2024

In an effort to improve access to essential services, the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are collaborating on a new initiative to better connect residents with social service resources. The partnership with Unite Us, the nation’s trusted technology partner for social care transformation, will streamline the referral process for resources such as food, housing, and behavioral health services with less paperwork and fewer people falling through the cracks.

“Health is measured in more than just medical care. Food security, housing security, transportation, and child care are all critical to the health of our communities, so we’re making sure people can get connected to the right help for them,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “With this investment, we’re ensuring that Albuquerque families have better tools to access the resources they need.”

The City and County began working with Unite Us in April 2024 and aim to launch the new system later this summer, offering a secure and efficient way to connect residents to the services they need. Unite Us, already used by Dona Ana County, Santa Fe County, and Presbyterian Health Services, brings proven expertise in facilitating cross-sector collaboration.

“The Unite Us technology platform holds the promise of offering us a tool to comprehensively improve service access and coordination. However, we must work collaboratively with service providers to ensure that the electronic inter-connectivity between information systems does work and that the incentives to optimize the use of this tool are sufficiently robust,” said Deputy County Manager of Bernalillo County’s Behavioral Health Division Wayne Lindstrom, Ph.D.

How the System Works:

  • Identification of Needs: Healthcare providers and community organizations can screen residents for social needs such as food insecurity or housing instability.
  • Secure Referrals: If needs are identified, electronic referrals are securely sent to appropriate organizations through Unite Us' certified, HIPPA-compliant platform.
  • Closing the Loop: Service providers update the platform with the referral outcome, ensuring referring organizations are aware of the support provided.

This closed-loop referral system aims to improve the quality of life for residents by addressing social determinants of health and ensuring coordinated, effective care.

“The more our provider network is connected digitally, the more we’ll be able to see community members get the help they need in a variety of areas without having to repeat their story,” said HHH Director Gilbert Ramirez. “We’ll also gain valuable insight into where service gaps still exist.”

“The Unite Us Platform is designed to break down barriers between healthcare providers and social care service organizations, ensuring that individuals receive the comprehensive support they need efficiently and effectively,” said Senior Director of Customer Success at Unite Us Erin Willis. “Our collaboration with the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County will enhance the delivery of critical services and improve overall community health and well-being.”

The City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are committed to making sure all residents have access to the support they need. Stay tuned for the official launch and more information on how this program will benefit our community.