Dear Colleagues & Friends, People often ask me why I work at Regional One Health. In the past, I had so many reasons it was difficult to mention just one. However, over the past year, I have passionately provided one answer: “Because of ONE Health.” At some point today, I’m guessing you were in your home where you opened your refrigerator and grabbed a snack. This week you probably did some errands, like picking up clothes from the cleaners and grocery shopping. If someone in your house is sick, that person more than likely has visited the doctor, taken prescriptions, and is tucked away in bed. That person may be bored, but is recuperating. If you did any of these things, you have much to be grateful for, and you are unlike most of our patients enrolled in ONE Health. ONE Health, a population health strategy, works with men and women who show up regularly in our emergency department. By regularly, I mean on average 80 times a year. The vast majority of these people have a multitude of societal issues that worsen their already tenuous health. For example, if you are homeless, you are not going to monitor your high blood pressure. When you present to an emergency room, the staff runs tests, lowers your blood pressure, gives you medicine and sends you “home.” While this may fix the acute problem, you will return because your health will not improve. What you need is stable housing. Of our current ONE Health participants and program graduates, more than 50% have housing vulnerability (e.g., homelessness, risk of homelessness, inability to care for self in current housing situation, inability to pay utility bills). Incredibly, we have been able to secure permanent or temporary housing for all these individuals through ONE Health. Not all of our patients have housing vulnerabilities; for some it’s food insecurity, transportation issues, or behavioral health. The point is that none of these issues are medical, but they make people sick, prevent people from getting well, and drive up healthcare costs. By helping these individuals address the social needs that adversely affect their health, we have achieved significant reductions in emergency department visits and inpatient admissions while avoiding substantial costs. This is why I work at Regional One Health. Regional One Health faces the toughest challenges and the sickest people, applies innovative solutions, and improves the quality of life for the people we care for. This, in turn, improves the community I call home. Tammie Ritchey, CFRE Senior Vice President/Chief Development Officer Regional One Health Foundation 11 REGIONAL ONE HEALTH FOUNDATION

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