Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas partners with local organizations to improve health outcomes

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS), United Way of Greater Topeka and Stormont Vail Health have partnered with Healthify to launch the Northeast Kansas Community Network – a connected network of health care and social service organizations committed to transforming the current system of care and dramatically improving health outcomes in Northeast Kansas. The Northeast Kansas Community Network (NKCN) is being funded through support from BCBSKS.

This community network strives to close the gap between clinical and non-clinical organizations. Through the Healthify platform and the network, healthcare providers and community resources are connected to provide whole-person care to the most vulnerable members of the community. The overall benefits of the network include stronger collaboration, better ability to measure and gauge impact of services, streamlined care coordination and an emphasis on value-based care. 

“Our goal is to help reduce as many barriers as possible to accessing the resources needed to live a healthy life,” said Virginia Barnes, Blue Health Initiatives director, BCBSKS. “We know that around 60% of health outcomes are due to social, physical and environmental factors in our communities. This network will provide a stronger foundation for health that works with – not separate from – the healthcare systems.”

With this new network, a healthcare provider will be able to access the Healthify platform to search their community and surrounding communities for the resources their patients need and refer them directly to that community organization. For example, a patient may be referred to Community Action if their home needs some additional weatherization or to a local food bank if they need assistance with access to healthy foods to help manage their medical conditions. 

Stormont Vail is playing a vital role in the network as the leading healthcare provider in our community and a key starting point for many of the necessary referrals. 

“Healthify will assist Stormont Vail care teams in completing timely referrals to community organizations to address and assist with the social needs of our patients,” said Amy Kincade, vice president, Population Health, Stormont Vail Health. “Using a referral system such as Healthify strengthens our community relationships and helps improve our patient’s health outcomes.”

The United Way of Greater Topeka brings together people, companies and nonprofits to create positive, sustainable change in our community – a purpose that aligns so well with the new Northeast Kansas Community Network. 

“At United Way, we are committed to creating and cultivating an unbreakable network of support for a strong, healthy and equitable community. The NKCN embodies that effort in a valuable new way and allows us to be a better community partner and grant-maker,” said Brett Martin, vice president of community impact, United Way of Greater Topeka. “This network will connect a range of providers, who together will have a greater impact on a client’s life than any one of them could have on their own. Ultimately, we can improve client outcomes and ease their journey, improve service delivery, and improve our social service systems to achieve better health outcomes for all.”

The network currently has 13 signed community partners in Shawnee County accepting referrals for more than 180 services. The infrastructure of the network will enable community-based organizations, such as Topeka Habitat for Humanity or Meals on Wheels, to enter deeper partnerships with healthcare providers and more easily connect with those in need of assistance.

For more information about the NKCN, visit

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