Our LINK team (the four clinics caring for Arlington’s underserved residents: AFC, VHC Outpatient Clinic, VHC Pediatrics, and Arlington County DHS Maternal & Child Health) was recently approved for a fourth year of funding.
Since 2019, Northern Virginia Health Foundation has funded us to collect social determinants of health data, such as food, housing, safety, and technology access, on our shared patient population. Not only has this helped grant partners better understand and mitigate the barriers our patients face, but it’s enabled our effective advocacy on behalf of our patients to community leaders with the power to make lasting, systems-level change.
This year, LINK partners are focusing on integration of social determinants of health data into patients’ electronic health records so that all care providers can be aware of the various factors – such as access to food and shelter – that can influence health outcomes. This work is already underway in collaboration with VHC’s Epic team. We are optimistic about Arlington County’s plans for a new electronic health record system that will support the collection and use of this critical data. We are appreciative of Northern Virginia Health Foundation’s support of this innovative work which allows us to address many of the factors that can influence the health of our patients.