UPMC Health Plan’s new initiative to address social determinants of health

UPMC Health Plan, a health plan owned by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has launched a new social impact initiative to address social determinants of health and reduce health inequities in underserved communities.

The initiative, UPMC Social Impact, will focus on key areas to impact the health of at-risk individuals, such as housing, employment and human service integration. Specifically, the initiative will expand upon food security and nutrition, affordable housing and permanent supportive housing, employment opportunities for Medicaid members and individuals with disabilities, transportation access, improving healthcare coordination, accessible and quality care for LGBTQIA individuals, early childhood initiatives, regional care coordination, and support to prevent social isolation.

“The goal of UPMC Social Impact is to help meet the health, socioeconomic, and environmental needs of UPMC Health Plan members and the communities we serve,” John Lovelace, president of government programs at UPMC Health Plan, said in a statement. “The initiative will create new social responsibility programs and expand upon our existing programs to positively impact the health and wellbeing of our members, employees, and the neighborhoods where we live and work.”

Social Impact will be housed in the UPMC Center for High-Quality Health Care, where the health system puts its evidence-based practice and policy changes for healthcare quality and efficiency into action.

The initiative will bring together current efforts of the health system to address SDOH and launch new efforts. The Social Impact will also develop strategic plans outside of SDOH to address corporate social responsibility and how the health system may invest in these areas.

UPMC is the latest healthcare provider to strategically tackle SDOH. Last year, CVS Health launched a new platform with Unite Us, a social care coordination program, to impact SDOH.