- The SW Washington Community Connections Initiative is an innovative research project exploring the relationships between outcomes across the education, housing, legal, and healthcare sectors.
- Providence CORE linked data across these sectors to study how people interact with multiple domains and inform more effective cross-sector interventions.
- Findings in a new CORE report show links between student mobility, health, and attendance; the impact of mental health and substance use in the legal system; and patterns of acute care use among individuals who experienced incarceration or housing instability.
Community health is shaped by the conditions in which community members live, learn, work, and play. These deeply interrelated factors, known as the Social Determinants of Health, are considered the major drivers of health and health inequities. However, studying the links between outcomes across the education, housing, legal, and healthcare sectors poses challenges, as each sector operates independently, collects different data, and uses different systems.
To bridge this gap, a group of organizations in Clark County, Washington, partnered with the Providence Center for Research Outcomes and Education (CORE) for the Community Connections Initiative. This innovative research project aimed to analyze the interconnectedness of outcomes across sectors and inform more effective interventions to meet the needs of the populations they serve. The partners included the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Evergreen Public School District (EPS), Vancouver Public School District (VPS), Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA), and Southwest Accountable Community of Health (SWACH).
A new report from CORE describes numerous findings from the three-year study window ending in 2018. Read on for highlights from the report, or download the full report here.
Connecting the dots with fuzzy matching
To make this research possible, CORE utilized an innovative approach called fuzzy matching. Fuzzy matching allowed our team to link data across sectors, offering valuable insights into individuals’ interactions with multiple domains; for example, identifying a student enrolled in Evergreen Public School District (EPS) who also received housing support through Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) and healthcare services under Medicaid.
Learn more about Fuzzy Matching in CORE’s 2022 white paper: Getting Clear About Fuzzy Matching.
Links between student mobility, health, and attendance
Our team examined the characteristics and experiences of students to understand the relationships between student mobility, health, and chronic absenteeism. Key findings include:
- Students shared between the two school districts were three times more likely to seek housing assistance than students remaining in a single district.
- Students experiencing chronic absenteeism were two-thirds more likely to seek housing assistance than students present 90% of the time or more.
- Elementary school students who received housing through VHA saw a significant increase in their attendance rates.
- Students experiencing chronic absenteeism were more likely to have complex and non-complex chronic conditions than those present 90% of the time; most of the top chronic health conditions were behavioral health diagnoses.