Wyss Foundation Awards $2 Million Grant to Expand Innovative Healthcare Delivery Model for Most Vulnerable Patients

Washington, DC – The Wyss Foundation today announced that it will provide the Boston-based healthcare organization Health Leads with a $2,000,000 grant over the next three years to help healthcare institutions improve care by meeting the basic needs of their most economically vulnerable patients.

According to recent analysis, a staggering 80% of health outcomes are driven by economic, social, and healthcare factors that are outside the walls of a clinic or hospital. Medications and healthcare treatments, for example, have diminished benefits if a patient has no food at home, no fuel assistance, no job training, and is living in unhealthy housing conditions.

If these basic social needs are not met, vulnerable patients are at a higher risk of returning to their healthcare providers with more serious and expensive illnesses.

Health Leads is working to deploy an innovative healthcare model that addresses all patients’ basic resource needs as a standard part of quality care. It provides the healthcare sector with the tools, training and analytics to address those needs and connects patients with the critical resources they need to be healthy. In the same way that physicians prescribe medication, Health Leads enables physicians to “prescribe” food and heat by referring patients to the Health Leads program where Health Leads Advocates, community health workers or others work side by side with patients.

Since its founding in 1996 as a small student-driven campus organization, Health Leads has grown to a fully-staffed organization that employs over 70 employees, serves over 13,000 patients and their families, and operates programs across 16 hospitals and clinics in the U.S.

In supporting Health Leads, the Wyss Foundation joins a list of partners that include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Skoll Foundation, and the Physicians Foundation.

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