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Affordable Housing , Community Development , Homelessness , State News , Supportive Housing

6/25 IForum Highlights Connecticut as a Leader in Integrating Systems

22 June 2015

On Thursday, June 25th, housing, health care, and homelessness providers joined advocates, state agency representatives, and funders and filled the Lyceum for the final IForum of the 2015 season. The event, Health Care, Housing and Homelessness: Integrating Systems, described the innovative models in Connecticut that are providing collaborative care, decreasing public costs, and improving well-being. Panelists discussed how health care and housing providers are working together to ensure people experiencing homelessness and living with physical and/or mental health disabilities are getting the care they need at much less expense.

Elizabeth Grim (Policy Analyst, Partnership for Strong Communities) kicked off the event with an overview of the statewide efforts to prevent and end homelessness through Opening Doors-CT. Betsy Branch (Associate Director, Corporation for Supportive Housing) described the need to work collaboratively to identify frequent visitors of emergency systems and coordinated care to best serve these highly vulnerable individuals. The Connecticut-based expert panel then showcased the great work happening in communities across the state, using real case examples to demonstrate the positive impact these programs are having on cost and health outcomes:

  • Carl Schiessl (Director of Regulatory Advocacy, Connecticut Hospital Association) highlighted the opportunities for policy advocacy and systems change
  • Catherine Rees (Director, Community Benefit, Middlesex Hospital) talked about how Community Care Teams are providing frequent visitors to the emergency department with better  care and wrap-around services
  • Alison Cunningham (Executive Director, Columbus House) described the benefit of medical respite programs
  • Lisa Bahadosingh (Community Liaison for Regional Initiatives, Supportive Housing Works) discussed how the Social Innovation Fund is identifying high-cost high-need Medicaid beneficiaries experiencing homelessness and linking these folks with services and housing

Click here to access the slideshow. 

This event built momentum to continue to drive health care, housing, and homelessness initiatives forward in the state. Next steps include expanding the Hospital Initiative and establishing a more comprehensive continuum of care for substance users. We hope that you will join the conversation!

Watch a recording of the IForum on CT-N