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Wesley Community & Health Centers: Addressing Social Determinants of Health

Addressing the many social factors that influence health care outcomes can be very complicated. The recent emphasis on social determinants of health acknowledges that our social structures and the conditions in which people live, work, play and pray serve an important role in achieving individual, family, and community health outcomes.

The ASU Center for Advancing Interprofessional Practice, Education & Research (CAIPER) is committed to accelerating the development and growth of interprofessional experiences that enable students and practitioners to work together in ways that effectively address social determinants of health.  Interprofessional collaborative team practice serves as a model for tackling challenging social and resource issues.

In collaboration with CAIPER, preceptors at Wesley Community & Health Centers have created an innovative clinical experience that focuses upon patients with complex health and social needs. Health professions students work alongside Wesley staff through an interprofessional care team model to review a panel, or identified group, of high-risk patients. Students participate in an in-depth discussion of each patient’s presenting health and social issues from their disciplinary perspectives and as an interdisciplinary team. They learn to work as a collaborative team through care team presentations, discussions, and modeling by Wesley team members. Through this process, students contribute to the prevention, disease management, and acute care needs of the patients in their care while addressing social determinants of health.

Additionally, students participate in quality improvement and patient satisfaction initiatives through special interprofessional projects designed to improve health literacy, streamline services, and address potential gaps in health and social services. In the process, students improve access to care, quality of care, and the experience of care for patients served by Wesley.

Wesley is currently developing a new clinic location and expanding its available behavioral health services. CAIPER is continuing to work with Wesley during this transition to identify opportunities to provide support to preceptors through skill building and resources, while evaluating the potential to expand the number and variety of health disciplines of students placed with Wesley.

Watch for updates as this new site becomes operational.