Network Spotlight: Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network

July 2016
Organization: 
Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network

Staff members and program participants of the Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network attending the 2014 School-Based Health Alliance conference in Seattle. 

Network Name Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network
Location Nogales, AZ
Key Contact Cassalyn David, Network Director
Website www.adolescentwellness.net
Mission To promote adolescent wellness through advocacy, education and collaboration with youth, schools, and community organizations serving youth, ages 12-25.
Vision To be the collaborative voice and catalyst for adolescent wellness in Santa Cruz County.

Cassalyn David, network director of the Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network, was interviewed by NCHN’s director of member services to share information on the network’s characteristics, key learnings, accomplishments, and challenges.

Q: In a “nutshell,” how would you describe your network?

A: The Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network (AWN) is a group of local agencies that has been working to promote and improve adolescent wellness services through collaboration, education, and advocacy since 2007. The current partner organizations are Mariposa Community Health Center, the lead and fiscal agent, along with Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC), Santa Cruz County School Superintendent, Community Health Associates, Pinal Hispanic Council, Circles of Peace, and the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Santa Cruz County. 

The AWN is a place for partners to collaborate and share resources to identify and respond to adolescent wellness needs. The network is a collaborative, dynamic group of really key organizations in our county that serve adolescents. It creates a space that wouldn’t otherwise exist to address health issues that reach across silos.

Q: What benefits do network members receive?

A: Partners are able to provide services and make connections they would not otherwise be able to make. The adolescent health issues that we are addressing are rooted in social determinates of health, and we can only make an impact when we partner effectively with youth and change the systems and environment.  

We currently have a diverse membership, and we are always open to new members. We have representation from behavioral health, but more behavioral health members would be helpful because we know that’s a huge need for the adolescent population. Two of the most surprising things so far have been the gaps in communication between organizations and how easy it was to start conversations and collaborate.

Q: What’s unique about working in your rural area?

A: The border location of Santa Cruz County creates unique challenges with which the network must contend. One of these is immigration concerns. The local community lives its life on both sides of the border, crossing back and forth for work, education, family, and health care. This adds multiple layers of complexity to eligibility for services, continuity of care, and care coordination. Organizationally, it is very important for the network to know what is taking place in Mexico, and AWN continues to develop relationships with key organizations across the border.

Our partner organizations have such limited time and resources. Partners understand the value of the network and therefore devote a significant amount of time to this collaboration. It’s easy to have your target area and population. It’s easier to connect with key players in the community because everyone knows each other. All of this helps demonstrate the need for the network because of the network’s ability to meet these unique difficulties that have not and are not being addressed by anyone else.

Q: Tell us about a challenge your network recently overcame.

A: One major goal and huge win for the network was overcoming the difficult challenge of improving the referral process between schools and primary care providers. These two systems were completely separate and very different.  They each were also working with limited resources. Because of the relationships that had been built and the collaborative nature the network fosters, AWN was able to design a direct referral process. With time and patience and having quality people championing for this change, we have created a lasting and sustainable referral system with the potential for expansion.

Q: Based on your experiences as a network leader, what advice do you have for a developing rural health network? 

A: Become an NCHN member. Use the technical assistance available as a grantee. And, don’t be discouraged if people have trouble understanding what a rural health network is.

 

<< View More Network Spotlights

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Illinois Telehealth Network

November 2017

ITN promotes the capacity of members to improve access to health care in rural, underserved and disadvantaged communities, through the application of telehealth and telemedicine solutions.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Indiana Rural Workforce Innovation Network

September 2017

IRWIN strives to become a sustainable, rural-focused workforce network that recruits motivated students, delivers allied health professions’ education and training, facilitates meaningful clinical rotations, and places graduates in rural allied health professions’ jobs.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Southeast Texas Health System

July 2017

SETHS integrates health care locally and regionally in responding to the growth of managed care in a way that preserves local control and maintains the independence of member institutions.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Northeast Oregon Network

May 2017

NEON increases access to and quality of integrated health care for Northeast Oregon residents by identifying system gaps, facilitating community-developed solutions and advocating for health policy change.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Northwest Rural Health Network

April 2017

The Northwest Rural Health Network shares resources and collectively supports rural health systems to develop integrated models of care throughout eastern Washington State.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Affiliated Service Providers of Indiana

March 2017

ASPIN provides educational programs, resource management, program development and network management in collaboration with health care entities to address health disparities and whole health management throughout the state of Indiana.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Foothills Health Network

January 2017

Foothills Health Network improves the health of people living in Polk County, NC, and neighboring communities by increasing access to coordinated, quality care and cultivating community engagement.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Community Care Alliance

December 2016

Based in Colorado, the Community Care Alliance prepares healthcare organizations for success in the future, where medical communities will be rewarded for achieving better care, healthier people and smarter spending.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Palmetto Care Connections

November 2016

Palmetto Care Connections facilitates health care access across South Carolina through the utilization of innovative technology to promote the provision of qualified medical professionals of various disciplines.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: North Coast Clinics Network

October 2016

The North Coast Clinics Networks is comprised of three FQHCs in northwest California that collaborate to ensure health care workforce readiness, improve the quality of care and shape health care policy.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Safetyweb Network

September 2016

The Safetyweb Network works throughout Polk County, WI to increase health care coverage access and retention among the uninsured and underinsured.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: North Country Health Consortium

August 2016

The NCHC is a rural health network, created in 1997, as a vehicle for addressing common issues through collaboration among health and human service providers serving Northern New Hampshire.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Mountain Health Alliance

June 2016

The Mountain Health Alliance is a regional network dedicated to advancing a culture of health through collaboration and community engagement.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Prairie Health Information Technology Network

May 2016

The Prairie Health Information Technology Network improves patient outcomes and the quality of care for the medically underserved, including the uninsured and underinsured patients of South Dakota, through the meaningful use and adoption by both provider and patient of health information technology and the electronic health record.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Tri-County Health Network

April 2016

The Tri-County Health Network is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the overall health and quality of health care in rural southwest Colorado by identifying, developing, and operating programs and initiatives that will reform the health care delivery system and payment methodology in rural communities.

Network Spotlight

Network Spotlight: Illinois Rural Health Network

March 2016

The Illinois Rural Health Network strives to be an accessible system of care that promotes early identification of and provides resources and services for children at risk for developmental, medical, emotional, social and/or behavioral difficulties.