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New Tool Connects Pennsylvanians with Community Services

January 24, 2024

Pennsylvania is launching a new online tool to connect residents with community-based organizations, county and state agencies, health care providers, and other services.

This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced the launch of PA Navigate during an event in Lancaster. The new resource aims to make it easier to coordinate care and help Pennsylvanians find services in their area.

“PA Navigate is a groundbreaking resource that will enable greater collaboration between health care and social services organizations by allowing them to more easily and effectively work together to treat and support the whole person,” said Dr. Val Arkoosh, DHS secretary. “A person’s individual situation is complex, and factors like poverty, lack of stable housing, and food insecurity often impact an individual’s or family’s health.”

Here's what you need to know:

  • Find help:  PA Navigate is available online.
  • About:  PA Navigate creates a shared platform for health care providers and social services organizations to track client referrals.
    • This system will create a “closed loop” to ensure patients receive the services they need, with both referrers and organizations receiving referrals tracking patients within one platform.
    • Participants include health information organizations, state agencies, counties, local non-profits and community organizations, health care entities, and social services providers.
  • Social determinants of health:  Poverty, lack of stable housing, and food insecurity play a significant role in health, but these needs are not filled within one provider or service. PA Navigate seeks to create new bridges for Pennsylvanians to get the help they need to improve their health.
  • Key stat:  The National Academy of Medicine estimates that social determinants of health (income, access to essential resources, education and employment, social supports, and physical environment) contribute up to 90 percent of health outcomes.
  • Quotable:  “We must consider the whole person when delivering health care, and no one provider or community-based organization can help someone fully address all their needs,” Arkoosh said. “PA Navigate will help by making it easier for health and service providers to coordinate and collaborate, easing barriers to care and improving health outcomes, to provide a better quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.”

The platform is in the building phase, and more services and organizations are brought online this year, state officials said.

HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals are committed to supporting the social determinants of health. Learn more about some of the ways Pennsylvania hospitals are taking action to improve the health of their communities. For more infromation, contact Kate Slatt, vice president, policy and care delivery