Community resource referral platforms have been growing in popularity as a way for healthcare and social sector organizations to coordinate services for individuals with complex needs — a demand that has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Promising practices on how to structure and maintain these tools and workflows are emerging, but organizations seeking to implement these practices must navigate their unique local environment.

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Over the last several months, conversations about diversity and inclusion have become increasingly commonplace. No matter the issue at hand, people with lived experiences understand the challenges and barriers experienced by their communities, and can provide insight into the opportunities to bring about lasting and positive change. While many healthcare and social service professionals support the inclusion of people with lived experience, there are often uncertainties about how to build and maintain authentic, mutually beneficial partnerships. In this Office Hours session, we will discuss opportunities for organizations to increase inclusion of people with lived experiences.

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The Blueprint for Complex Care laid out a number of important opportunities for advancing the field of complex care, including the need for standardized quality measures that can be used to evaluate and demonstrate the impact of complex care programs beyond cost and utilization. As a first step toward this goal, a new report from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs assesses the current state of complex care measurement and recommends a path forward.

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People with lived experience of complex health and social needs have important insights that are needed to create better systems of care for their communities. Now more than ever, people are using their lived experiences as the impetus to become advocates for change. Advocacy can mean many things, but we define “consumer advocacy” as any activity where people with lived experience work to shape policies and practices on an organizational, local, state, and national level.

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