Partnerships and programs address the social determinants of health across Nevada
LAS VEGAS/RENO – During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people across Nevada are facing challenges that extend beyond medical care and include basic daily needs, such as food and essential supplies. Centene, a leading multi-national healthcare company, has partnered with various organizations to support efforts that address these social determinants of health. SilverSummit Healthplan, as part of the Centene family, will be deploying these programs locally in Nevada.
Social determinants of health are non-medical barriers to achieving quality health outcomes. They include socioeconomic and environment factors such as food accessibility, employment, education, and more. Research shows that medical care accounts for approximately 10 to 20 percent of health outcomes, while the other 80 to 90 percent is affected by the social determinants of health.
“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are far-reaching and have extended beyond medical care to affect people’s access to food, employment, connectivity, and more,” said Eric Schmacker, CEO of SilverSummit Healthplan. “These social determinants of health have a significant impact on people’s overall wellbeing, especially among vulnerable populations. SilverSummit Healthplan wants to help ensure we’re supporting the additional needs of communities during this challenging time.”
Hunger and Food Security
The demand food banks face has significantly increased during this pandemic, and SilverSummit Healthplan’s donations totaling $64,000 will provide food assistance to people facing food insecurity in Nevada. SilverSummit is supporting local community partners including Three Square, Food Bank of Northern Nevada, Lutheran Social Services, SHARE Village, Just One Senior Food, and Catholic Charities – Meals on Wheels.
SilverSummit Healthplan is also partnering with the Nevada Hispanic Legislative Caucus, UNLV, United Way, and La Bonita on food delivery operations that deliver boxes of food to individuals and families that are COVID positive. This effort helps COVID-19 positive community members stay home and prevents them from having to go out into the community to purchase food.
SilverSummit Healthplan has also implemented a Community Connections Helpline. Community Connections Helpline liaisons assist callers by connecting them with over 2,200 community-based solutions, including unemployment benefits, housing, food and utility assistance, transportation, and childcare. A live agent answers the phone to assist, and then follows up with the caller to ensure they received the help needed.
To ensure community members have access to crucial supplies during this time of need, SilverSummit Healthplan, in coordination with Centene, will be distributing 500 gift cards for use on essential items. SilverSummit will deliver the cards to local providers and other community agencies such as the Salvation Army, HELP of Southern Nevada, Nevada Homeless Alliance, Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, Baby’s Bounty, Eddy House, Chicanos Por la Causa, and Street Dogs and Cats for distribution to individuals in need. The gift cards will be used to purchase essential healthcare and educational items, including diapers, over-the-counter medicines, cleaning supplies, books, and more.
SilverSummit Healthplan is also providing additional resources to support communities across Nevada that include funding for meals to healthcare workers of Renown and UMC and funding for essential supplies to Community Health Alliance, Nevada Health Centers, Northern Nevada Hopes, and Women’s Health Associates of Southern Nevada.