Considering that life outside the doctor’s office has a much greater impact on patients’ health, Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colorado has created a program called Resource Connect to help families of patients access social-economic services and resources in their community. At every doctor’s appointment, parents complete a screening form that allows the doctor to decide whether to send in a Resource Connect navigator to help the patient’s family find food, housing, and mental health services. Since the program started in 2019, it has helped hundreds of families find ways to pay their rent or electric bills, sign up for food stamps, and get diapers, wipes, and school supplies. Patients can even get fresh produce and other nutrition-dense foods like meat, milk, and eggs from a pantry that is located inside the hospital. Connecting families to resources that impact children's overall wellness, the program has become a model for other hospitals and clinics in the US. “It’s all about what’s going on in their families, their schools and their neighborhoods,” said Dr. Lisa DeCamp, a primary care physician in the hospital’s child health clinic. “There’s little that I can do to impact their health trajectory. They can get their vaccines. I can make sure they get their antibiotics for an ear infection. The more we can do to support and help families access the resources that are available in the community, that is what’s really contributing to the health of the child.”

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