UniteHere! Health, NYC

How might we improve member health outcomes and drive down healthcare costs?

Services:  Advisory and Strategic Planning, Stakeholder Engagement, Coalition Building, Program Design, Service Design, Implementation, Curriculum Development, Toolkits, Communication and Media Design, Training and Facilitation, Staff Coaching, Recruitment, Event Planning and Mobilization

Challenge:

UniteHere! Health, a labor union health insurance provider, needed to bring costs down for its 10,000 members in New York City and New Jersey. Many members did not have a primary care provider and were utilizing emergency departments for primary care issues. Additionally, a number of members with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, needed support to better manager their health and avoid frequent hospitalizations.  With members over-utilizing emergency departments and hospitals, UniteHere! Health was running a deficit.

Innovation:  

Build a long-term organizational strategy to educate and empower members to take ownership of their collective health and health fund. Teach members to create and utilize tools to manage their own health, make better use of healthcare providers, and to directly introduce health management tools and options to coworkers and family members.  

Approach:  

  • Build a leadership team of influential union members from a diverse cross-section of UniteHere! worksites to connect their coworkers to better forms of healthcare. Guided this team to design and launch multiple strategic initiatives, including:
  • Develop participatory training across the organization to build momentum for a new culture of healthcare decision-making.
  • Design interactive communication tools to gather critical data about member health needs and direct them to appropriate services.
  • Recruit members with chronic conditions to join a health management support group
  • Design and produce nine month peer-to-peer adult education curriculum empowering members to stay on track with healthy behaviors
  • Developed social games and challenges to promote healthy behaviors at UniteHere! worksites.  
  • Directed a media campaign featuring members who succeeded in meeting their health goals to recruit other members to join the program.
  • Together these initiatives directly reached over 5,000 members, increased primary care rates by 35%, and generated an estimated savings of $500,000 for UniteHere! Health over 2 years. 
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Click On Video Below To Hear Union Members Share Their Success Stories

“Kamara gave us the jump start we needed to create concrete, sustainable programs to engage our members in becoming savvier consumers of healthcare. Using her considerable skills in doing everything from building relationships with members to designing programs to developing appealing communications tools, Kamara helped us build a foundation to grow our member engagement efforts.”
— Ivana Krajcinovic, Senior Director, Healthcare Delivery | UniteHere! Health
“Kamara was responsible for building our Participant Engagement initiative, which involved identifying, recruiting and training UniteHere! members to engage their coworkers in healthy choices, from finding personal physicians, to managing their chronic conditions. With Kamara’s focus, persistence and drive this new Participant Engagement initiative achieved a higher level of activity and broader range of results than in any of our previous efforts.”
— Bill Granfield, President of UniteHere Local 100 | Board of Trustees UniteHere Health