During the two hours each week, UCHealth employees have built meaningful relationships with Redtail Ponds residents and helped to identify other health gaps, such as pain management and care coordination.

CHI has held nutrition and mindfulness classes and added acupuncturist Bruce Hinckley from CHI, who now spends one hour a week caring for residents at Redtail Ponds. In addition, the team provides weekly blood pressure checks and education, and other supportive resources to help residents manage chronic illnesses based on a resident’s needs.

CHI’s Medicare Accountable Care Collaborative (MACC), which focuses on care coordination, case management and supportive services for Medicaid patients and families, also meets with Redtail Ponds residents to help them navigate the complexities of multiple agency and provider services required to support their health and social needs.

“It’s wrapping all those services around them along with the MACC team helping residents navigate regular access to health care, saving millions in ER visits,” O’Connell said. “But for us, it is a way to decrease disparities and address social determinants of health barriers such as transportation and food insecurity. It is a joy to see the residents being supported and getting good food.”

The partnership will expand to the Mason Place community soon.

“Life can get tough. If we can lend a hand, so it is not such an uphill climb, then we are doing our job,” O’Connell said.

UCHealth community health educators Ellen Pihlstrom, left, and Deanna O’Connell, right, stand with Resident Service Specialist Raychl Reger with Housing Catalyst’s Redtail Ponds, a permanent supportive housing community. UCHealth partnered with Housing Catalyst in September 2022 to provide on-site services, such as nutritious food, blood pressure checks and acupuncture.