Resendez sings praises of Unite Us, a new digital referral platform

McALLEN, Texas – One of the best things that has happened as a result of the Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force being formed is a decision by healthcare and community organizations to collaborate via a new digital referral platform.

The platform is called Unite Us and it is a game-changer, according to Marisol Resendez, executive director of El Milagro Clinic in McAllen. 

In an exclusive video interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, secured at a Futuro RGV forum that focused on the work of the Prosperity Task Force, Resendez spoke about the power and utility of Unite Us. 

“We feel very, very sure that Unite Us is going to be something that’s going to help not only the Prosperity Task Force but also the RGV,” Resendez said.

Resendez is a leading member of the Prosperity Task Force’s healthcare services subgroup. El Milagro is part the National Association of Free &  Charitable Clinics. It was through this group that El Milagro found out about Unite Us.

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“As we screen patients at the clinics or in a healthcare setting, we’re also screening for social determinants of health. There are those non-medical drivers that affect health. And so one of our biggest challenges has always been the referral process, Resendez explained.

“So, when we get a patient that also needs transportation services or food or specialty care or utility bill assistance, we’re always challenged with, okay, are they going to make it into that other agency that we’re asking them to go to.”

Often times, if a patient has to connect themselves with another agency, for example to get food assistance or transportation, they can fall through the cracks, Resendez said.

“We want to make sure that we that no patient gets stuck in one place, meaning we just give them the number and say, you go and do it yourself versus having organization to organization communication.

“We needed a better tool and so we started researching about a referral platform and we came across Unite Us. This is a technical platform where we can get into the network and we can start sending and receiving referrals. From healthcare organizations to community based organizations and vice versa.”

Resendez continued: “We believe that one tool (Unite Us) is going to help us better coordinate those services and make sure that they (the patients) do get and receive everything that they need in order to thrive.”

Resendez said using Unite Us has worked well for El Milagro. She said her clinic has referred patients to VIDA for help with job opportunities. Likewise, El Milagro has received referrals for patients needing diabetes supplies.

“It (Unite Us) very, it’s user friendly, it’s smooth. You do have to commit to it, meaning you need to be ready to update the information on your profile. That way the other agencies know exactly what it is that you provide. And so when they have the client in front of them, they know exactly where to send them and that they’re going to most likely receive the help. And also, you have to be monitoring the platform. You get emails that will alert you, okay, you have a new referral.”

The added benefit, Resendez said, is that a comprehensive profile is built up on the patient. 

“That is one of the beauties about the platform where we’re feeding all of these referrals in and then we’re able to pull that information. And so one of the more important things I believe is that we’ll be able to see the gaps in services, meaning somebody’s looking for something that we’re not providing. And then that way it’ll help us make a plan on how to address those.”

Editor’s Note: The above video news story is one of a series focusing on the work of the Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force. We would like to thank Prosperity Task Force coordinator Mario Reyna for recommending an article on Marisol Resendez and Unite Us.

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