• Social Needs Interventions
  • Social Needs Network for Evaluation and Translation

SONNET is committed to helping Kaiser Permanente leaders and front-line clinicians design interventions that address the social needs of our members.

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We are a group of researchers evaluators physicians humanitarians from various Kaiser regions and beyond...

Our work is made possible with support from Kaiser Permanente's National Community Health Program

We offer expertise in core methodologies (measurement of social needs and intervention outcomes, health plan staff and community engagement, intervention design, program evaluation and advanced analytics) to assist Kaiser Permanente leaders better design and evaluate interventions that address the social needs of our members. We strive to systematically share our learnings. Read more about Kaiser Permanente's Social Needs Network for Evaluation and Translation (SONNET) .

Meet SONNET's new co-directors!

Katie Coleman, MSPH & Cara Lewis, PhD

Two researchers from Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute will co-direct a national network that supports Kaiser Permanente initiatives aimed at addressing members’ social needs. Cara C. Lewis, PhD, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute associate investigator, and Katie Coleman, MSPH, director of the KPWHRI MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation and Kaiser Permanente Washington’s Learning Health System Program, are the new co-directors of SONNET, the Social Needs Network for Evaluation and Translation.

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COVID-19 Social Health Playbook

October 20, 2020 | Volume 4, Issue 3

The external edition of the playbook provides the field with guidance and tools for screening patients for social needs, connecting them to resources, and following up to ensure their needs are met. It is one of many efforts that KP has accelerated to address social factors during the pandemic.

As part of the organization’s commitment to helping shape the future of health in the nation, Kaiser Permanente (KP) has adapted its Social Health Playbook to share with others in the field and deepen the health sector’s commitment to addressing social determinants of health.

The global COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant and protracted impact on individuals, families, and communities. In addition to the viral pandemic’s direct health consequences, secondary social effects include anxiety, fear, economic uncertainty, and social isolation. Historically underserved people and communities are likely to suffer most from the pandemic’s direct and indirect impacts. People who previously had no unmet social needs may experience them. Additionally, disparities by race and ethnicity are prevalent among those testing positive for COVID-19 due to longstanding systemic and social inequities in the US.

While KP is appropriately focused on mitigating the viral pandemic, the organization also recognizes its responsibility to help ease the pandemic’s indirect social impacts on its patients, members, and communities, and to address the conditions that give rise to inequity and racism.

KP’s Social Health Playbook guides the following:

  • Care for patients with social needs within the context of COVID-19.
  • Assess patients’ social needs.
  • Connect patients to resources to address those needs.
  • Follow up to ensure needs were met and to coordinate care as appropriate.

Please communicate your questions or comments to: socialhealthplaybook@kp.org


Latest Newsletter: Sharing as we learn

September 28, 2020 | Volume 4, Issue 3

The Impact of the Community Resource Specialist: Integrating a Lay Health Worker to Address Social Needs in Kaiser Permanente Washington clinics

By: Consuelo Marin Norris, MA and Cara C. Lewis, PhD

The mounting prevalence of unmet social needs, such as lack of transportation, nutritious food, and financial strain has a direct effect on our members’ quality of life and health outcomes...


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Special: A note from SONNET's director

September 28, 2020 | Volume 4, Issue 4 | Special Message

By: John F. Steiner, MD, MPH

Five years ago, I began discussions with Loel Solomon (then vice president, Community Health and now professor of Health Systems Science in the Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine), Jim Bellows (managing director, Evaluation and Analytics at Kaiser Permanente, Care Management Institute), and Karen Emmons (who then was vice president for research and director of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute) about...

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Recent Newsletters

2 Mar
Volume 4, Issue 1

Why Look at Social Needs?

>Increasingly, Kaiser Permanente (KP) members are being screened for social needs in the care delivery setting. We are leading the way in addressing social needs in collaboration with community organizations... read more